Sanghanistha writes from Triratna’s Padmaloka Retreat Centre in Norfolk UK, with news of some major new additions to their shrine room - and more to come! He says -
“If you haven’t been to Padmaloka recently you will have missed our latest additions to the shrine room. Aloka’s new paintings of Vajrapani, Akshobya and Manjushri. Situated on the Eastern wall of the shrine room, facing the Amitabha triptych, these paintings are part of our iconography project, Padmaloka’s ongoing efforts to help develop Triratna’s ‘visual language’.
“The Padmaloka iconography project has been going for some years now. In collaboration with Aloka, our vision is to fill the shrine room with these illumined images and symbols of Enlightenment, thereby inspiring generations of practitioners through an unfolding symbolic/visual exploration of Bodhi and our relationship to it. “It’s been interesting speaking to people about these new paintings and their responses to them. Everyone seems to really like all of them and respond more strongly to different ones in particular. This was indeed my own experience - when the Manjushri and Vajrapani arrived at Padmaloka, I was very taken by the beauty of both, but Vajrapani in particular affected me very deeply. I find it fascinating how particular images can resonate with and activate aspects of ourselves in ways that concepts alone seem unable to.
“The next phase of the iconography project will be a larger-than-life-size Buddha rupa, which Aloka has already begun creating in his studio at home. Part of the floor well in the shrine room has already been filled in to create a plinth for it, and it’s been quite a strong experience sitting with this empty space, pregnant with possibility, waiting for the Buddha to appear.