We are back with Ratnaguna and Prajnanandi in the final of our four-part interview series on Autism and the Triratna Buddhist Community. We shift our focus from the challenges faced by neurodiverse individuals within our Buddhist centres to celebrating the positive attributes they can offer, such as highly developed clarity, resolve, honesty and a different way of seeing the world. All of which can help neurotypical people to see the world differently too, if there is a heartfelt willingness to...
Day 10: Tewkesbury to Adhisthana, 13.5 miles. Mud and Rose Petals… 🌹🥳🎉
…and amazingly we’ve exceeded the target of raising £15,000 for Tiratanaloka Unlimited!!! I left Tewkesbury along the River Severn, then across country towards the distant Malvern Hills. Greeted by very friendly sheep with dreadlocks, like the ones that graze at Adhisthana. Up and over the Malverns, and then the GPS insisted I take a track that got more and more rutted and flooded; a convoy of Landrover Discovery 4x4s...
Day 9: Winchcombe, to Tewkesbury, 11 miles. Wild cows, wild footpaths, wild effort… 🐄 🌱 🔥
I’m overjoyed to see this pilgrimage has inspired nearly 250 to collectively give over £13,000 to Tiratanaloka Unlimited! It’s a project close to my heart. I did so well yesterday, maybe because I used walking poles. Today was harder: detours to avoid frisky cows; negotiating overgrown - or non-existent footpaths; right hip starting to complain… and crossing the M5 was a shock. But Tewkesbury is...
Day 8: Great Barrington to Winchcombe, 19.5 miles. Torrential rain, wet socks, and taking the next step… 🌧️🦶🏼💙
Today was always going to be a challenge, but the early start meant I started out in a torrential downpour and was soon soaked through - including boots full of water. I squelched determinedly for a couple of hours, until a church porch gave me an opportunity to wring out my socks. The universe seemed to think 19.5 miles wasn’t enough of a challenge...
Day 7: Weald to Great Barrington, 12 miles. Wheat-fields, storm-clouds, and Ratnadharini’s mythic motivation… ⛅️🌾🌝
A relatively easy day across fields and through a few small villages, with houses, churches, drystone walls and stiles of honey-coloured Cotswold stone. I’m actually staying in Burford, taking a bus there and back again tomorrow morning. Planning to set out at 5.30, as tomorrow is 19.5 miles and the forecast is for heavy rain and thunder… will let you know how it goes!
Day 6: Abingdon to Weald, 17 miles. Birdsong, Mantra and Sangha Connection… 🐦 🎶 ❤️
Day off yesterday! Thanks to my 94 year old mum, who fed me, washed my clothes, and generously contributed to the fundraising (as did my sister). I’m buoyed up by all the support - financial and otherwise; this pilgrimage - and Tiratanaloka Unlimited - is clearly of interest to many. Thanks also to Akasajoti for making it possible for me to take you all with me!