International Women's Day 2021: DanasamudraOn Sat, 13 March, 2021 - 08:47
I was ordained in June 2011 at Akashavana and now live in Worcestershire, United Kingdom, not far from Adhisthana. I have retired from paid work and live alone. Although I no longer live at Adhisthana I am still the librarian of the Sangharakshita library and am managing to do some library work during the pandemic. In addition I lead a fortnightly Mitra study group and am on the team for the weekly Hereford class. Beyond that I do a lot of gardening and reading and some writing.
I have been very fortunate during the pandemic. My personal circumstances are good; I am used to living alone and much of the time have relished the peace and the contact with the natural world. Once my initial anxiety had diminished I found life quite agreeable although until support bubbles were introduced I did have times of loneliness. I became a compulsive listener to the news and have had to work hard not to allow the media’s narrative of blame and failure to feed my negativity. I think what I have found most challenging has been the increasing predictability and narrowness of life; I miss the possibilities of casual social contacts and chance happenings.
In normal times my Dharma life is a mixture of personal practice, teaching and work for various Triratna projects and in many ways that has not changed. This year I have been alone more than at any time in my life and that, and the sense of threat caused by the pandemic, has undoubtedly given my practice more urgency. I have taken the opportunity to examine and change much of what it means for me to live a dharma life There have been times when practice seemed meaningless but I have found the weekly Order Bodhicitta practice an invaluable anchor - a way of connecting both with the Order and the suffering of the world.
I have been grateful for the connections brought about by technology and have experienced an unexpected depth and intimacy in online groups that I have been part of. Moments like being in the Bhaja caves at the beginning of the Convention, or taking part in Buddha Day celebrations with sanghas all over the world brought real joy in the midst of difficult times. I have never felt more aware of Triratna’s internationality.
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