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Sthanashraddha is Bhante’s secretary. He writes from Adhisthana, UK:
August continued to blaze with sunshine and heat, though eventually it did break and the rains fell with a downpour here or there and rainy days mixed between sunny ones. Wonderful for slowly rejuvenating the very dry and crispy gardens, less attractive for Bhante’s morning walk and sit by the pond.
The wet weather was very noticeable during the Order weekend at the end of the month when we also celebrated Bhante’s 93rd birthday, wishing him well for the start of his 94th year. Cards had begun arriving earlier in the month and carried on arriving after the day. Some small and handmade, some very large, others having travelled all the way from India and Australia.
On the day itself Bhante came out of the front door of the men’s community after lunch to be greeted by a couple of hundred Order members sheltering under umbrellas and raincoats while we sang him a happy birthday, presented him with a very large cake made by a Mitra from London, Laura, who was on the Mitra team and a large card from the Weekend gathering.
The following day Bhante joined us in the marquee for the handing over ritual of International Order Convenor, from Parami to Aryajaya. Remaining in his wheel chair he also took the time to look at the shrine and circumambulate it not once but three times.
Of course the earlier part of August saw the usual activities of meeting with people mostly one-to-one but also the occasional group, such as some Spanish speaking women from Mexico and Spain on their way to Tiratanaloka. It was during August when the Men’s Dharma Life course ended and so Bhante met with them one last time all together for a photograph in front of the main house.
Here follows then the monthly list of meetings during August:
Utpalacitta, Dyotana, Priyavadita, Kalyanaprabha, Sally Murray-Jones, Maitreyi, Saccanama, Sanghapurna, Sraddhasara, Prasadavati, Cittapala, Satyajyoti, Alyssa Fradenberg, Padmadharini, Carmen Valle, Graciela Huerta, Monica Tamarit, Susana Navarro, Reme Rojo, Alma Mendoza, Vilasini, Sraddhabha, Moksavadini, Kalyanadhi, Vajrasri, Amoghavajri, Vajragupta(f), Kulanandi, Joseph Undaloc, Fred Radley, Daniel Canning, Vanessa Grundy, Paul Johnson, Jonathan O’Keeffe, Satyanandi, Maitrijit, Tobias Thamm, Cany Navarro, Parami, Prajnahridaya, Sadhanaratna, Viryanaga, Aranyaka, Gunasara, Lokamdhara, Peter Ran, Kamalanaga, Guilhem Monin, Sujiva, Sonja (Berlin), and Kularatna.
There was also one of Bhante’s trips to the hospital, for his eye checkup and injection of Lucentis.
Finally, writing in August, Bhante wrote three pieces ‘Buddhism and Islam’, ‘My Muslim friend’, and ‘Islam and the Buddha’.
After the rainy weekend in August the weather shifted and September had some gloriously beautiful days and some stormy wet and windy days but all of them were increasingly tinged with autumn. The nights began to draw in faster and faster. And the leaves are beginning, if not to turn, then certainly toughen up and dry out.
Bhante met with various people including a group of men from Mexico on their way to Guhyaloka and at the very end of the month Adhisthana hosted the AGM of the European Buddhist Union (EBU), during which a few of the other union members met with Bhante. He was particularly pleased that Adhisthana was hosting the meeting and concerned that we made a good job of hosting and looking after the various union members well. And he is looking forward to hopefully meeting with an old friend, Lama Shenpen Hookham, during the Buddhist Teachers in Europe meeting which follows on immediately after the EBU finishes.
Here follows then the list of people Bhante met with in September:
Gabriel Tona, Juan Carlos Martinez, Mauricio Garcia, Sachin Bhongadee, Pradaya, Paramajyoti, Saddhanandi, David Culver, Subhuti, Dharmananda, Nagamani, Nirmala, Upekshanandi, Akshobyini, David Elliott, Guhyaprabha, Prajnamala, Prajnajaya, Suryaka, Abhayanandi, Catriona (Teen) Ross, Ania Markiewicz, Vidyadevi, Sthiranaga, Sinhadakini, Dayachitta, Sara Khorasani, Saddhaloka, Lokamitra, Vishangka, Vivekaratna, Deborah Creed, Claire Morris Vajrapushpa, Karunasri, Ratnadeva, Robbert Harrap (EBU), Egil Lottie (EBU), Elaine Devonian (EBU), Matthias Grumaye (EBU), Klaus Kraler (EBU), Ron Eichorn (current president (EBU), Gabriele Maas (EBU).
After writing ‘Science and Poetry: a note’ Bhante received a few notes and letters from Order members who are similarly exploring, either for the first time or over many years the subject of Science. Among those notes have been several book recommendations, some of which Bhante is following up, at present he is just dipping into ‘Shadows of the Mind’ by Robert Penrose, subtitled ‘A search for the missing science of consciousness’.