Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sangharakshita's Diary, December 2010

Vidyaruci, Sangharakshita's secretary, writes with his monthly update on Bhante's health, literary pursuits, and other activities. He says -

"For the last month Bhante has continued to be engrossed in his literary work. He finished the third of his 'Looking Back' trilogy - about his search for traces of his Lingwood ancestry.  This appears in this month's Shabda, entitled 'Reflections'; and now has begun set down some memories from his early childhood, memories which he has not written about hitherto. As well as new literary projects, he has also had the surprise pleasure of revisiting an old one. Maitreyabandhu dug up, in the British Library, a copy of an article written by a certain Dennis Lingwood, when but nineteen years of age, on the poetry of Sarojini Naidu, one of the first Indians successfully to write poems in the English language. The article is still very readable - more so than Bhante had expected - despite the style being very different from that of his later writings. I have typed it up, and you can find it on Bhante's website www.sangharakshita.org.

"Among the many subscribers to the afternoon slot for receiving visitors, Bhante has enjoyed tea and biscuits in the company of a group of young women from Sheffield, who have recently formed a new community; and a men's Chapter from Cambridge. Yesterday Paramartha accompanied him to Cannon Hill Park, to enjoy some Autumn sunshine.

"Audio books that Bhante has enjoyed have included: Susan's Story by Susan Hampshire, the famous actress's account of how dyslexia affected her life and career; and Vanessa Bell by Frances Spalding, a very readable biography of an artist who was at the centre of the Bloomsbury group. He and I finally finished the Lalitavistara - the highly elaborated and imaginatively rich account of the Buddha's birth, and life up to and including his first communication of the Dharma - which took us a couple of months of twice weekly bed-time reading. Staying with the theme of Mahayana Sutras, we have now embarked upon the Gandhavyuha.

"Bhante had his annual blood test, the results of which were satisfactory. Apart from that there is no news regarding his health, except that he is, as he said in a recent letter, 'in good health, and even better spirits.'"




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