Happy Birthday, Bhante!On Sat, 22 August, 2015 - 20:46
This morning saw Sarvananda giving a talk entitled “Communicating the Dharma through the arts: show, don’t tell”. As with Maitreyabandhu yesterday, we were by turns laughing hysterically and delving deep. Declaring a suspicion of standup comedy he tried demonstrating standup tragedy - in a Greek mask - and later ventriloquism with a shaggy-haired glove puppet character claiming to be a 15 year-old newly ordained anagarika Direct Pointing guide.
Grey weather turned very hot and humid this afternoon. Mahasukha’s Soulful singing group gave way to a packed (and steamy) house for a concert with a series of performances by various Order members, including Bach, Purcell, Schubert, Rachmaninov and Chopin. Other activities included a workshop on writing memoirs, tai chi, sand art, poetry, standup comedy and a talk on “Aesthetic experience and its near enemies”.
Meanwhile, people continued to tour the Nine Decades exhibition in the Sangharakshita Library, and the many pictures by Triratna artists, hung in the men’s community lounge, the lecture theatre, the main shrine room and elsewhere. (We’ll bring you more on all this tomorrow.)
The high point of the day was Bhante’s arrival in the shrine room for Kalyanaprabha’s launch of his new book, A Moseley Miscellany, which she edited. Once we were all assembled the hot weather very suddenly turned to an extremely fierce thunderous downpour, in the middle of which his car drew up and in he slowly walked, in his panama hat, to the sound of Sakyamuni mantras. He clearly enjoyed her talk. He was presented with a birthday card announcing the gift to him, from around a thousand people, of the £110,000 we’ve raised for his Complete Works. Finally, to the sound of Happy Birthday singing, a cake was brought to him with one lit candle, which Buddhadasa blew out for him.
In the evening, puja, jazz, dance and sauna.