Welcome to the 2015 Buddhafield Programme!

Fanfare and Flourish … Let the Ceremony Begin!

Buddhafield Festival: Awakened Awareness

Wednesday 15 — Sunday 19 July 2015, Blackdown Hills, Somerset

The Buddhafield Festival is back! Faced as we are by the threat of climate change, dwindling resources and violent conflict, it is important that we take to heart the need to transform ourselves and engage with the significant problems of the world, not from a reaction to them, but from a higher perspective of insight and love.

Save £17 per adult by buying one of the limited-availability Earlybird Tickets, now on sale through the Buddhafield website.

Green Earth Awakening: Transform, Sustain, Thrive

Thursday 21 — Monday 25 May 2015, Blackdown Hills, Somerset

Connect with the land, learn vital skills and explore pathways towards a sustainable future. Featuring a range of green crafts, social change and ecology workshops. There will be meditation and Dharma talks, giving us the spiritual context to empower us to change. Plus dance, yoga and live music giving us the movement and play to connect as community and engage together. Tickets now on sale.

Buddhafield Retreat Programme

1 — 8 May, Ashdown Forest Retreat: Spinning Yarns, Telling Stories in the Forest

5 — 12 June, Women’s Retreat: Eyes of Love

15 — 21 June, Men’s Retreat: Lightning from the Earth

1 — 6 August, Family Friendly Village Retreat 1: Mind Reactive, Mind Creative

8 — 15 August, Family Friendly Village Retreat 2: Mind Reactive, Mind Creative

25 — 30 August, Big Summer Retreat: Awareness is Revolutionary

7 September — 3 October, Total Immersion Retreat: Meditating with the Trees

So there it all is! You can see the complete retreat programme on the website. Alternatively, you can book using the forms in the printed programme which will be winging it’s way to you (if you are on our mailing list) or to a Triratna Buddhist Centre near you in the next few weeks.

See you in a field!


Print pagePDF pageEmail page

GEA 2014 Workshops Update 2: Daily Timetable

Wednesday 16 – Sunday 20 July 2014: booking is still open. You can contact us about the GEA.

Daily Timetable

  • 6.30—8am, Kundalini yoga, Workshop Space 1.
  • 7.15—8am, Meditation, Meditation Space.
  • 8.15—9am, Meditation, Meditation Space .
  • Beginners Meditation, Dharma Dome.
  • 8—9.30am, Hatha Yoga, Workshop Space 1.
  • 9—10am, Qi Gong, Workshop Space 2.
  • 7—11am, breakfast in Buddhafield Café.
  • 10—5pm, workshops (check info boards for what’s on).
  • 11.15—12.45, talk, Dharma Dome.
  • 12—3pm, lunch in Buddhafield Cafe.
  • 3.45—5.15, talk, Dharma Dome.
  • 5.30—6.15, Meditation, Meditation Space.
  • Yoga, Workshop Space 2.
  • 5—9pm, dinner in Buddhafield Café.
  • 7.30pm Ritual .
  • Evening: live music; dance; cinema in the Buddhafield Café.

Additions to the programme

Communicating Across the Species Boundary with Jo Goldsmid. An exploration of self and other in the more-than-human world using body, speech and mind. Also known as earthwhispering or a little nature tête à tête.

ScrapMonkey Recycled copper jewellery, scrap copper bangles and recycled notebooks out of reclaimed lino.

Permaculture, Nature Connection and Foraging with Klaudia Van Gool.

Permaculture Workshops with Aranya; Patterns in Permaculture Design with Aranya. Nature abounds with beautiful patterns, but why do we see the same forms repeating over and over again? Discover how we can use these patterns to most effectively perform specific functions, such as conserving energy or distributing resources. This workshop will show you a new way to see the world. Permaculture Design: Step by Step; Permaculture offers so many great possibilities, but with so much choice where do you start? Determined to figure this out for himself, Aranya ended up writing a book to make sense of this. In this workshop he shares the key things he has learned along the way to help you create great designs for yourself. Real Wealth and Wiser Money; the current money system may be the reason why our beautiful Earth is being so dangerously exploited, but exchange is not only natural but essential to a strong community. Come along to discover how we can do this so much better & how you may have more to offer your community than you realise.

