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‘Life wants to happen, life is unstoppable. Anytime we try and contain life, or interfere with its fundamental need for expression, we get into trouble..’ -M. Wheatley and M Kellner-Rogers
We are choosing to evolve, to change, to do our bit in making the world anew for us all to live in. We have bitten a very hard bullet, and are putting our GBC home for close to the last 40 years on the market. We are letting go of a building that cannot be accessed by everyone, cannot be seen from the street easily and is difficult to adapt for the covid regulatory framework for public events. We are embracing our de facto homelessness as a spiritual community. Uncharted territory opens up.
There will be sadness. That spot in Sauchiehall St, that ‘big’ shrine room on the first floor was where the journey into what the Buddha taught and what the Buddha practiced began for many thousands of people since 1983. Including me.
There may be fear. We have no guarantees of success, no certainty of what’s coming next and a whole world of turmoil around us.
There will be change. Things will not be the same.
This Covid pandemic continues to throw us a series of challenges. Not least of which are the questions. What are we learning from this experience? What kind of world do we want to live in? What can we do to start building that world now? How can we as a Buddhist community contribute to that?
We already open our classes and activities up to those who seek it and make no charge. We continue to commit to the dana economy. Now we are letting go of clinging to our building comfort zone. Who knows where we will go and what we will create from that space? Who knows what new perspectives we will glean from that? We are taking a leap into the void.
In that space our community will explore some of the questions that might lead us to our next incarnation as the Glasgow Buddhist Centre. Who are we? What are we for? What contributions can we fruitfully make to the life of this city, this country, this world? How will we organise ourselves to do that? Where will we go?
But that’s in the future. Right now, we are going forth as a community into a state of homeless wandering.
And in that we return very much to the roots of Buddhism 2,500 years ago. An Indian man left his life of privilege and ease. He went forth from the palace into the life of a homeless wanderer. He sat under a tree and was enlightened. He spent the rest of his life sharing freely what he had realised with others.
‘ Partnering with life, working with its cohering motions, requires that we take life’s direction seriously. Life moves towards wholeness. This direction cannot be ignored or taken lightly’.
M. Wheatley and M Kellner-Rogers