Working together for a better world...
Today Tariki Trust is a year old.
What a year! It was hard to imagine on 12th December 2011 when a small group of us gathered in the sitting room of The Buddhist House for the signing of the Tariki trust deed how things would be by now, but I think if we had had a crystal ball, we would have been well pleased. A few weeks ago our charity number came through and we are now official. So, with this auspicious day in mind, I want to write and thank you all for your help through this challenging year and for the care and concern which has kept us going when times got hard. I also thought I would write with a brief update on some of what we have been up to this year.
Last weekend we held our first winter retreat here at The Buddhist House. Following the eight hour chanting last Friday, on December 8th, Enlightenment Day, a number of us took refuge together to mark our commitment to shared practice and spiritual journey. The retreat was shaped by periods of practice and periods of spiritual reflection – time for silence and chanting, and time to speak from the heart about our personal faith and practice. It was a manifestation of shared leadership and pluralism in practice. Thus, in many ways, a final piece fell into the jigsaw. Although of course the jigsaw is one which will change and develop over time.
The Buddhist house is a place of Buddhist practice. The diversity of this says something about how we now are. Whilst some meditate at 6.00am, others of us get up for outdoor walking followed by sitting and nembutsu at 8.00am. We also meditate in the evenings at 9.00. In the time between, the house is a hive of industry and communal interactions.
The psychotherapy training remains central to our activity, and the programme has expanded. We now have a staff team of eight all actively involved in developing the teaching in person and on-line. The Buddhist psychology distance learning programme is undergoing a complete re-write and students have greater choice about what units they complete. The Buddhist Therapists Forums which are held every couple of months are attracting both current and past students as well as people who have not trained with us at all. Each time we have a guest speaker who connects the worlds of Buddhism and therapy in some way. We are also developing a counselling practice out of The Buddhist House, coordinated by Bob and Lisa, which provides therapy to locals and people who come for therapy retreats, offered by staff and students. With two dedicated consulting rooms, we can also offer space to complementary health practitioners, and one local friend is starting a reiki practice from the house. The psychotherapy work is supported by our publication activities – I have published several chapters and articles this year as well as presenting a couple of papers at international conferences. Mostly though our work is becoming more home based.
Chaplaincy remains an important part of our work. Aramati is developing her work at Leicester College with great enthusiasm. Meanwhile I do weekly sessions of hospital chaplaincy in Leicester and cover all three main hospital sites in the city. We have been hosting chaplaincy training weekends as part of the national Buddhist Healthcare Chaplaincy Group and are involved in the endorsing process.
Having finished the first Ten Directions programme series in France, we are now establishing the 2013 sequence of this ecotherapy training programme based in the UK. This will start in March at a beautiful venue up in Lancashire and continue in May in Wales.
Groups in the house continue to meet – we have had a series of meditation classes on Tuesdays and on Mondays run by Aramati, Rachel and Kusuma. Kusuma also taught a weekend of Reiki in November. Monday evenings continues to be a discussion session, reading various books and texts. We have had regular introductory retreats and Aramati has been teaching an introductory Buddhism course.
Not to be forgotten in this catalogue of activity is the work put in by many in painting the dining room and back kitchen and getting the dining room re-carpeted – much appreciated by those with cold feet! More decorating to do when time allows. Help greatly appreciated (thank you Gina!)
The year has had its sad moments – Moggi died in the summer leaving us with just Shari and Zen. Anna made her a beautiful grave in the garden under the lime tree.
Looking forward to the coming year, we have a number of interesting additions to our activity in view – Stone has set up a weekend workshop on Other-Centred Therapy in Canterbury. We are planning an arts week in late June in the house, and hope this will be the start of more activities in that area. The new Ten Directions programme starts soon. We have a number of events and talks at the house lined up. In addition two of my children are planning on making me a grandmother this spring!
Most of all, though, this year has been a year in which our many friends and supporters have stood by us and helped us to make things happen. The love and gratitude has flowed between us and with deep appreciation we have been amazed at how wonderful people have been and continue to be. Thank you again from the bottoms of our hearts.
Namo Amida Bu
Add a Comment