Music, haiku and gratitudeOn Fri, 21 August, 2015 - 23:51
Yesterday’s grey morning here at Adhisthana was greatly brightened by Maitreyabandhu’s talk, “What good are the arts?”, combining his usual mixture of depth and self-deprecating hilarity and including a particularly moving description of being “lifted up” by music, and grief at separation from the beautiful. The talk ended with the launch of his new book, The Journey and the Guide.
The many arts events today, planned and impromptu, included a haiku workshop and a performance by a small choir conducted by Vipulakirti, who performed a short programme of works composed or arranged by Order members (settings of Pali texts or poems by Sangharakshita, and Happy Birthday) as well as a song by local composer Elgar.
The afternoon saw a series of rejoicings and expressions of gratitude: to Vajragupta for his Chairmanship of Adhisthana this year, now handed on to Saddhanandi; to Akasaraja for several years of service to the Order Office; to Vidyatara, returning to Australia after serving the Preceptors’ College and Order Convenors; and finally, to Windhorse:Evolution.
All day people enjoyed the Sangharakshita Library’s first exhibition, looking at nine decades of Bhante’s life through objects and interviews he recorded with Saddhanandi. The Golden Rainbow Tuck Shop did a steady trade in vegan ice cream and chocolate (raising money to bring Indian Order members to the UK).
By the late afternoon our numbers had swelled to around 400 (including around 20 new Order members we welcomed in the evening’s puja), but even so, the atmosphere was spacious and unhurried; the courtyard and grass dotted with people talking; children circulating happily with bowls of fruit. Out in the derelict barn behind, filled with tables and chairs, a fire - even some armchairs! - yet more space for talking.
The choir was such a success, it was decided to hold an Order singing retreat. Please email Vipulakirti if you wish to be informed. vipulakirti [at] gmail.com
Watch Vidyatara’s talk from the UK and Ireland Women’s Order weekend last year, “Co-creating structures that serve the arising of the Bodhicitta”.
See all posts from the weekend.