So, last day… and sunshine has poured down on us, and on the extraordinarily green and beautiful Herefordshire countryside around us. The mud is drying, but remains deep - and lethally slippery - in the dining tent.
The morning’s big events on the retreat “fringe”: a loud crash as the main crockery table sank into the mud, shedding its load, which all had to be rewashed; and a “wellie amnesty”, where everyone who’d lost their boots, or picked up someone else’s by mistake, had the opportunity to swap back! Sadly I wasn’t there to witness either.
Our day began with meditation, was later blessed by church bells from down the road and then moved on to Amalavajra’s short talk on generosity, and his mantra: live more simply; give more. What if we were to take up the practice of tithing, giving 10% of our income away to worthwhile projects?
Mokshini gave the day’s main talk, on tying up our precepts with our everyday actions. How do we practise the precepts when shopping? As she pointed out, every purchase we make is a vote for the kind of world we want to live in. Do we consider that buying hothouse-grown tomatoes out of season involves enormous amounts of CO2; that one long-haul flight uses up our CO2 allowance for an entire year? Do we consider the plight of Bangladeshi sweatshop workers when we buy our clothes? And she gave a big plug for the UK’s Buddhist Action Month, which begins next week and has attracted the participation of Triratna Centres in other European countries too.