Unique Triratna Retreat Starts in Kerala, South India
On Sat, 24 December, 2011 - 05:41
Today sees the start of a unique Triratna retreat held annually in Kerala, South India - a 6-day residential “communicative English retreat” for 60 Keralan students including around 30 girls. It’s a collaboration between Jai Bhim Kerala and the San Francisco-based Jai Bhim International, and brings together Indians and Westerners to study and practice simultaneously the Dharma and spoken English. Dayamudra, director of Jai Bhim International and newly-ordained, writes with more details. She says - “This year will be our 4-year anniversary doing projects in India. In the past, we have done a lot of travelling across India, meeting with partners, building our team, creating alliances, and asking for support. This has been great and very fruitful. We are now part of a broader movement and our work is known and respected in the Jai Bhim community, in North, Central and South India.
Our friends in the South need particular support, as they are geographically, linguistically and culturally separated from the larger movement in central India. Our longest-running JBI projects have been in the South, in Kerala and near Chennai, with the teams of Jai Bhim Kerala and the Sakya Hostels. Our work has been building, and we are seeing the fruits of our efforts, as our projects continue to grow and spread throughout the year.
So this year we will be travelling less, and concentrating time, energy, financial resources and friendship in the South in these two communities. This will allow us to go deeper in our friendships, and also give these teams the opportunity to collaborate with one another across South India. Rather than travel to Nagpur this year, the center of the Jai Bhim movement in India, we will be financing the travel of our Project Coordinators there in the Spring. They will be representing South India at the NTI Alumni Conference at Nagaloka, connecting with other socially-engaged Buddhists themselves, advocating for their projects and building new alliances. We are all very excited about this transition.
On this trip, December 2011-January 2012, we will be leading our third annual 6-day Communicative English retreat with Jai Bhim Kerala. Our team will be leading more of the workshops and using new tools to create videos and online photo albums documenting our time together. After the retreat, we will travel to local Buddhist sites together for more intensive leadership discussions and visioning.
The second leg of this year’s trip will be to Sakya Hostels, near Chennai, for more Communicative English and Buddhist Dharma workshops with the 50 young students, as we have done in the past. What is new this year is that we will be doing intensive study skills workshops with the older students, which they will then lead for the younger students. The Sakya team and their local Mitra Sangha will also meet for a 5-day Dharma Study, which they will then lead with the older students, who will then lead with the younger students.
Our plans are still evolving, and we will continue to post our intentions and aspirations. May all beings benefit. Jai Bhim! With metta, Dayamudra”