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Thursday, January 03, 2008

FWBO Poland holds first retreat

Nityabandhu, a Polish Order Member currently living in Birmingham UK, has send this update on FWBO Poland -

"In September we held a retreat in southern Poland amidst captivating scenery. Small scale but longer (6 days) and slightly bigger than before. Poles being very reliable for not turning up we got fewer people than expected. This was just as well as we held the retreat in a befriended Dzogchen Buddhist retreat centre (read: a small country house) which would have burst at the seams otherwise. Ratnamegha’s spontaneous first comment was that this was like going back 20 years in terms of retreat experience; however, those who came were very engaged and we generated a strong retreat environment.

"Apart from sharing the Dharma with people from Poland, those of us who are already practicing with the FWBO were able to get to know each other better. I was joined by Mahananda and Joanna (both LBC), Katarzyna (Paris), Ratnamegha (Birmingham) and Martin and Ania (both Norwich). Having a strong core of practicing Buddhists made for stronger pujas and mantra chanting, and generally the best retreat so far.

"To move on from the retreat: all being well, there may be three Order members living in Krakow next year. Santaka, a Polish dharmacari, is already there; I will be moving in March; and Sassirika in September 2008.

"Karunabandhu (currently based in Birmingham) will join me in April for a few months and we will begin remodelling the empty shop space we already own into a shrine room and a café. The proposed centre has already galvanised interest from several people who are either friends, have Polish links or just like the idea of building something together for the FWBO. Click here for some photos.

"Hopefully we will be able to make this oasis of the Dharma available to the public by late summer 2008.

Other developments in Poland are proceeding in parallel with the actual building project - we have two FWBO Polish-language websites here and Wildmind in Polish, and you can contact Nityabandhu here.

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