We have returned to our Sangha here in Devon.
Its good to be back.
On our 3 months away I was working in woodland in Norfolk, a place I love and have been to on a number of occasions. Ruth joined me there for a month and then moved onto Bristol and has become apart of a community project there.
So as Ruth is half in Bristol and half here in Devon and with our first cafe event in just a week and the festival in just over 3 months our blog posts will be less frequent then before Christmas but we will endeavor to post once a week to keep you up to date with the cafe and festival preparations!
Both Ruth and I arrived back at Trevince, for the first time in three months for a work retreat. A fortnight of coming together to prepare for the season with overriding theme being Metta.
And what a bubble of activity it was! We now have beautiful new bean bags for the cafe made from old cafe canvas, our 'show' yurt, for a new venture is being put together ready for the festival where it will house our inividual crafts for sale, our vans have been serviced and painted ready to hit the road for our first cafe event, Wildheart in Sussex. Trevince house has taken over the rent of Easterbrook veg garden which is a source of much delight and veg seeds were and still are being planted (our babies!), new cafe tables have been made and wonderfully painted by Nealey, Padmapani, Mumukshu and Helen Hatt from Magical Youth, Our canvases have been water-proofed, sauna and hot water system has had a once over, bikes have been fixed and domes have been checked. It was a productive fortnight and we are almost ready for the season to commence!
It was good to come back here to such a structured day. My meditation practise was non existent whilst living and working in the woods and it felt good to meditate daily again and with metta practise at the forefront of my mind instead of floating around in the background. Vidyadasi bought us some lovely evening activities in the first week and in the second week Siddhimala joined us for women's study. Again with the theme of metta we spoke of our experiences and practise of this.
Metta is love and more than love. It is the recognition of ourselves in others and others in ourselves. It is to have patience, friendliness, kindness, empathy, generosity and understanding for all beings no matter how difficult they may be. It is to have all of these same qualities for yourself as well. It is a way of being not just an emotion to be felt occasionally but to actively care for others. It is to cultivate a positive interest in everything. Which in some cases is very easy and others is very challenging. I find it difficult to cultivate feelings of metta for myself and this fortnight made me face up to this which was quite a slap in the face in some cases!
It is a very beneficial practice though and I can see this benefit and I can feel the benefits a month on. We had a lovely closing ritual to the fortnight where we all rejoiced in each others merit via lovely little messages that were read out in front of the group. I really felt lucky to have returned to this sangha that holds each other so completely and although each day presents a new challenge I feel that we, cafe, retreats and the festival, will spread this metta to all that cross our paths!
Join us this year! go to www.buddhafield.com