The retreat has kicked off: lots of friendly faces, intermittent rain, a great deal of mud already. There is a rumour that someone has cleverly ordered a load of wellingtons (very British rubber boots) for delivery and sale tomorrow!
For a while, Bhante could just be seen sitting in his (warm, dry) conservatory on the other side of the garden.
The evening’s dedication ceremony, led by Dassini, was followed by the Shakyamuni mantra, and those making offerings included a number of children, roused from snoozing in their parents’ laps.
There are many languages here, for we are certainly not just from the UK, but also from Germany, Poland, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Canada, the USA, Australia, Ireland and India. (Probably a few other places too.) It’s definitely an international retreat.