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A new retreat centre practicing in the context of the Triratna Buddhist Community was inaugurated in June during a summer solstice ritual. Kalyanaloka, based in Brighton, held a special ritual, led by Subhadassi, chairperson of the nearby Brighton Buddhist Centre, which included a tea ceremony, a practice which is central to this retreat centre.
Kalyanaloka’s location is unusual for a retreat centre: it is situated on the outskirts of Brighton, about a thirty minute walk from the Brighton Buddhist Centre. The building was bought by a GFR Mitra, Paolo Maffei, who lives there. Paolo’s vision is for this space to aesthetically pleasing, holding that a beautiful environment can inspire people to behave ethically. In this spirit, tea ceremonies are an important dimension of Kalyanaloka: the shrine room doubles up as the tea room and Paolo believes that the ceremony is a type of meditation in itself.
Paolo was introduced to tea ceremonies by Prabhasvara (who passed away in February 2017). Prabhasvara studied with Tea Master, San Bao, in Thailand for two years before moving to Taiwan and spending a year studying ‘The Way of Tea’ with famous Tea Master, Wu De, author of several influential tea books. Paolo also studied with Wu De in Taiwan, learning the Chinese style of tea ceremonies - which is less formal than the Japanese style. The tea used in the ceremonies in Kalyanaloka comes from wild trees and tastes far more flavoursome than tea bought in a supermarket.
Kalyanaloka has hosted more than 30 volunteers and retreatants in the last year which has largely been focused on renovation work. From April 2019 there will be a more intense program of residential meditation, tea ceremonies, Buddhist retreats and day events for the Brighton Sangha. Events are run on a dana (give what you can) basis.
To find out more sign up to the mailing list on Kalyanaloka’s website.