Ancient Royal Orchard newly founded in east London, UK
On Thu, 16 October, 2014 - 00:18
Uddiyana was an ancient land famous for rich, fertile plains, soaring mountains and an abundance of natural environment and culture. Sounds a long way from the streets of Leytonstone, east London, UK? A long-established Triratna men’s community there has just adopted “Uddiyana” (Royal Orchard) as its new name.
As they explain, “Uddiyana was the mythical birthplace of Padmasambhava. He’s an important figure for our community, and has a central place on our shrine. Actually, though, our neighbourhood is very green and peaceful for somewhere within such easy reach of central London. The edge of part of Epping Forest is literally at the end of our road. So perhaps it’s not quite as far from ancient Uddiyana as one might think!”
The community was also inspired by the most famous account of ancient Uddiyana, that of the famous 7th century Chinese Buddhist pilgrim and teacher, Hsuan Tsang. He found the people there to be gentle, happy, appreciative of culture and lovers of learning, and especially noted how “all the people greatly reverenced the profound teachings of the Buddha.”
“We like the sense of ease, plenty and enjoyment associated with the name, as well as its mythic resonances, because it’s a good balance to the more down-to-earth, practical side of our life together: daily meditation at 7am; eating together every day; weekly community night; being on retreat together a couple of times a year; most of all, an ongoing attention to the friendships between us as they grow and change. And, on a more mundane level, keeping the place shipshape and balancing the books. All of us take these things pretty seriously.”
Uddiyana men’s community in east London currently has a vacancy for someone who wants to make living in community a part of their practice. Interested? Visit their website for more information.
Jyotivana women’s community in Manchester, UK, also has a vacancy. Contact taravandana [at] gmail.com (Taravandana.)