Sangharakshita Memorial Space

Memoir of Bhante in the Early Days​

On Sat, 3 November, 2018 - 19:51
dhabhaya's picture

I was invited to write the following little memoir as a contribution to a possible booklet to be published for Bhante’s funeral. Plans then changed, so it now seems fitting to post it on the Remembrance page for the Book of Gratitude.

With warm wishes to all at this strong time.


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Bhante In the Early Days by Abhaya62.96 KB
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DhBuddhapalita's picture

Thanks so much Abhaya. love buddhapalita

law60's picture

Thank you Abhaya, that was a beautiful memoir of some of your memories of the early days you shared with Bhante. Linda

jayarava's picture

Thanks Abhaya. I love these vignettes of the early days and I’m glad some have been recorded like this. I could happily read a lot more if you were willing to write it. 

It was so very different for me turning up at the Auckland Buddhist Centre in 1994 (ten years into New Zealand’s Neoliberal revolution) troubled by depression and the side effects antidepressant drugs wondering if meditation would help. It did not (often it made things a lot worse). But I did discover a community of people who were not at all magical, but who were friendly and enthusiastic. I almost immediately knew I wanted to be a part of this and most of the time they seemed to want me as well. However, as has been the pattern of my entire life, I am once again suffering anxiety and depression, feeling like an outsider, and living on the social margins unable to maintain human connections. Sangharakshita’s death has made me acutely aware of this.

I envy you meeting Sangharakshita when and where you did. And I’m grateful that you and your peers built the movement along with him. Thanks. 

Khasanti's picture

Ah, this was so delightful to read. Thank you for writing and sharing it.

Suryagita's picture

Thank you Abhaya, an evocative account of Bhante. It was obvious how much your friendship with Bhante enriched your life, and what a wonderfully open and experimental spirit he had. 


jinaraja's picture

Thank you Abhaya.  Loved so much of this but perhaps especially the image of Bhante getting up to dance to his little transistor radio.  Lovely.

Munisha's picture

Dear Abhaya, thank you so much for this! Very interesting and engaging.

Metta, Munisha

candraprabha's picture

Many many thanks for sharing this, Abhaya.  I so enjoyed reading it and especially loved the images of Bhante dancing to his transistor and also appearing on the train in mauve cords and a pink T-shirt - surely a reminder that the spiritual life should be joyful! “And wisdom is a butterfly. And not a gloomy bird of prey”. Love, Candraprabha