Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sangharakshita's Diary, January 2010

Vidyaruci, Sangharakshita’s secretary, writes with his latest news, saying - “A quiet month for Bhante, especially as the snow kept him housebound at Madhyamaloka in Birmingham for a couple of weeks or so.

Madhyamaloka's garden in the snow
"He did not mind this, however, as the beautiful view from his window of the snow covered garden was a sufficient compensation for the loss of his daily walk. Christmas was particularly quiet, as for a few days running he received no visitors, and was also without a secretary, who was away with family. Bhante's own celebrations extended no further than a meal with a few members of the Madhyamaloka community, and one or two guests.

“Bhante has continued writing the sketches on themes from his early childhood. The first four are now available to read on Sangharakshita's website. He has nearly finished the fifth, and there may be another one on the way.

"The audio book service has provided interest and entertainment in the form of the following: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, which Bhante described as brilliantly witty, but with a serious moral concern; Journey to the Middle Kingdom by Christopher West, which he thought a fascinating account of China old and new; Asquith, by Roy Jenkins, was an austere political biography of an important British Prime Minister; and John Lennon - The Life by Philip Norman, about which Bhante commented that on the whole Lennon seemed not a very attractive character, and that Yoko comes out rather better. I have continued reading to Bhante from the Gandavyuha Sutra, as well as, for the second time, Subhuti's new paper 'Re-imagining the Buddha'. He has also enjoyed listening to 'The Genius of Mozart', a celebration of Mozart's music on Radio 3.

"Bhante has been to the hospital for an eye test, and is now not due to go again until March - a longer interval than previously, which one hopes is a good sign.