International Women's Day 2021: MuditadeviOn Fri, 12 March, 2021 - 14:43
I was ordained in 2015 and live in Oslo, Norway. I share my flat with a young woman who is not a Buddhist. I have a boyfriend who lives just outside Oslo, and we like to go skiing at his cottage in the mountains. I work part-time as Centre manager for the Oslo Buddhist Centre. I take part in teaching most Thursdays, plan and do admin work with Gunaketu, the only other Order member here. I love being outdoors and live close to the forest and I am very inspired by nonviolent communication (NVC) and are working to become a certified NVC trainer.
The last year with the pandemic has been different. I was lucky to get the admin job at the Buddhist Centre just before it started, so I have had a job I could do from home. I used to work partly in kindergarten, and this work suddenly stopped on March 13, 2020, and I was happy to get some economic compensation for lost income from the state. The biggest change has been almost no travelling, certainly not for retreats, and leading most things at the Buddhist Centre on Zoom. We had periods where we could meet, but now it’s been many months without personal meetings at the Centre. It has been quite easy to go on retreats online, and very sustainable, staying home. It has also been possible to combine being on retreat and working a bit on the side and keeping up teaching at the Centre.
Since I both share my flat and have a boyfriend, I have had some personal contact with mostly those 2 persons, and some with my brother and his daughter. Several important events were cancelled, like the 2 months’ retreat with Vessantara and Vijayamala, an NVC assessment plus several retreats locally and in our region. My former flatmate got covid just before she was to move out and was isolated. I was suddenly in quarantine with her for 15 days, and managed not to get ill. In the beginning I was a bit stressed, but found ways to clean and got used to this. I was happy to have my meditation practice then.
Out of the cancelled 2 month retreat I came up with the idea to do a longer solitary and did 7.5 weeks in a cottage in the mountains. It was great to live simply and have more time to do less, and be much more outdoors. I did Tara pujas and rituals on several mountains in the area, singing the Tara mantra out into the world.
Working at home has given more time to meditate, exercise, do yoga and jogging in the forest. Doing things online has allowed people to attend who live far away. It has also given more space and quiet time in periods, and less traveling around the city, and less money spent.
We have managed to keep the sangha connected and have come up with new, creative ideas of how to meet. It has been a good practice of acceptance of what is and not knowing what life will be like next week. It has also been a way of practicing loving kindness and tonglen to relieve suffering. I have attended quite a few of the Order Bodhichitta practices on Sundays and felt more connected with other Order members.
See all posts on marking International Women’s Day 2021