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“What a beautiful, peaceful valley alternately scoured and cooked by weather patterns that clearly haven’t heard of ‘the middle way’. My ten days there went from hot-water bottle, lumber jacket and woolly hat (all borrowed I’m afraid, my girl guide camping badge is now sadly forfeit) to coveting the shade. So maybe I didn’t manage to embrace the cold; there was no problem, however, luxuriating in the wood-burning stove, slippers and coffee…Thank you Community for hugging us in! I loved the taste of community life, the nitty-gritty practicalities shared with generosity and enthusiasm, so often turning to do something and finding that it has already been taken care of by another. Having plans and having to let them saunter off. The vibrant, enriching conversations, the laughing, the superb food. Seeing inspired practical solutions, learning on many other levels besides, not always comfortable of course. The kindness, so heart-warming. Sitting in the loo-palace in full-throttle thunderstorm: waterfalls of rain, backlit by intense sunlight, indulging in a Niagra Falls impression on the corrugated roof. Fabulous. Knowing that just over the mountain 16 women have recently been ordained and wondering what that feels like.
Looking at a photo of the rising solstice moon up on the ‘Sunset rocks’ elicited a bright flood of gratitude and contentment. I feel very fortunate to have been able to share the Dharma in such a precious context. Living and working together in Akashavana, even for a relatively brief period, has expanded and deepened my sense of sangha and been a very confirming experience in terms of Triratna being my practice ‘home’. I hope to jump in for another stint next year!