Chairs' Letter – June 2021On Wed, 30 June, 2021 - 23:07
Dear Order Members and friends,
Yesterday the public ordinations of another eight women took place at Adhisthana, while the church bells rang out across the fields from Coddington steeple. Sadly I was not able to be in the shrine room at the time, as I was in a zoom meeting, but it’s been delightful seeing the new Dharmacharini’s emerge into the beautiful Adhisthana context.
In fact meetings of various kinds seem to have been the flavour of this month. According to my diary I’ve been in meetings of the International Council steering group (twice), an ordination kula, the Adhisthana Council, Adhisthana trustees, Ethics Kula, College Deputies (three times), a race awareness taster session, and dropped in on the European Chairs Assembly. Also individual meetings with a couple of Order members with safeguarding experience, regular meetings with Akasajoti, mainly on College business, not to mention Chapter and community meetings at Adhisthana. There were other informal meetings that didn’t officially make it into my schedule.
What I hadn’t anticipated was the amount of follow up needed, after the announcement last month that the actions of an Order member meant they had ‘put themselves outside the Order’. I’ve been busy replying to many emails (mainly supporting the decision), and speaking with many people who expressed reservations or concerns (mainly online). After meeting with College members over three days (to allow for different time zones), I also wrote a longer and more informative letter to all Order members.
Unfortunately the work load meant I had to drop out of leading study for the women’s Dharma Life Course currently taking place at Adhisthana, although Taravandana and Kalyanaprabha very kindly stepped in at the last minute and covered me seamlessly. Fortunately I did manage to visit my mum for a couple of days, as she’d fallen and broken her wrist.
It hasn’t been an easy month (that’s English for ‘it’s been really tough’). I’m very aware that many people have suffered, in one way or other, as a result of past and present actions, and I want to keep the various conversations going and do what I can to make sense of it all and learn how best to avoid suffering in the future. I’ve felt keenly aware of my responsibility as College Chair, and my personal limitations, as well as deeply appreciative of the challenge and support of many friends.
I’m currently preparing for another meeting in a couple of days’ time… this time an online meeting of the international College, which I am very much looking forward to. I will be able to share more about that in next month’s letter.
Thanks to whoever sent the roses that arrived today!