Last Friday Triratna News reported on the opening of the seventeenth Buddhafield Festival - Triratna’s largest annual event outside India. Despite being the wettest-ever, with much of the main area reduced by near-constant rain to a sea of mud, the 2,900 visitors pretty much all had a great time. Check their Facebook page for the latest comments!
Lokabandhu - a veteran of most of the previous 16 Festivals - writes, saying “The Festival was great, as always, in fact in some ways all the more so for the appalling weather: it was the muddiest ever, which means very muddy indeed! Someone wisely commented that no one could have possibly come expecting sunshine - which means that all 2,900 people (yes, 2,900 people!) who DID come came because they really wanted to be at Buddhafield, which is a very moving thought actually…
As it unfolded, and the rain came down, I had Sangharakshita’s phrase in mind, “that which does not break you makes you strong” and although the weather and the mud were severe, they certainly didn’t break us; in fact I’d say the community that is Buddhafield came out of it all the stronger through having endured something and gone through it together. In many ways in fact the gods seemed to be with us - on Wednesday and Sunday, when people arrived and left, the weather was fine, which made a real difference, and even though it rained a bit during the opening ritual, it cleared to produce a stunning rainbow as a thousand people processed through the first of three Doorways to Freedom, the Doorway of Mystery - into the Present Moment… you couldn’t have planned it better! Putting on a Festival - especially in climate-changed Britain - is a heroic act and not to be underestimated.
Personally I was in the Dharma Parlour area, which put on a non-stop program of talks, workshops, study groups, story-telling, debates and friendly fireside hospitality, all organised by the wonderful Maitrisara and videoed by Upekshapriya and friends from ClearVision. Look out for the talks appearing soon on FreeBuddhistAudio and Videosangha. The Dharma Parlour is something of an inter-Buddhist affair and I thought that worked very well, the circle of non-Triratna invitees expanding slowly and organically through personal relationship; this year we welcomed Yanai Postelnik from Gaia House and two new representatives from the Amida Trust as well as our usual invitees.
“Another transformative festival. Wading through mud in the worst camping conditions ever, I made such enriching connections, underwent profound healing, shook my booty like never before, met loving beings from every realm and awoke to a new inner world. Thank you for this beautiful beautiful place.”
“Another exhillirating, heart opening, tranquill, explosion of beauty and Love :) Hearts connecting, welcoming body wisdom, exploring our fears ands self-doubts. What a healing experience Buddhafield Festival was this year, the mud and all ! So many thanks to everyone who continually help to create this conscious dream”
“As a sychronistic 1st time visitor, still buzzing like a bee with the brilliance of Buddhafield, no doubt encouraged by the wonderfully refreshing weather, buoyant and spontaneous individuals, near liquid earth, fire in the bellies and some spot on workshops, talks and debates. Even managed some belly & morris dancing (not at the same time but perhaps a workshop for some inspirational individual next year) and a game of frizzbee with 2 random ladies whilst the tractor extracted da motor. A absolutely fabulous weekend. Such joy. Thanks to everyone I met, kissed, hugged & mudded, the farmer for his tractor and to everyone involved for all your abundance of love, light, peace & joy, including the fantastic crew. Bless, Yeehaar! Until next year!”
“Just wanted to say thank you to all….. This is a unique festival and it is thanks to all who work so hard behind the scenes……… as well as all who come and smile and laugh and dance and hug NOMATTERWHAT ….. and well …… just care about each other…. Bless you ALL.”
Sadhu Buddhafield! More news from the Festival soon.”