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It’s been a lively, warm and sunny day here in Herefordshire, UK. Our numbers swelled to around 330 by the end of a well-spent day.
The shrine tent was impressively full for 7am meditation, well rewarded by the efforts of the Sheffield Porridge Team, who cooked porridge for 200. Later in the morning the Polish sangha introduced themselves, after which Prajnaketu, Young Buddhist Co-ordinator, gave the morning’s excellent talk (without notes), entitled “The Return of the Bodhisattva”. You can listen to it here, video will be available on this channel after the weekend since the broadband in this part of Herefordshire is famously too poor for uploading video to the net.
After lunch we had a wonderful recital of music by composers including Schubert and Bach from cellist Kalyanagita (Belgium) and pianist Ratnadhya (UK). Workshops and presentations included choir, yoga, meditation, Breathworks, ’Paganism and Nature’, ‘Faith’, discussion groups and questions and answers about Buddhism, and a 12-step meeting - while for the children there was plenty to do all day in the children’s tent thanks particularly to Mokshini and Dhiraprabha.
Before the puja each evening there’ll be a storytelling session where the children enact a traditional Buddhist story, with adults, for the rest of us. Tonight it was the tale of Anathapindika, hilariously told, accompanied by an impromptu band striking up familiar songs at appropriate moments.
Tonight’s puja was internationally flavoured, with offerings from each country. In particular we thought of Abhayanita, a Dharmacharini much in the hearts of many of the Germans here: her picture was on the shrine to mark her death earlier today.