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My parents gave me my life and raised me with love, thereby giving me a stable and healthy basis for my entire life, for which I feel deeply grateful to them.
But in my adult life, the greatest formative influence has been my teacher, Bhante Urgyen Sangharakshita.
I had met the Dharma and caught (some) fire before I met him or fwbo/Triratna. But would the Dharma ever have become the central focal point in my life that it did become, had I then embarked on practice with a different teacher, a different community? I will never know, but what I know is that I feel tremendously grateful for having been given…
The Dharma in an accessible form… in words that connect with my experience today, in this culture, in this time… in a spirit of enquiry, of encouragement to ask, to question, to explore… in playful ways , in practical ways, as well as in deep ways… urging me to develop not only meditation or study, but my whole being, leaving nothing out, a full path encompassing all aspects of my life and my mind… a clear path, yet subtle, nuanced, deep…
A Sangha, in which I could immerse myself fully… alive, vibrant, challenging, real… a community of people really connecting, really engaging with each other… connections for life, and maybe even lives, who knows? A Sangha of so many beautiful, wonderful, impressive people, all united in going for refuge and in the will to manifest the Bodhisattva. How did you manage to bring all these people together, Bhante? How on earth have you managed to grow this amazing community from pretty much nothing??
An image of the Buddha that is open, unfinished, pulling the heart, inviting awe and wonder… waiting for further discovery… an invitation to be open to imagination and not feel tied down by traditional form.
From the depth of my heart I bow to you in respect and gratitude, Bhante Urgyen Sangharakshita. May I do all I can to help ensure that your teaching and the community you brought into existence will continue to flourish for the benefit of countless beings.
Jnanacandra, Essen, Germany