The swallows are back and fluttering around the back deck, choosing corners and ledges to build their mud nests, just like their parents and so many generations before them. The goldfinches have returned and will spend their summer splashing in the fountain in front of the main house. And, earlier than ever, our farm stand is open, offering the first salad greens of the season. This is the surplus from the large greenhouses, a testimony to the hard work put in by the farm team over the last three cool, damp months. Even before that the Centre community were still eating the last of the fall plantings (thank-you Sofya!), another small but significant step towards food self-sufficiency, a direction greatly encouraged by Babaji. If you are interested in activities on the farm or would like to be updated on what is currently being offered at the farm stand, check out our farm page.
The full moon in May reminds us that it is time again for the annual celebration of the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha, known around the world as Wesak. The Centre has enthusiastically taken up this event and this will be the third year it has been held here. As well as highlighting the legacy of one of the most influential people who ever lived, this is an opportunity for Buddhists of different persuasions to join together in one place and celebrate the commonality of the dharma. These include followers of Tibetan Buddhist practices, and Zen and Vipassana practitioners, along with others whose spiritual beliefs may be non-Buddhist but are broad enough to encompass all of these. This would seem to be a simple matter, as the Dalai Lama himself has said: “My religion is kindness” -who can find fault with that? But religious strife has been with us for millennia and will doubtless be with us for a long time to come. We can do our part, however, by showing compassion, love and respect for all; as Babaji has said – quoted in one of the recent Daily Sutras, available by email subscription – “Our first duty is to cultivate positive qualities” – again, who can argue with that? We hope you will join us to celebrate the Buddha and his teaching on Thursday, May 3rd at 7:30pm.