Mindful Living — Meditation on the Move. Binley Farm and Wake Up Uk are sister communities practicing mindful living; a residential retreat centre and a community of young engaged mindfulness practitioners. Join us in exploring and experiencing how mindfulness can be practiced off the cushion and into society, relationships, and everyday tasks. See also Wake Up London.

Barefoot Running with Matthew Adams. Exercises to get in touch with and listen more deeply to how our bodies want to move and run when we take shoes away; how our bodies are naturally designed to move and run.

Embodied Feminine Way. What is your authentic feminine expression and your gifts to this world? Landing in your womb, finding your truth as woman. Performance-the Gift of You; working with presence and expression in spontaneous, personal sharing of your self. Exploring giving and receiving of attention, play, coming forward with your unique gifts. Agata Krajewska is a Bodymind Therapist and group facilitator, working with the Deep Feminine and Personal Expression. She brings new perspectives and an invitation to self-compassion. See Soul in the workplace.

Hindustani Singing A beginners’ workshop in Hindustani (North Indian) classical singing.

Barefoot Books celebrate art and story that opens the hearts and minds of children from all walks of life, inspiring them to read deeper, search further, and explore their own creative gifts. Amelia, Barefoot Books Ambassador from Devon, will be sharing some of these wonderful books.

Contact Improvisation Alistair Edmunds has been dancing CI for over 6 years, with a diverse range of movement backgrounds, Martial arts, Climbing, Yoga, Tango, Qi gong. Interests in BMC (body mind centring). CI is an improvised dance form involving connection to a least one other person and improvisation around that point of contact, It is an open ended exploration into movement and space, where each individual is invited to find their own way and follow their own curiosity. See Bristol Contact Improvisation.


Print pagePDF pageEmail page

GEA 2014 Workshops Update 1: Land Skills & Green Crafts

Oak Clan Forge

photoTake a journey back to the iron-age and learn the ancient arts of metal work with blacksmith, Simon Summers. Hand craft your own tools and pendants, and use the technique of “repoussé” to create Celtic copper bangles and sacred offerings. With a charcoal fired clay forge, powered by leather bellows, Oak Clan Forge invites adults and children to sit by the fire and explore their hidden potential to create ancient treasures.

Milly Peds

Repairing, recycling, adjustments and all things bicycle. Hands on workshops to show how to adjust/repair gears including hub gears, brakes and most other parts of the bicycle, info given on disability cycle issues, electric bikes, safe cycling, recycle of parts for re-use and checking for faults.

downloadMilly Peds came into creation seven years ago, developing on from my many years of mechanical experience. Among my offerings I deliver repair courses, cycle training, working with disadvantaged youth and setting up and running events. I have 20 years experience in the entertainment, environmental and educational sectors.

Milly Peds will offer an info point with literature on most aspects of cycling, such as what type of bike to buy for what use, female specific issues, building crazy bikes, employment, and much more, also a small selection of recycled folding bikes, normal ones, and even vintage for sale.

Milly Peds promote and encourage cycling for all abilities. “We aim to take as much from the waste stream to put back to good use, so saving on our carbon footprint, and enable others to be aware of the opportunities to recycle a very large number of bicycles thrown away every year.”

www.millypeds.co.uk

Wild Stoves


Burning Wood Efficiently: Principles of Rocket and Woodgas Stoves.
Come and learn about the holy trinity of wood combustion: “time, turbulence and temperature”! We’ll be lighting up various rocket and woodgas stoves and discussing the simple, but ingenious principles used to harness more heat from wood (or even generate electricity!). The workshop will also touch on DIY methods and materials.

A “stove anorak”, Jonathan Rouse works as a scientific advisor on efficient stoves across the developing world. Wild Stoves was founded by Jonathan Rouse in 2010. After a decade spent working with wood energy in developing countries, he thought it was about time his friends here in the UK got access to some of the fabulous devices on offer. Jonathan continues to work as an advisor to organisations ranging from the UN to small charities in Africa and Asia. The Wild Stoves Foundation was established in 2011 to raise money for select projects.

www.wildstoves.co.uk

The Travelling Tuffeteer, Joanna Vosper

Create your own tuffet. Eco-friendly and lightweight to enjoy for the festie and beyond!

