Someone asked me the other day if Tariki was less Pureland than Amida Trust. I answered that I am as Pureland as ever, if not more so. At the same time I also strongly believe in the power of diversity and interaction. It feel important that, whilst offering a strongly pureland practice to those who have chosen that path, we also embrace other expressions of the spiritual life. All (real) Buddhism is good, and if it doesn't seem so, then that in itself is worth discussing and even debating.

Rooted in the same basic spiritual understanding, all Buddhism shares its common teachings - a comprehension of our conditioned, deluded views and of the possibility for liberation. It does not, however, claim to have the only last word on truth. It understands ultimate truth, but so do other religious serious traditions. Our human descriptions of truth, though, are always pointers toward ultimate truth. They are imperfect and not the full revelation. 

Dharma means that which holds. It is the underpinning stratum of life, this ultimate truth, the foundation, the place of refuge. You cannot get to a more fundamental truth than Dharma.

Not everyone will call it Dharma, but we all sense the Dharmic presence. Whether Buddhist or some other religion there will be some insight into Dharma which may be more or less clear. Dharmakaya, the body of ultimate Buddhaness, is the absolute, mysterious unknowable Buddha(ness).

When we seek to talk of Dharmakaya we soon spin off into vague sounding abstractions because to put Dharmakaya into words is to try to put the measureless into a box. For me, Amida Buddha, the measureless presence, is of this kind - in fact I have heard it said that Amida is Dharmakaya, Nirmanakaya and Samboghakaya all at once * - the ultimate measureless Buddha, but also the just reachable, sense-able presence of Buddha that touches us through our intuitive sense, and the concrete presence of the spiritual which manifests in the practical embodied reality of ordinary extraordinariness - that new leaf, that rain drop reflecting the light, that crusty bread.

So life is a kaleidoscope and each person unique in their spiritual language, but yet connected, part of the pattern, rooted in Dharma and reflecting the Buddha light in their own extraordinary way.

Tariki Trust is growing in it own special way. I can only marvel at how people arrive and join this community, on line and at our various events. We are little over a month old, but already it feels as if waves of different ideas, interests and cultures are inter-weaving in fascinating ways.

Pureland inspires me because it gives a frame for not knowing and not being expert. Grounded deeply in our experience of ordinary fallibility it encourages us to meet others in our not-knowing state. But it is not the only path and the richness of what we are growing is the cross fertilisation of different paths. I feel freed up in Tariki to engage at all levels and to trust that it is OK to sometimes take a lead and other times follow.

Our style is already distinctive in this. How wonderful to be able to invite friends and aquaintances to give talks, run retreat days, contribute writing or share in the development of the household. We are neither democratic nor hierarchical in our structures - there are some givens: the house is vegetarian and alcohol free for example. Probably that is not negotiable, but life has a way of surprising me. Much though is possible through mutual respect and co-operation. There is room for different sub-groups and interest strands and our limits are as wide as our imaginations. For example, I am excited that already we have a good community of people interested in working in nature, but equally some people of ideas. We have religious thinkers and confirmed secularists. We have therapists and we have gardeners. We have body workers and we have artists. We have political activists and we have writers. Above all though, I think we are growing amongst us an interest in exporation and learning; for sharing and for enjoying life together.

But these are just some of my views, coming from my own view point, and I dont want my views to dominate in this organisation. I offer them as a stimulus and a starting point. They are just part of a bigger, rainbow coloured, picture. Your views are probably completely different, and maybe as you talk, mine will change too. That is the real joy of it.

So come on. What is Tariki to you? and how can we make it more so?

* the three bodies teaching: Dharmakaya is the ultimate spiritual truth, Samboghakaya its manifestation in symbolic or spiritual form and Nirmamakaya the embodied reality of the human teacher or the physical embodiment of truth.

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Comment by Gina Howard on February 11, 2012 at 21:20

* the three bodies teaching: Dharmakaya is the ultimate spiritual truth, Samboghakaya its manifestation in symbolic or spiritual form and Nirmamakaya the embodied reality of the human teacher or the physical embodiment of truth.

On the face of it, this could be the Trinity of Christianity. Father, Holy Spirit and Son.

