Click on ‘Retreats’ to download the fully illustrated version of our 2020 programme. This marks our 40th anniversary, featuring archive photos from the early 80s through to recent times. The printed versions will be going out within a couple of weeks, we hope.
Here are the latest pictures of our building project
With the main structural work completed, focus has moved inside to the shower/toilet area.
Another project on going at Vajraloka during this time is the replacement of our leaky mains water feed, about 1000m of pipe from the village, under a river, across a field, up a rocky path and eventually arriving at Vajraloka.
Click on “Retreats” to see and book all retreats for 2020 (and the rest of 2019 of course). On that page, you can also download a PDF of the full 2020 programme text – the illustrated brochure will follow towards the end of August.
The work on our new extension is moving forward, with the structure beginning to appear.
One happy side effect digging out the foundations for the new building is that the removed soil is being used to extend Vajraloka’s car-park. Parking will increase from 12 to 16 or 17 spaces, another much needed improvement to our facilities.
The annex build here at Vajraloka has gained momentum with an improvement in the weather. The foundations are now in place, ready to start building the walls next week.
As well as more toilet facilities another improvement retreatants at Vajraloka will be pleased to hear about is that we are creating more single rooms by splitting two twin rooms into four singles. Work has started on this too.
As some of you may know Vajraloka has started an upgrade to our Annex. This will provide more toilet and shower facilities, which for those of you who have been to Vajraloka will know is much needed.
Here are a couple of photos of the first weeks work, a good start considering rain has stopped work quite a bit. Fingers crossed for better weather.
Just a short(ish) newsletter to keep you up to speed with Vajraloka world before the centre closes to retreats and begins the new annex project building works.
This year’s retreats so far have been a great success and many have been full or nearly full. This has been good for the finances but much, much more importantly good for what we can offer and what many can enjoy. This is the main reason Vajraloka exists, after all.
Our ‘Emptiness and the Heart Sutra’ retreat is currently running and ‘Embodying Love’ begins on 24th May and there are still some places free, I hear. Balajit, who used to live here, and Rijumitra will be leading this retreat, and it’s always a joy see them in action.
By September we hope that the bulk of the annex will be complete, but as with all building projects we can’t be precise. Retreats will nevertheless start up again in early September but the ‘Simply Being’ retreat is full. However, our ‘In the Seen only the Seen’ retreat has spaces and starts on 20th September.
Annexe Project update.
And so onto the annex project. The very capable Jinapalita (who has arrived back to Vajraloka after a long retreat in company of Vessantara and others) will be the guy on the ground overseeing the works. We wish him our support and good wishes in such a task. We will, of course, try to take ‘before’, ‘during’ and ‘after’ pics to share with you all. The very good news is that your generosity has helped us to raise a fund of nearly £90,000 towards the cost. Initially we felt that a target of about £85000 would cover the project. However one of Jinapalita’s reflections whilst on this retreat was the idea of converting rooms B and C into four single rooms. This would be a very wise move at this point, while we are building the annex. With this in mind the Vajraloka team and Trustees have decided to keep the fund raising appeal alive until after the project is complete. We will of course keep you up to date with the progress and hopefully when you visit us next you’ll see the results. There should be quite a few more single rooms, and of course more shower and toilet facilities.
Water leaks Vajraloka recently had yet another water leak from the old pipes that are gradually failing. We have therefore decided to get replacement piping which, as it is around a mile to the mains, will we think cost around £7,000 to replace. But it is an essential task and we hope to be getting on with the work during the next two months or so.
Programme 2020 Most of you will have had an email recently asking whether you want to receive a program brochure by post or would like a PDF version via email. Once collated we will ensure those of you who’d still like the brochure in your hand will receive it and that the PDF is available via email and online. This will save Vajraloka lots of money and will also be better for our environment. We have already received many lovely responses from you. Thanks so much.
Team news. Tejananda is off to lead some retreats in the USA this summer. Prajnapriya is leading a Buddhafield North meditation retreat in June (which I – Padmadasa – am on too). Jinapalita is mainly chilling out at Vajraloka, (well overseeing the Annex Project isn’t really quite as luxurious as chilling!). The rest of the team are having some well-earned break time, and also some Vajraloka at home time.
That’s all for now Folks
Have a great summer and all our love The Vajraloka Team
Newsletter by Padmadasa
Sometimes the words from someone really makes one stop and see things more clearly. The other day I was listening to Martin Luther King’s sermon “Why I Oppose the Vietnam War” which he gave in 1967 shortly before his assassination. King underscores the sermon of the importance of love and he says
“When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality.”
I have been editing the talks from the recent retreat Tejananda and I led on the Brahmaviharas and the Tonglen practices and Dr King’s words resonated with what these practices are about. The act of love is the key, as he says, that unlocks the door that leads to ultimate reality. It is in the act of love that we stop separating from what is actually happening and come into an intimate connection with life. Perhaps, taking it a bit further, love is the actual nature of ultimate reality.
As I said I have been editing the talks from the recent Awakening Heart and Divine Abodes Retreat. I am doing this to turn them into an ebooklet available to download with links to the led meditations from the Retreat. This is a new way of getting what we do out there and hopefully will lead to other ebooklets on other Retreat themes. I’ll keep you informed of progress.
After Spring like weather earlier in the week the weather turned back towards winter but that didn’t stop a team trip into Snowdonia in search of Dragons on Dinas Emrys. The weather was a mixture of rain and snow with a very occasional hint of sun and a dragon was found and befriended.
Here’s a link to the details of the legend which has hints of Padmasambhava about it.
First Cut of the Year.
1st April and the first cut of the Vajraloka lawns. The winter has been relatively mild after the cold and snow of the last year when we had to walk people out from two of the retreats because the road was blocked with snow. Spring and early summer are a lovely time to come on retreat at Vajraloka. The bluebells in the dell area now emerging from the ground for their beautiful display in a month or so’s time and the birds are beginning to really sing the change of season in.