The “tuffet” — a wonderfully comfortable seat pad made entirely of woven wool. After in-depth research I discovered the secret of this wonderful experience of “bottom heaven”. It seems selfish to not share this comfort with friends and other like-minded people and so begins the creation of The Travelling Tuffeteer and the slogan “Bottom Heaven since 2011”. The tuffet is organic, water resistant due to the natural lanolin and is deliciously sheepy!

thetravellingtuffeteer.blogspot.com

Windy Smithy

Blacksmithing and copper bowl making with the Windy Smithy. Owned and operated by Jon Snow, who has been working with metal since 1996, the Windy Smithy operates on a semi-mobile basis from the Blackdown Hills in Devon. Originally inspired by the desire to make quality hand tools for developing communities, he went on to study Blacksmithing and Metalwork at Hereford College. The first incarnation of the Windy Smithy was a forge made from a gas bottle, powered by a wind generator.

“I provide all that I can for a wide range of craftsmen, who have been having difficulty in finding the hand tool for the job, and I am happy to research a particular tool and to produce it, using either the traditional techniques, or modern methods, saving time and effort. I have travelled extensively in Scandinavia, learning relevant skills with a wide variety of toolsmiths, with many thanks to the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust for inspiration and support.”

www.windysmithy.co.uk

Wayne’s Woods

wayne 2Spoon Carving, shave-horsing and pole lathing. Wayne’s workshops are popular at festivals across the country and include “I love the way that giving someone the chance to experience something that is closer to where I believe we need to be can have a massive influence on a person and help them to see life in a more sympathetic, realistic way. Skills such as shave-horsing, pole-lathing, weaving and carving help a person connect to something more primeval within them and also allow time for reflection within oneself. Spoon carving is amongst these empowering activities and needs to be promoted in as many ways as possible….”
www.wayneswoods.co.uk

Living Willow Lincoln


Earth Loom Weaving and Willow Dome Construction.
Earth loom weaving is a peaceful and creative way to connect with each other. By weaving a beautiful outdoor tapestry we are symbolising the interwoven nature of community and the world around us.

Living Willow Lincoln builds willow structures, mainly in schools and run workshops in willow weaving, green woodworking, woodland skills for children, and art based projects with the earth loom.

Our earth loom is a large, outdoor wooden structure, strung and ready for us to weave on. We gather natural materials from our surroundings and combine them with recycled materials that when woven together create a beautiful tapestry. We are passionate about weaving as a powerful and ancient art that symbolises the intention of weaving together the fabric of community in a peaceful and creative way that deepens our connection to nature.

www.livingwillowlincoln.co.uk

Make a Cob Rocket Stove

Practical session of cob work — learn how to make a cob mix and construct a rocket stove for cooking with at Peasants Lunch Box Cafe.

Woolly Umbrella

Spinning, Felt Making, Natural Dyeing, Weaving and general sheep based products.

Willow Plant Holders and Basketry


Kim Creswell creates willow sculptures, hedgerow crafts & willow weaving courses. Generally made from Dorset hedgerow materials and willow cut herself, sometimes combined with willow grown on the nearby Somerset Levels. You will find that all workshops are natural crafts which do not rely on the use of fossil fuels and are appropriate to the area in which they are held.

www.kimcreswell.co.uk


Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Interview: Rosie Lancaster

Rosie Lancaster is Green Earth Awakening Workshops Co-ordinator. Interview by Satyadarshin

 This is our second GEA; what have you changed this year?
I think last year worked quite well having spaces in the programme where people could be together outside of the workshops. But I’d like to see more of that: last year it was still quite tight; lunch was a narrow window in relation to time slots for the programme. I want more crafts, more independent spaces, more transferable skills; someone should be able learn something at the GEA, go home and do it. That feels like more of a life changing experience: they have that wow! moment, where they walk away and feel that they’ve accomplished something. People could feel that they’re going on a journey through the event, rather than “Oh! I’ve got a slot now; lets get to the blacksmith!” I’m aiming to pull it all together with a bit more of an emphasis on the theme. The Dharma talks are what will underpin it, really good speakers that embrace the theme.

rosieTractor

Rosie, GEA Workshops Co-ordinator

What do you see the difference between the Buddhafield Festival’s Permaculture Area, and the GEA?
I’m actually trying to make a connection more obvious. At the Buddhafield Festival we have the Dharma Parlour over there and Permaculture over here. In my view they should be in the same space. So trying to to get that link in, that it’s not about doing your green crafts, then trying to get your meditation in. The two are so fundamentally linked, that the only way change can happen in the future is that people recognise that we are so fundamentally linked.