I don't pretend to know much about Christianity but since becoming interested in Buddhism and Buddhist psychology much of the Christian message seems to make so much more sense these days. OK there are some very big differences in some areas such as the attitude to forgiveness and our sinful nature, or that it is said Christians believe in a God that directs and controls our lives and has a plan for us. I wonder what Tariki would say on that subject? But there does seem to be some force or other that plays its part in our lives and my part is to accept that force and co-operate with it when it shows itself. I think this is the way I feel about God. Sadly I come to the table with many preconceptions and baggage when it comes to mainstream Christianity but I do believe that on scratching the surface and delving deeper there is a common truth that is to be found in all engaging religions or spiritual paths. So often we get in the way and interpret things to suit ourselves and end up with very clouded views and loose the truth on the way.

Comment by Gina Howard on February 11, 2012 at 21:25

"Tariki Trust is growing in it own special way. I can only marvel at how people arrive and join this community, on line and at our various events. We are little over a month old, but already it feels as if waves of different ideas, interests and cultures are inter-weaving in fascinating ways."

Also want to add that it feels great to be in at the start of a new venture and I love the open and inclusive manner to which you are applying your leadership and following. 

Comment by caroline brazier on February 11, 2012 at 21:53

Thank you Gina. On the subject of the three bodies teaching and the trinity I do think there is a parallel. I dont like pushing these religious parallels too far, but I do think there are actually some similarities. The three bodies teaching does I think apply to quite everyday phenomena as well as religious ones - its a kind of universal template. There is the physical manifestation (of Buddha) in the world, then there is an ultimate essence which is beyond definition and between these are symbolic manifestations which speak to us as humans of the essence as it is intuited. The trinity idea has similar, the holy spirit being the manifestaton whch appears to us or comes into us. 

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Tariki Trust
The Buddhist House
12 Coventry Rd
Narborough
LE 19 2GR

www.tarikitrust.org
www.buddhistpsychology.info

courses@tarikitrust.org

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TARIKI TRUST IS A REGISTERED CHARITY

If you would like to help support our work, you can do so by donating through paypal or by sending us your donation directly. We really appreciate your support.

Besides offering training and retreats, Tariki Trust is involved in chaplaincy, environmental action and community support. No one in Tariki is salaried and all work including teaching is voluntary or offered at rates which are well below the professional norms.

OBITUARY- PERRY ISODORE IGOE

Friends, family and loved ones: greetings, and thank you for joining us for this celebration of the life of Perry Isadore Igoe.

Though we gather here today, bound by sorrow and loss, we share a precious gift. We were all privileged to live a life that has been touched by Perry. He possessed a number of extraordinary gifts, which he shared with us freely. None of these gifts, however, are more remarkable than his capacity for love in its purest, most sincere, and honest form. Love for his adored wife, his beloved daughters, his precious friends, and for nature that surrounds us all, especially the life breathed into us by the trees.

Perry was born August 1st 1963 and was very premature so spent the first six weeks of his life in an incubator where he captured the hearts of the nurses and midwives with his cuteness. The trademark infectious Perry smile is well known by all his friends and family so without a doubt, even as a baby he could melt hearts.

Growing up, he went to school in Braintree in Essex, where he lived with his mum Carol, his younger sister Tracey, and older brother Wayne.

Perry was severely dyslexic, so, as a young man, in a very lean job market, he looked for a practical career. He joined the RAF at 16 and served with them for 17 years in Biggin Hill, Brize Norton, Germany, and the Falkland islands. Perry was a peace loving soul and had no desire to ever take up arms, harm, or kill anyone. Since however there had been no wars for a long time, it felt like a fairly safe career for a fit young man. It suited Perry who loved to be part of a team.

When he was 23, Perry managed to search for and finally find his father, Isadore Griffin, who was Black American, which led to several visits to his father in the USA.  Sadly his father also died at an early age a few years later. But Perry has continued to keep regularly in touch with the American side of his family – he was always telling Liz that one day soon they would go to visit, what he jokingly called, - ‘the dark side’!

