Worship at Buddhafield

shrine at night

shrine at night 2Many people here are new-age hippy types, but many are Buddhist. Some of them have a visible case of Believer’s Pity- they know the stuff, you don’t, how crap that must be for you! Whatever, I wanted to worship with them, to see what I might gain from it.

If Ariabandhu, whose Sanskrit name means “Noble friend”, feels such pity I do not notice. He lives in a semi-monastic community and tells me something of his worship. After chanting, they share something of their feelings or experiences. For example, in Cambridge he had been irritated by all the fences and keep out signs along the river. He does not like being controlled- who does- and they shared about that.

The opening ceremony, full of singing and dancing, had Buddhist content. I spoke to one of the Rituals Team as we queued for dinner. How do you design rituals? Well, myth speaks to the subconscious, and they use elements of myth. She let me choose a card with a saying on it: Dave got “Walk a mile in my shoes”, which tickled him, as the cards are left in people’s shoes, outside the workshop spaces. I got “May all blessings be yours”, which I burned in the ritual fire at the closing ceremony. Spread the love, and make no idol of the physical object.

Lying in the meditation tent, I found, All that makes me one is a story. Let that story be compassion. I left the card behind, though I make sure to squirrel away the sentiment here. Going outside, I found a Rumi quote tied to my sandals: Love said to me, All is Me. I tied it to Lucy’s guy rope.

Someone said you can lose yourself in the singing, in a crowd. I am pleased to sing, but I am always present, watching myself.

At the opening, a woman with a loudspeaker and entourage processed through the camp, with instruments and singing, pausing to shout (we followers echoed) Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, and All sentient beings, We invite you to the opening ceremony. Join the parade! I did. We processed to the Ritual Space, where we danced and sang, and processed through gates to a central fire pit.

I wanted to worship, and on the Friday evening there was the Dakini Puja. A Dakini is a fire spirit, born out of the charnel grounds at the edge of towns- something of the phoenix in this story- which can “cut off your head” and leave you in your heart. We crowded into the meditation tent, where we learned two mantras. Then a woman chanted an account of the Dakini Vajra, and we repeated her words. As we chanted the mantra, we could go up to the altar, to make an offering, or just kneel.

I went up, and followed the way of kneeling and prostrating. By kneeling to the power, I gain its gifts. By offering obedience, I gain its instruction. I am never carried away, but I am buoyed up by this. Click to enlarge:

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6 thoughts on “Worship at Buddhafield

    • The shot works, doesn’t it? Stand scores of yards away, take an ordinary snap, and all that detail emerges: and the computer can display it. The cost is charging the battery. In Oldham art gallery there is the Panorama, where a camera was rotated to get a long photo of Oldham in the 1930s, I think. No: 1876. Now, anyone can do that. Worth playing with the idea.

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    • Hello Mushtaq. It was indeed some festival. I loved it.

      Mmm. The Hajj to Makkah- not something which interests me, particularly, certainly I am not going to go, though I might be interested in others’ experiences of it: what benefit they get from it. I pray that all who observe Islam are blessed by it, though I have no inclination to turn to it myself.

      So here am I blogging about LGBT issues, in great part, as well as the religious stuff. What do you think of my LGBT posts?

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      • Its good to know that you are interested in other’s experience to know about Hajj, travel to Makkah Medina. If you have not time to watch all videos at my website: at least I think you must watch 2 videos 23rd (7 Secrets of Medina) and 24th (7 Secrets of Makkah). It will be something interesting to you. Your LGBT issues are of interest to a particular group; youths or medical staff etc.

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        • LGBT issues are of interest to the whole world. President Putin thinks us important enough to prevent us from speaking, under pain of imprisonment. Thousands of blogs are devoted to us, from extremist (that word again) religionists who are hostile to us. How does David Cameron think to gain political capital? By instituting equal marriage- hooray.

          More importantly, LGBT issues are of interest to LGBT folk, who are less ashamed of ourselves than at any time in history- because as you know our orientation is beloved of God, and not something of which to be ashamed.

          So I have deleted your links. I have no interest in people finding your blog through mine. Nor have I particular interest in watching your videos: it is mildly amusing to watch people worshipping a rock, but not amusing when you consider the annual death toll from crush injuries, etc, at Mecca. Mecca Bingo is a far better place to go.

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