50 Years, 50 Voices: DharmashalinOn Fri, 29 March, 2019 - 17:45
This is living a Dharma life. This is actually applying it. This is mess in progress.
In 1968 I was not even a glint in my father’s eye. My parents first met on the 5th of September 1969 when my Mum showed my Dad where the canteen was on his first day of work.
In 1978 I was born on the 16th of June.
In 1988 I was 10 years old, totally absorbed in the world of Dungeons and Dragons. This provided a welcome escape from the social complexity of interacting with people. I was very shy but also precocious.
In 1998 I was living the ‘high’ life at the University of East Anglia. Christmas of that year I read the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. It was the first and only time I’ve cried upon reading a dharma book; it was the evocation of Karma and rebirth which made me realise that I could not continue running away from my life, because responsibility for my experience extends beyond death. I likened reading it to a child with a crayon being shown beautiful calligraphy. I could immediately see that we were both doing the same thing and found it deeply moving to be shown a path.
That evening a friend asked me what I’d done that day. I said; ‘I discovered I’m a Buddhist.’ He said, what are you going to do about that? I said; ‘Drink this beer and go and get stoned.’ 2 years later Dukkha and my dear friend Sanghanistha led me to the doors of the Colchester Buddhist Centre. I went on my first retreat within 6 weeks and was working for Evolution: Ipswich within 6 months…
In 2008 I was in Guhyaloka getting ordained. I was ordained a week before my 30th birthday. I’d just finished a 2 year intensive Dharma training course. Was working as Subhuti’s PA and was full of India and idealism.
In 2018 I am Mitra convenor at the Birmingham Buddhist Centre, living with Singhamati the Chair. 5 years ago I decided I wanted to settle and commit, having moved every 2 years or so throughout my 20’s and early 30’s. I am deeply moved to help people find the tools and confidence to change their lives. What more could anyone want?
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Hello friendly chappy Dharmashalin,
Just bumped into this and thoroughly enjoyed listening to you. Really appreciate your honesty. Hopefully our paths will cross again before too long.