"In January the centre welcomed Dhammavijaya as its chairman and Maitreyabandhu as its president with the movement’s name change marking an exciting new period for the order as well as the community. Friends have come and gone and the Sangha has seen new Mitras and three new Dharmacharinis.
"On 15th May, after a long period of consultation and discussion with the Sangha, the Croydon charity council made the decision to sell the building the Buddhist centre presently occupies and find somewhere new. The change seems all the more auspicious since the movement wide name change and with 2011 marking the 30th anniversary of our residency in the Croydon High Street.
"The decision to sell the property was just the start! We then had to start looking at how we would sell a building we’ve occupied for 30 years and find another more suitable building to move into. All that before we even consider how we’ll move 5 floors of Buddhist centre! The task of overseeing the move has been entrusted to a small group comprising Dhammavijaya, Sucimani and Vijayasri, who are all part of the council, and Carol Robertson, who in August took on the new role of Centre and Project Manager.
"The team decided on the name Vishvavajra, which is Amoghasiddhi’s emblem, as the qualities of unobstructed success appealed to the energy of the team and their project. The Vishvavajra is the double vajra said to be the foundation of the universe. In the short period we have been meeting, we have managed to create a wish-list, we’ve looked at a few properties, had our existing building valued and established contact with local estate agents, we’ve consulted with the council on our financial options and launched the whole project of moving the centre at a recent ‘mandala evening.’ To gain perspective on the range of options for our Sangha we created a map of where our Sangha currently live.
"Many of us first encountered the Dharma when we walked through the doors of the Croydon Buddhist Centre. The Buddhist centre holds many memories for each of us and may have been the place where we learnt to meditate, grappled with our understanding of the Dharma on courses and in study groups, built friendships, had our Mitra ceremonies and celebrated the Three Jewels in our festivals. It’s a special place for us and there is much to rejoice in. It’s not easy to think of leaving.
"The reflection on moving has brought us awareness of the Croydon Buddhist Centre as not simply bricks and mortar, but as a space which embodies the senses both of stillness and of adventure we experience there, our connections and friendships with each other, our well loved Rupas, the beautiful garden and coming in contact with the Dharma. We won’t be leaving this behind with the building - our Sangha will move to somewhere that provides conditions better suited to us deepening our connections with each other. As well as finding somewhere new for an existing Sangha to flourish in we also have the opportunity to create conditions for those folk who are yet to meet the Dharma to step into. Watch this space!"
Vishvavajra Team, Croydon Buddhist Centre