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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Anticipation of first Akasavana Retreat

AkasavanaVijayasri reports from Akashavana

We were lucky to have a mild winter this year, although there has been a frustrating lull, the builders off on another job, and snow, then rain muddying the track. But this week they're back in force, doing the final clearing up, connecting up the power and water, installing the solar electricity. Some days there have been around twenty people on site!

There's six of us living in the community at the moment - the current core team of me, Padmadharini and Bianca (who'll be ordained on the retreat, wonderful!) with visitors Desiree, Rozelle and Ethel (also shortly to be ordained). We get on well, with the inevitable stormy bits here and there. It can feel a bit full up in the house sometimes, it's helpful that Rozelle brought her yurt to sleep in, being a hardy Buddhafield type.

We are all working very hard, building, mammoth shopping trips for furniture and equipment, arranging all the last things (like getting the water tested this week) as well as all the ongoing maintenance of life in the wilds which is far from simple whilst managing a large building project. But we keep a regular programme of meditation and Dharma study which gives space and a framework for all the busy-ness.

We've also employed some friends who live locally - Deb, Howard and Jan - when we realised we were getting a bit behind with the building stuff we needed to do ourselves - compost toilets, outdoor showers etc, so now these constructions are shooting up at amazing speed. They brought along a 15 year old boy they've taken in for a while as he was going off the rails getting into violence and delinquency in London, and Mark has been working fantastically hard - it has been moving to see him changing before our eyes from a sullen teenager to a helpful worker.

So I have a head full of lists of things to do, but often I just stop and look around me. I feel a spontaneous welling up - tears of inspiration and gratitude and wonder at the beauty and wildness surrounding me. Gratitude for myself that I can work on this wonderful project - have this big adventure, gratitude for all benefit to the women who will come here, for the generosity and creativity and support given by so many people to make this miraculous place happen.

Lots of people have helped, but I especially feel gratitude to Vajradevi for never compromising the vision, - she's an example of what great things can be achieved by simply keeping going and taking the next step, doing the next thing.

So soon we'll be driving the first retreatants up the track. I can't wait to see their faces!

love, Vijayasri

There are lots of photo's from Akasavana on their Flickr site.

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Blogger Dharmachari said...

I am overwhelmed with respect and admiration! The photographs are spectacular. What a wonderful project to be involved with. The first retreat is going to be magical.

Buenas suerte!



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