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Buddhafield East

A personal response by Abs

Back from Buddhafield East 2018 with my teen

I came along to the Buddhist centre in 2010. I loved everything about the sangha and dharma, but the building is somehow a challenge for me. I often get headaches there and quite stressed.

It was suggested to me that I might like Buddhafield East. I went along to the beautiful organic working farm where we run retreats. It was a huge sigh of relief, everything felt right there. The wide open space of the beautiful meadows. The birdsong. Connection with the elements. Big skies. I could fully breathe and relax.

I realise now that I needed the dharma in a more active, dynamic setting. I can’t do a lot of sitting still. I like a role, and I love to take the dharma into personal experience.

Buddhafield East has become my favourite dharma place. For me, practicing under open skies lets me connect more deeply with who I am in the world and work with what I find.

Green Tara is always present at the field and whatever work I am doing on myself is held by her wisdom and understanding. There is a real closeness I experience with the team and retreatants. It feels like an extended family, and they allow me to grow and change direction whilst holding me in tenderness.

This Midsummer weekend, the Buddhafield East team were at the farm for a working weekend retreat.

Some examples of magic that happened there;

  • Coming out of my tent and seeing a Barn Owl gliding over the meadow back and forth, not bothered by our gentle presence.
  • Standing facing the Full Moon on Friday night, dedicating our weekend to the three jewels, nature and the moon.
  • Playing ball games with some of the teens and men. Just laughing and playing.
  • Deep conversations which seem so precious, because time is slower on the field, there is always time for ourselves and each other.
  • An afternoon Puja, collaboratively written and dedicated to our climate and the nature it holds. Guitars, drums and drone boxes leading us in mantra. Children coming and going.
  • Seeing the teens head-off on a cycle ride.
  • Making and sharing food together.

Buddhafield East has been hosting family-friendly retreats for 20 years on the land. Sangharakshita was a big fan of the way we share the dharma. It’s hard to put into words. Maybe ask someone who has been, or come along yourself. You will always be welcomed, and you may find some new ways to connect with the dharma. May Tara bless us all.

Love Abs.