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Dear Order Members,
It’s been interesting to look back over my first two months as College Chair, as well as starting to get a perspective on the next five years.
Actually my reflections go back to November 2018, when Bhante Sangharakshita had just died and his funeral coincided with the College meeting during which I was asked to become future Chair of the College. It was deeply significant to be at Adhisthana as we moved beyond the lifetime of the founder of our Order, and I was aware – again – of being one of a ‘second generation’ of Order members, having been ordained by Order members who had themselves been ordained by Bhante. Then during the College meeting in November 2019, as well as marking the anniversary of Bhante’s funeral, I took over from Saddhaloka as Chair. This meant moving from living alone, near Tiratanaloka, to being based back in the Adhisthana community. Saddhaloka and I had been working increasingly closely together, and I’m glad he is going to be continuing at Adhisthana for some time to come.
Becoming Chair is going to demand a greater perspective, and I’ll need to liaise with other Order members worldwide. Recently that’s included meetings with the International Council steering group, European Chairs’ Assembly, Ethics Kula, Adhisthana Kula, and Restorative Co-ordinating Group. I’d like to rejoice in the efforts of everyone in those meetings, especially the very harmonious and effective ECA meeting involving a talented lineup of Centre Chairs.
I was very happy to be able to attend the opening of the beautiful and impressive new Paris Centre, and to spend time again, as president, with the Tiratanaloka community. The women’s December Area Order Weekend at Adhisthana was another highlight.
I’m personally interested in doing whatever I can to help bring about the kind of harmony within our Order that will transform us individually and enable us to be more dharmically effective in the world. As part of that aspiration I’d like to work with other Order members to explore ways in which our organisational structures and lines of communication might be improved.
I’m grateful to Amrutdeep (India) and Ratnavyuha (New Zealand) for continuing as Deputies; to Paramabandhu (UK) for being willing to continue until he goes to Guhyaloka in a few months; and to Punyamala (UK) for joining the team. I’m also looking forward to working with our new College Assistant, Akasajoti, who will be splitting her time between the College and the International Council. She will be building on the College webpage created by Jyotika, and supporting more of a flow of communication and efficiency generally.
I hope to write regular letters with updates on current discussions and decisions that I am aware of, and welcome responses.
Ratnadharini, College Chair