We’ve talked about linking the theme to this year’s Triratna International Retreat: The Bodhisattva’s Reply; I suppose we’re training our Bodhisattvas aren’t we?
Yes, yes I think so. Individual input into the world, so to speak, in relation to other individuals. It links in with the prophecy of the Shambhala Warrior: “The Shambhala workers go into the corridors of power armed with the only tools that the barbarians don’t understand, and for which there is no defence. The tools of the Shambhala workers are compassion for all, and knowledge of the connectedness of all things. Both are necessary.” The Bodhisattva vow came up quite a lot last year and just hit the spot for me: this is about all of us standing up and facing the world for each other, that it’s all our responsibility. One person can make a difference; believe in that. It’s not a question of feeling a horror of what’s going on in the world and needing to do something about it, of feeling responsible and therefore we “should”. It’s to do with the sense of deep ecology, that we’re so interconnected that there’s no way of standing outside from it, we are part of it. You’re breathing, so you have to do something. And that was the root of it for me, the notion of deep ecology , of it being so obviously Dharmic.

Horrified anxiety isn’t the fuel for the future, then?
No. A love and a compassion, and a will, and a “wow! I’m part of this!”. Protests, activism and the need for social change, can really emphasise the devastation … but the connection, that’s got to be the compassion of moving forward. So that’s why the Dharma Parlour and Permaculture Areas are moving forward together. In the Buddhafield Festival Permaculture Area, we’ve got Green Crafts and we’ve got Social Change, so in a sense the GEA is an extension of that, but a lot more in depth.

The GEA is increasing the sense of intimacy?
Yes, at the Buddhafield Festival people do become ships passing in the night; you’ve got your timetable, you jot your workshops down on the back of your hand, you’re running to the next thing. Whereas with a structured timetable, you’re eating together, you have a chance to network and I think that’s really important; like-minded people, people who feel the way you do, get into groups together and that brings a sense of community. You’re doing it together. You go to one workshop and feel really moved, go to the next one and it might be the same group of people. And I think in that sense you’re not alone. I think that can be quite powerful. So I’m hoping that that’s different from a Permaculture Area at the Festival.


Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Interview: Ratnadeva

Ratnadeva was ordained by Kamalashila at Guhyaloka retreat centre, Spain, in the summer of 2013 .

So, the 2014 season is upon us. How’s it going so far?
Well, we’ve got a full retreats programme, ten events, and we’ve also got the exciting Triratna International Retreat. This year we’re collaborating with Adhisthana for the first time. It’ll be fun trying out a new site, having got used to working with Taraloka, which was a delight. It’s also going to be a delight working with Adhisthana because there’s a sense that we’re very much at the centre of Triratna when we collaborate on this event. For us it’s an opportunity to get better known throughout the movement. It’s kind of a shop window for Buddhafield.

ratnadevaFor me, one of the big flavours of the coming year is the word “change”. We’ve got a lot changing within Buddhafield in terms of people involved and we are in the process of reorganising, so as to make the best use of the limited resources. I suppose it’s a challenge and an exciting opportunity this coming year in terms of reorganising, finding a structure and a way of working that means we can put the events on that we have planned and people don’t get worn out. People don’t have to overdo it. And that probably means trying to involve the circles of people that are interested in Buddhafield and have been helping us over the years … I think we need to reach out more. That’s one of the main themes of the coming year, find ways to reach out; tell people that we need them and provide the opportunities for the people out there to get involved. I have this sense, this image in my head, of concentric circles around Buddhafield, of different levels of involvement, it may be hundreds, it may be over a thousand of people that, at some point in the last few years have been involved, been inspired by their involvement with Buddhafield. And that’s a resource, their interest in helping us, their interest in getting involved is what we need to tap into.

What is it that we need to do to keep people involved and motivated?
I think what we put on is inspiring in itself. We don’t really need to go outside of that because it’s already quite versatile. It’s versatile from the point of view of the events themselves; you look at the range we have in any given year. We don’t have a Yatra this year, but for several years now we’ve had a walking retreat; such a different experience to, say, the Total Immersion where we’ve had experienced meditators going deeper over four weeks, in silence. And then a very different event is of course the Family Friendly Village Retreat for up to 260 people, a third of them children, experiencing retreat-like conditions on a beautiful piece of land.

