Thursday, February 15, 2007

A taste of monastic life

Dharmacari JayasiddhiDharmacari Jayasiddhi, for many years a stalwart of the Letchworth FWBO group, is leaving the UK for a six month stint at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia. When FWBO News asked him his reasons for this he said that the experience of his four month ordination course at Guhyaloka in 2005 gave him a taste of a different way of living - more simple and focussed on practice - and he wants to try to take that a bit deeper. He heard about Gampo from a friend, and books by Pema Chödrön left him with a favourable impression of the Shambhala movement.

Gampo Abbey, Nova ScotiaGampo Abbey (right) is situated at the tip of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. It was set up in 1984 by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche specifically to cater for western monastics. A typical day includes periods of meditation and devotional practice as well as some work. Saturday is a "day off". Jayasiddhi said that one of the things that makes Gampo an attractive option is the structure - "you just turn up and get on with it". Although he is not familiar with Sambhala patterns of practice, everything at the Abbey is in English so it should be easy to catch on. Another WBO member, Vajrasakhi, has also spent time at the Abbey.

Jayasiddhi said that he hopes that a facility like Gampo Abbey will be available in the FWBO soon. After his time at Gampo Abbey Jayasiddhi plans to join a pilgrimage in India and then consider his options.



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