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Monday, May 19, 2008

FWBO International Retreat setup under way at Taraloka

In two days time the first FWBO International Retreat begins at Taraloka, the FWBO’s women's retreat centre in Shropshire, UK. Setup is well under way, with over 50 people on site and new marquees, tents, and domes springing up by the hour. FWBO News went to have a look, and brings you this small videoclip that hopes to bring a little of the magic of the situation to you, wherever you may be... If it's not visible belo, it's also available on Youtube.

The setup is itself a mini-retreat, with walking and sitting meditations in the morning, short meditations before lunch and supper, and pujas and other ceremony in the evenings. And yesterday, two birthdays were added to the mix! This may sound a bit of a luxury given the amount of work to be done, but actually it’s crucial – it creates the atmosphere into which newcomers arrive. And Buddhafield has discovered that if this embodies a sense of Sangha, an event can grow and grow and grow to an almost unlimited size while preserving the same friendliness and sense of welcome as there was when only half a dozen people first showed up in an empty field in a couple of vans…

videoOver 400 people are expected from across Europe and beyond; there will be simultaneous translation into four languages for the main talks, a children’s area, a selection of accommodation (including bedrooms, dormitories, camping, and even the local village hall), and food provided by the Buddhafield café. Multiple meditation spaces include meditation outdoors in Taraloka’s grounds around their very beautiful Prajna-Paramita rupa. In a few days time, Taraloka and Buddhafield will play host to four hundred retreatants - for now though, there’s much to be done – from filling in the rabbit holes in the carpark to setting up the compost toilets to digging down to discover and tee off the deeply-buried water main. Who said it was simple leading the simple life…?!

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