But having said that, there are alternative projects that might also inspire people, a bit leftfield. For example, this year we’re looking at the possibility of a co-housing project. Now that is perhaps an inspiring project that might attract people who otherwise might not try a camping retreat. But essentially I think what we put on is a very attractive package. The concept of getting close to nature, spending time, if you like, with yourself in a beautiful environment, being inspired by the Buddha’s teachings and having time out from your normal routine … experiencing oneself anew. I think that is in itself an incredibly inspiring prospect. And in fact I think that’s the core; for me that’s what inspired me to be involved with Buddhafield in the first place — an organisation that puts that sort of event on. I enjoy all the other events, like the Festival, but as far as I’m concerned they’re in service to putting on retreats. I come form a background where Im trying to get more immersed in nature, because I see that as a key expression of my own spiritual life. And I think it can be a key theme within the Buddhist tradition, breaking down that sense of separateness from the natural world.

It’s very related to your involvement with Druid culture?
Yes. I see it as quite seamless in fact. I think that immersing in nature can teach so much about impermanence. If you walk out on a bed of autumn leaf litter, and if you’re really aware when you’re doing that, that can be a lesson in impermanence. Better than any books about impermanence. If you’re involved with setting up a forest garden, or really into connecting with trees, even if its on a mystical level, that can teach us so much about interconnectedness, which is not that far away from non-self. The book of nature is so central to Buddhist teaching. For a lot of Buddhists who live in urban or sub-urban environments it’s not so much the case and I do think that’s a problem. And that is what Buddhafield is offering par excellence: offering people in those sorts of situations to escape and find a connection with nature that they don’t normally get, even if it’s only for a week.


Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Engage, Explore, Play: Green Earth Awakening 2014!

Engage Now, Change the Future: 16 — 20 July 2014

Think there’s no Buddhafield Festival this year??

Well yes, the usual event isn’t happening… but there is a wonderful small festival/gathering happening at the usual Festival time (Wednesday 16 — Sunday 20 July). Quieter and more spacious, the first GEA last May had a wonderful heart-opening atmosphere and sense of community:

“The GEA was a shining highlight of my year. The connections between people, the openness and learning that occurred there were, for me, a perfect balance of significant engagement and enjoyment and laughter.”

“Extremely educational, cosy and most intimate event on the field I ever took part at. Food for the soul.”

“Lovely being back in that gorgeous field again, so many memories of festivals held there.  I didn’t think I would enjoy making a tuffet so much; loved going on a foraging walk as well as just hanging out and playing in the sunshine.”

Can you Help with Publicising the GEA?


If you feel an affinity for Buddhafield, if you have the time, and if know of a noticeboead near you that is lacking a striking image, please consider decorating it with our 2014 GEA poster! There are two versions:

We’re also looking for Secret Agents to help with flyering. If you’re willing to receive a pack of about 50 A5 flyers and arrange for them to appear in a venue near you, please email Lulu.

GEA programme information and booking on the main website.


Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Abhayajit on The Soul and the Solstice

Monday 16 June—Sunday 22 June 2014 led by Abhayajit and Khemajala

More information and booking on the main Buddhafield website.

This is the latest in a series of retreats led by me along with various friends and following on thematically from previous years’ Land, Body and Soul events. During the Soul and the Solstice, we’ll be doing something a little different from last time, although we’ll be developing themes we touched on last year. The main difference is that we will spend at least a couple of hours each day in a group process facilitated by Khemajala and myself who are both qualified Counsellors. Of course The event will also feature activities familiar to Buddhafield regulars such as meditation and ritual, along with great organic food and a friendly atmosphere.

So I guess some of you are thinking, what’s a group process? Well in this context it will involve led excercises, perhaps involving a combination of Meditation and Visualisation and often culminating in sharing our experiences in small groups — or we might do something completelly different; expect the unexpected! The general point of all the excercises is to bring us into closer contact with our own experience which may at times be challenging, but also I hope fun.

When I realised the dates for this event coincided with the Solstice, it seemed obvious to take the summer light as our inspiration and explore what it really means to feel fully alive and paradoxically the connection of that experience to darkness and death (the moment the summer light and it’s associated energy and abundance peaks, we begin the slow descent into darkness). This is of course a cyclical way of viewing things and from this perspective we can see our own lives as a cycle moving through periods of light and dark much like the seasons. The more linear way of looking at our lives is that of a progression that moves out of the dark and into the light, leaving despair behind us as we move ever upwards towards our goals and dreams. Yet how would it be if we accepted that darkness and the so called dark emotions must always play a part in our lives and if we do not pay them due respect they will pull down the edifices we have built around them.

