Saturday, 21 March 2009

Life is whats happening while we're busy making other plans

The night before our flight from Delhi to London, Vajralilas Dad phoned to say her mum had gone into critical care, emphysema and infection. So we came straight from the plane the next day to Colchester hospital. She seemed stable and we went to Eastbourne to change bags, but a few days later she was more seriously ill, she had pneumonia and psdumonus. So Vajralila went straight back to discover the consultant has said she has a 50/50 chance of recovery! So Vajralila encouraged Sudakini to carry on with her retreat at taraloka and Vajralila is back in Colchester staying with amalaketu and Anona, a 20 minute walk from the hospital. We have paid £200 odd for a non refundable visa interview in a few weeks, for the USA, we have all sorts of train tickets we booked in advance months ago that are useless. We have no income only out goings. Vajralila can't let Taraloka know when and if she will be there to do cooking on 5 retreats. This said just to show that going forth isn't about having it all nicely planned out. Somehow, doing the right thing and taking it one day at a time is working at the moment. It all seems a bit out of time and space and so much is unknown, mainly Vajralilas Mums recovery which overides all else in importance right now.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

We have 10 days left in Bodhgaya and want to savor every moment. The busy season is over. Most visitors, some who spend 3-4 months of every year in here, from diverse Buddhist traditions based in the East and West, have headed North to the mountains and cooler climes. Bodhgaya gets steadily hotter and dustier (if that's possible) by the day. And There are still a few Dharmacharis and Dharmacharinis (members of the Western Buddhist Order / Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha, as its known in India) to be seen around the Bodhi tree. Our international convention finished the day before yesterday and most people have continued on pilgrimage to other sacred sites in India, or headed back to jobs and families back home. But we are still here!
The convention was a remarkable event, especially the early mornings and evenings when nearly five hundred of us in various shades of blue and kesas, gathered for meditation and puja under the Bodhi tree. The Mahabodhi temple is familiar with large numbers of Tibetan, Srilankan and Thai pilgrims but this was the first time WBO and TBM were really visible here. I get a sense our presence had a positive impact. Many Buddhists from other traditions sat with us, even chanted with us, some bowed to show respect and some just gazed or took photos. The faces appeared open and friendly.
Now we are back to a more spacious, and quiet routine of our own making, wanting to make the most of our last days here near the Bodhi tree and Vajrasana. On 13th March we fly back to England. Vajralila will spend 6 weeks at Taraloka and Sudakini some time there and elsewhere. Our plans for our trip to America are slowly progressing.