Vidyaruchi writes with his regular roundup of Sangharakshita’s news for the past month, saying - “At the end of October, I returned to Bhante’s service after a six-week break, during which time Singhamanas, who will succeed me permanently in March, stepped into the secretarial saddle. The changeover went smoothly, and I am hopeful that in Singhamanas Bhante has found a secretary who will have most of my virtues and few of my failings. (Fortunately, Bhante has never had cause to see my office).
Though Bhante’s routine of correspondence, daily walks, and visitors continues in outline, he has started to cut down on what he does and the numbers of people he sees, due to dwindling energy, and a wish to conserve himself for the impending rustication to Coddington Court. Moreover, he has seen something of a return of the insomnia that plagued him back in his annus horribilis of 2003.
Nonetheless, Bhante has seen people, including 9 Order members who came to Madhyamaloka to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their ordination in Tuscany 1982. He has also met with three Indian Dhammacharis - Amoghasiddhi, Amrutdeep, and Yashosagar - who came straight from retreat at Maes Gwyn, Subhuti and Srimala’s property in Wales, to ask for Bhante’s blessing on their becoming Public Preceptors, which he was glad to give. Kalyanaprabha has continued visiting Bhante for sessions of literary work. They are currently working on a volume of Early Writings, the footnotes of which need to be checked with Bhante.
Paramartha is still reading aloud Madame Blavatsky: The Woman Behind the Myth, and Bhante continues to find it both interesting and entertaining. They have also read John Masefield’s Grace Before Ploughing, written towards the end of the poet’s life, in which he reminiscences about his childhood in Ledbury, of particular interest as the town nearest to Coddington Court. Besides this, Bhante has returned to the poetry of Coleridge, in particular through a CD of ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, which has been one of Bhante’s favourite poems since his teens, and which he revisits from time to time.
Bhante visited the hospital for one of his regular vision tests. Happily, there has been no further deterioration in his eyesight since the last test earlier in the year. Meanwhile, we hope his sleep will stabilize - for in the words of the Ancient Mariner, ‘Sleep it is a gentle thing, beloved from Pole to Pole’”. Vidyaruchi