Perry then worked in logistics and stores for the RAF and was promoted to corporal but, as the Cold War ended, promotions in the RAF were increasingly hard to come by. So after 17 years Perry took voluntary redundancy, left the RAF and went to work for Motorola in Swindon. He bought a house with his then wife, Carrie, and lived in it with his two daughters Sian & Kylie and rather a lot of strange pets. 

Perry was a great believer in investing in property and at one point when he found his work hours cut down, he took on two other jobs and bought a house in Avebury, which he rented out for a while. He later moved to Avebury with his wife Antoinette and ran a B&B there. 

Avebury was a spiritual home for Perry – he loved the standing stones and he enjoyed the succession of eccentric, visiting tourists interested in the stone circles as well as the many crop circles that pop up in Wiltshire fields in the spring and summer months. Whilst Perry was there he was a member of a Wiccan coven and later a shamanistic group.

In 2007 Perry decided to train as a counsellor with the Buddhist Organisation, the Amida Trust – now re-named - the Tariki Trust. This was where he met Liz and they became good friends.  In 2009 they both qualified as counsellors. In his usual ‘speedy’ fashion Perry had completed the course in record time – under 2 years. He went on to work for an organisation which helped educate young people with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome. Perry worked as a counsellor for several years before he finally fulfilled a life-long dream of buying a property ‘somewhere warm’.

In 2013 Perry moved again, lock stock and barrel, to the Serra De Estrella Mountains in Portugal where he quickly made a lot of friends among the ex-pats from the UK and Europe, all busy restoring old buildings and farming the land.

Perry and Liz met again accidentally in 2014 at the Buddhist House. They fell in love during a marathon 17.5 hour dinner and talked through the night and most of the following day. Since then Perry and Liz have been busy restoring their house in Portugal, affectionately named ‘The Ranch’ and have gone from having baths by candlelight in the goat shed, to a beautiful home with 3 bathrooms. Perry was never happier than when he was walking around the land working out watering systems and making sure the 150 trees he’d planted were growing well. Indicative of his altruistic personality and philosophy of sustainability, all the trees he planted at ‘The Ranch’ have been selected to provide for the next generations. A fan of tree nursing myself, I would often ask him about his trees and we would share videos and ideas for them. On a specific topic of his latest project, the Pecan trees, he mentioned how the earliest the small, 1-inch saplings would grow to bear fruit in 10 years, and it might be a good 20 before they reach maturity. “Perry,” I said, “that's ...a really long time.” To which he replied: “They aren't for me.”

And this is the type of person Perry was - always thinking of others first. Planning for the long term, working for a sustainable world, a world that works with nature, not against it. To paraphrase an ancient Greek proverb, “a wise man plants trees in whose shade he knows he will never sit.”

Perry had a great love of nature and the natural world, which he attributed to his Native American ancestors. His great love was trees, which he believed really spoke to him. So Perry returned to the Buddhist house to train in eco-therapy and shortly thereafter Perry and Liz started running eco-therapy and tree planting holidays in Portugal. Alongside his projects in Portugal, Perry joined several local eco-projects in Bristol.

On the 10th of July 2016, Perry and Liz married at Tortworth Court in Gloucestershire in a beautiful hand-fasting ceremony with over a 100 family and friends. Neither of them stopped smiling and laughing all day long, and Perry tore up the dance floor in what seemed like a union of John Travolta and Patrick Swayze. Since then they have spent six months of every year at the Ranch in Portugal and have welcomed many family and friends as visitors there.

Perry loved life – he just loved being here on this earth. Many people on this Earth believe in a higher power or greater purpose. Perry was content being himself, in this world, right now, enjoying the greatest and the smallest life has to offer. A true “Zen master”, as I like to describe him to my friends.

Perry was the most gentle and kindest of men – a true gentleman. Perry never had a bad word to say about anyone – not a criticism or judgement ever passed his lips. He didn’t swear, he didn’t argue, and he also didn’t drink alcohol, smoke, or even take tea or coffee. That is one reason why his death has been such a shock for all of us. Perry’s life was about love, acceptance, and working with others as part of a team, and he lived that out with every breath he took.

We have been lucky to know Perry in this life, we regret his passing on so soon, and so young, but his spirit and his legacy will remain among us – youthful, lively, fun, and full of love, and that oh-so-special smile.  We honour him.   

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