We come from a society where everything is about change, transformation and self improvement, the youngster experimenting with drugs, the athlete training to their limit or the middle classes moving up the property ladder are all seeking to improve or change their experience and we might wonder about these routes to happiness. Yet in a culture dominated by these transcendent values, do we really need more of the same when we come to making meaning of our lives? Throughout time mankind has been overcoming itself and as valuable and necessary as that has been, the more feminine yet equally important values of self-acceptance and self-forgiveness have often been lost sight of. So the emphasis on this retreat will be less about overcoming the darkness and moving towards the light and more about accepting that both light and darkness, joy and despair will enter into our lives at various times.

So I suppose I am talking about how we learn to accept and make meaning of the uncertainty that impermanance bestows upon us and say yes to all our experience. For many saying yes to the joy of life might be easier than saying yes to the depths of despair! yet at the heart of Buddhist practice lies the practice of equanimity which means being open to all our experience. I guess the key to a lot of this stuff is openess to who we are and that often involves loosening our identities and suspending some of our bigger ideas for a while whilst we start exploring what is really close to us.

As David White says in the first verse of a Poem entitled Start close in:

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

That last line is significant to me as we often resist doing things that invite us to ”start close in“ yet time and time again find that’s where the gold is. So if this appeals you are very welcome to come and join us at Beautiful Broadhembury and ‘start close in’.

Activities will be tailored to allow people to work at a pace that is comfortable for them and there will of course be plenty of time for relaxing in the long and hopefully warm days leading up to the Summer Solstice.

We’ll also have three sessions of led dance during the retreat, which I’m sure will be very pleasurable and help to bring us more into our bodies.

The interactive nature of this event will allow plenty of fun, as well as at times being challenging: it will not suit everyone and if you have concerns (about your mental Health for example) please contact me by email or 01363 772939.


Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Total Immersion 2014: The Teaching Team

Vajrapriya, Maitridevi and Kamalashila have all worked together before on this retreat in different guises, and it promises to be a lively and substantial team. Introductions to the team below, but there’s  more about the retreat, it’s theme — The Foundations of Mindfulness — and booking on the main Buddhafield website.

Vajrapriya was ordained in 2002 and has lived in Cambridge ever since, but last year he went on retreat for a whole year. He’s been on a number of Total Immersion retreats, finds them elemental, and this time is looking forward to co-leading. That elemental quality suits his meditation style — embodied, direct and non-competitive. He has a very active mind and has to work to incorporate its energy without over-identifying with it.

Talk by Vajrapriya on Vimeo: Living a Meaningful Life

Vajrapriya takes the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path – rebranding it as the Meaningful Eightfold Path – and considers how it’s eight areas contribute to a meaningful life, and how following it eventually eliminates the whole problem of meaninglessness. Second of three talks in the series “Reality and what to do about it”, given at the Cambridge Buddhist Centre in November 2010.

Maitridevi, who co-led last year’s Total Immersion, is presently a homeless spiritual adventurer, having until recently been Finance Director at Windhorse:Evolution in Cambridge. She has a love of meditating in nature, yoga, swimming in rivers and hiding in forests, and her passion is exploring how to engage the imagination in her practice. She responds to exemplification far more than theory.

Talk by Maitridevi on YouTube: The Tender Gravity of Kindness

How to find depth in a superficial world — a talk about love and longing and the way that they pull us deeper into life. Given at Buddhafield Festival 2013 in the Dharma Parlour.

Kamalashila has been leading the Total Immersion retreat every other year. He’s in London nowadays, though for some years he lived as part of the Buddhafield collective in Devon. He enjoys more than anything else communicating his experience of Buddhism, meditation and mindfulness — something he’s done over many years. He has founded Dharma centres in London and Wales, written a best selling book on meditation, and lived four years in Wales as a hermit.

Talk by Kamalashila on YouTube: Mind full of passion

“Shouldn’t you be passionate in all you do? Probably, but how to distinguish between that and self-centred craving? A look at the issue of what we want.” Given at the Buddhafield Festival 2011 in the Dharma Parlour.


Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Buddhism and the Natural World: Deep Ecology, Deep Dharma

Kamalashila lives in West Hampstead, London, with Dharmacharini Yashobodhi. In 1974 he was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order by Urgyen Sangharakshita who gave him his Dharma name, “Kamalashila” — “He whose conduct (śila, Sanskrit) is like a red lotus (kamala)”. He’s the author of Buddhist Meditation: Tranquillity, Imagination and Insight (Windhorse Publications, 3rd Revised edition edition 2012) and leading this year’s Buddhafield Total Immersion Retreat, a month-long, silent meditation camping retreat in Devon.

He is by temperament rather shy, quiet and thoughtful, but he has been active for forty years teaching meditation, establishing communities, writing and leading Dharma study. In 1976 he founded the West London Buddhist Centre near Earls Court; he moved to Wales in 1979 and became a founder of Vajraloka Meditation Centre and later Vajrakuta, Triratna’s first residential Dharma study centre. He also has longstanding connections with Buddhafield and EcoDharma.

This is a talk he gave to members of the Triratna Buddhist Order (then still known as the Western Buddhist Order) in 2005. Some of the themes he covers are very relevant to Buddhafield’s Green Earth Awakening Camp (May 16–21 2014).

You can find this and many other talks by Kamalashila on Free Buddhist Audio.

1. Parami: introduction (3:15).

2. Kamalashila: environmentalism in the early days of the FWBO; Vajraloka; reactions in ’80s & ’90s; a contemporary shift (2:47).

3. A personal experience of participation in nature; nature and Buddha Nature; alienation from the natural world (4:52).

4. Deep ecology as a way to insight; changing our sense of identity and ownership; deep ecology and ethics (4:26).

5. Aldo Leopold; owning beings and land as unethical; the experience of being in the countryside; meditation and the “Four Great Elements” — “Mahabhutas”; nature and seeing beyond ego (8:40).

6. Transcending self & other; our limited idea of “all beings” and the experience of other creatures (3:07).

7. Not dismissing non-humans; relative separation from the natural world; anthropocentrism versus ecocentrism; awareness of non-human beings and ethics (5:33).

8. Communal living; single sex; the underside of the development of communities; mixed communities and the benefits of other mixed environments (4:31).

9. Sangharakshita’s book review on DH Lawrence and the Spiritual Community — four principles of spiritual community; sexual relationships and community living (7:17).

10. A personal vision of mixed communities; deep ecology and community living (2:27).


Print pagePDF pageEmail page

GEA 2014: First Look at the Programme

Programme Headlines

We’re delighted to let you know that this year’s programme is coming together and the highlights so far are:

Green Crafts

  • Blacksmithing and Copper Repousse, Oak Clan Forge.
  • Spoon carving and pole lathe, Waynes Woods.
  • Blacksmithing and Copper Bowls, Windy Smithy.
  • Build a Rocket Stove, Wildstoves.
  • Pegloom Tuffet, The Travelling Tuffeteer.
  • Stone Carving.
  • Bicycle repair and recycling, Milly Peds.
  • Build a Cob Oven, Rik Midgeley.
  • Healing Hedgerow, Sonny .

Social Change

  • Ecodharma and NEB, Ecodharma Centre.
  • Rainwater Harvesting, Clive Dragon.
  • Reading the Landscape, Patrick Whitefield.
  • Healing Ourselves and the Planet through Heart Centred Awareness, Cathy Melissa Whitefield.
  • Community and Sustainability,Tinkers Bubble.
  • Forest Gardening, Sagaravajra.
  • Eyes of Gaia, Nicola Peel.
  • Wild Food Forage, Patch Tucker.
  • Eco-psychology and The Work that Reconnects, Dearbhaile.
  • Wild Writing, Lauren Coulson.
  • Frack Free Somerset.
  • Permaculture Association.

And …

  • Songwriting, Matt Sage.
  • Earthdances.
  • Kundalini Yoga.
  • Tai Chi.

Booking is open, but check out options for volunteers. You can email us about the GEA or call us on 07780 461 221.

If you would like to offer a workshop or talk at the Green Earth Awakening Camp 2014, please download the application form and email it to Rosie, the GEA Workhops Co-ordinator.

Looking forward to seeing you there!


Print pagePDF pageEmail page