Dharmashalin writes from Padmaloka, Triratna’s long-established retreat centre in Norfolk UK with some unexpected news: the Mitras have taken over! He elaborates:
“At the beginning of December, during a gap in Padmaloka’s busy schedule, we had an event here that may be the first of its kind: a group of GfR Mitras hosting a retreat at Padmaloka! The four mitras concerned have been living at Padmaloka this year, doing the 2012 Triratna One Year Intensive. They were coming to the end of their year of retreats and other activities and wanted to do something to give something back to the situation.
So they had the idea of leading a weekend for their friends, both Buddhist and non- Buddhist - ie friends from other areas of their lives. The weekend was a great success with both experienced Mitras and those who had never meditated before getting something from it. Personally I was most struck by the confidence and connection between the four guys - and the sense of serious but playful energy around the retreat centre. Here’s a couple of quotes from the feedback:
“It’s been a great weekend - very much a retreat, yet also a strong sense of friendliness and play.” “It’s been a genuinely inspirational experience for me. I have had the opportunity to prove to myself that I can communicate my experience of the Dharma effectively to others and participate in leading a retreat. I’m very grateful to Padmaloka for giving us their resources for this weekend” -Tom Pope (course participant)
The One Year Intensive course itself has been a great success. Set up to give folk a chance to immerse themselves more fully in the Triratna Buddhist Community, it’s obvious to me, as course coordinator, that the guys have deepened and grown over the year. Having thrown myself into Triratna in my early 20’s I am delighted that we can provide people with opportunities like this. The course has included a LOT of retreats, time at Padmaloka doing other things, holidays, optional time at Buddhafield plus a Karuna Trust fundraising appeal. The sense I had was of these different elements weaving together to provide a strong context for practice and self development and of course a basis for the friendships and connections that have developed between the guys over this year.
We’re running another course from July 2013. If this inspires you, and you’re a man who’s asked (or is thinking of asking) for Ordination, then write to course [at] padmaloka.org.uk to find out more.