Friday, 22 October 2010

First Meeting of Malvern Sangha

Yesterday evening, by the light of our Japanse style lamp, and the candle on the shrine, we had our first 'open to the public' Pureland service here in Malvern, in the shadow of the hills.

We were joined by Dharmavidya from The Buddhist House, who gave a lovely dharma talk at the end of the evening, about the measureless qualities of love, compassion, sympathy and peacefulness of Amida. And about how the tradition of walking and chanting came out of the celebrations and memorials after the Buddha's death, when people would circle his memorials (stupas) and chant the Buddha's name.

After the service we shared tea, and cupcakes, which Emma had brought (and they were wonderful) and talked about all sorts of things. Later still, in the still quiet of the Shrine room, Fiona said to me, "This is your real work. Getting a day job is just to support this."

I was very touched because not only was she spot on, but because it's so easy to become bound up in measuring myself by my success or failure of each job application I put in the post.

Sharing the dharma is the real work, and it's hardly work at all, but a real joy. My own anxiety around work, shows me my very human nature, and how we all measure things all the time. All I can do is put myself in proximity to the Buddha, to practice nembutsu and hope a little of that wisdom rubs off on me.

* * *

Fiona wrote about this too, on her blog: Planting Words


  1. Good luck with the job hunting... difficult times but you will get there. Sheffield services have become less frequent but i am looking forward to our next one on Monday!

    Namo Amida Bu

  2. Thanks Ray, about an hour after posting this I got a letter inviting me to a job interview next week.

    Hope you have a good weekend, and a wonderful service on Monday. Love to all in Sheffield.

  3. Good news. All the best!