After a long wait we have had two Mitra Ceremonies creating seven new Mitras (friends).
I was asked to write a short piece about what it means to me to have become a Mitra, and I don’t think I can give a short answer to that question because it has been a profound journey due to the circumstance we had all found ourselves in a year and a half ago when our world changed irrevocably with the emergence of COVID-19 and the changes it was going to bring.
I had just visited the Ipswich Buddist Centre for a Saturday morning meditation session, and I was touched by the warmth of the welcome I received and the generosity of spirit I found. Shortly after the Sangha had to make a swift change to a digital online presence. As I work away from home regularly, I was able to join the introduction courses online and took part in the Basic Buddhism courses and some online retreats. Little did I know this would give me a lifeline as it became one of the most challenging periods in my personal & professional life, as it has been for so many people.
Becoming a Mitra is an affirmation of what I believe; if we’re able to give a voice to that feeling, I would say it is like coming home to where I should be. I now feel like I am a practicing Buddhist as I attempt to be present and try to live the Darma every day with love and support from the Sangha. I have learned a lot over the past year and a half about Buddhism; But I am reminded that there is a quote, “it will take a lifetime to live that reality and to understand it”. I do believe that it is and has made me a more compassionate person toward the world and myself.