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Sthanashraddha is Bhante’s secretary. He writes:
“May has been a month of large changes around the Adhisthana land. Diggers and dumper trucks have been shifting tons of earth around for some of our largest works since opening. Inside the buildings there has also been much work taking place in several areas, not least in the shrine room where the shrine is undergoing a major transformation. Even though the machines have been rumbling away most of the month there have been gaps and breaks and it’s during these pauses in work that one enjoys the roses coming into bloom or the large red poppies exploding into colour, or hearing the cuckoo or blackbird sing out from the hedgerow.
Bhante himself has been no stranger to work either this month. While he has been writing new pieces, he has of course also been engaging with his editors looking at previous works and has therefore been answering questions and queries on the Complete Works and the ‘Adhisthana Writings’. Sometime last year, Bhante was interviewed in over 20 sessions by Saddhanandi and discussed 10 different poems from the many he has written over the years. These 10 interviews are now all available to listen to and his ‘Adhisthana Writings’ can be found on his website.
Bhante has also been spending some of his evenings going through Advayacitta’s book, Thinking at the Crossroads: A Buddhist Exploration of Western Thought with Paramartha which they have finished. Having read it, Bhante recommends it, in particular the chapter on psychology and Buddhism, but all the chapters are of interest too.
The month has also seen many visitors to the annexe, so from 1st to 31st May Bhante has met with the following: Ben Lindsey-Bloom, Ratnadharini, Dharmapriya, Ratnaprabha, Manjuvajra, Eduardo Visuet, Sraddhasiddhi, Tom Robinson, Saddhanandi, Acharashraddha, Marcus Lagerqvist, Filip Sobczak, Parami, Matthew Hibbert, Prajnaketu, Dharmasri, James Brodie, Vidyadevi, Buddhadasa, Nissoka and Sarah, Mark Childs and Munisha.
As well as guests there have been trips out. Firstly, one of the more usual trips for Bhante was to the hospital for a meeting with his consultant ophthalmologist, who has recommended for the moment one more Lucentis injection some time next month. The other outing was a social call, something Bhante has not done since before his attack of pneumonia over Christmas. So a short trip into Great Malvern took him to Paramartha’s flat, where he met for tea with Deji, Paramartha’s partner.”
The picture here shows Bhante with the women from last year’s Young Women’s Dharma Life Course, an annual 4-month residential course at Adhisthana. There is also an annual course for young men.