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On Tuesday 26th February we celebrated Akashagarbha who had been the men’s Mitra convener for 12 years and had a ritual passing the baton to Achalamuni who has taken on that responsibility.
Chris Bicknell rejoiced beautifully in Akashagarbha speaking under three headings: selflessness, love of the dharma and friendship. His sentiments were echoed by all of the men who have been in a Mitra study group with Akashagarbha, some of them citing their relationship with Akashagarbha, his availability and willingness to share his dharma knowledge and personal time contributed to the fact that they are still here in our Sangha and training for ordination. There was an overflowing of appreciation.
The ritual handover was in the context of a 7-fold puja led by Saradarshini. After the confession verse Akashagarbha rejoiced in Achalamuni using Padmavajra’s points on what qualities are needed in a Mitra convener.
They both then approached the shrine, each offering a candle. They turned to face each other and after bowing Akashagarbha handed the baton to Achalamuni and returned to his seat.
Achalamuni then accepted the responsibility using 4 lines of acceptance and spoke very movingly of what he hoped to give in this role.
We then continued with the 7-fold puja from the rejoicing in merits verse. The spirit of Sangha feels so alive at the Wellington Buddhist Centre.