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Remembering Urgyen Sangharakshita

Yesterday was the first anniversary of the death of Bhante Urgyen Sangharakshita.

Along with many others across the Triratna Buddhist Community, we used this day to remember our teacher; who he was and all that he has given us. It was also a time to reflect upon our experiences of Bhante's death from last year, a strange and magical time in which we felt loss but at the same time having a vivid sense of Bhante's presence.

In the Support Team morning meeting, Sanghanistha read out Bhante's poem 'Padmaloka' which he wrote when living here in the 1970s. You can find the poem at the bottom of this post.

In the evening the community gathered together to watch a live talk given at Adhisthana by Jnanavaca entitled ‘Seeing Bhante - A Personal Perspective’. You can watch the talk here: http://bit.ly/JnanavacaOnBhante.

We then gathered together in the second shrine room to perform a puja to Bhante written by Maitreyabandhu. This photo is of our shrine from the evening, showing the Buddha, Padmasambhava and Bhante.

PADMALOKA

Three Summers and three Autumns have I seen,

And two white Winters, in this quiet spot,

And now the gold shines out among the green,

And reddest roses are remembered not.

For the third time are Winter’s icy fingers

Stretched out – and yet the latest sunflower lingers.

Three Summers and three Autumns! In that time

I have made friends with walnut and with oak,

Have clasped the trunks of holly and of lime,

And cómmuned with them, though no words we spoke.

Watching black ants among the roots of grasses

I heard the wind sigh how our pleasure passes.

Russet and gold, the drifts of leaves are deep,

And the third Winter deep will be the snow;

But the trees mourn not, though no sap may leap,

For deeper still the gnarled roots thrust below.

In this quiet spot, girt by the reeds and rushes,

The soul roots deeper, and the spirit hushes.

Summer and Autumn, on the margined pond,

The waterlily’s leaves are broad and green,

Soon to be yellowed, with the shrubs beyond,

And underneath a film of ice be seen.

But come first Spring, among her budding daughters

Red blooms the lily on the sunlit waters.

Dreaming and thinking as the Autumn ends,

I like the swallow must prepare for flight,

Must leave deep-rooted here my ancient friends

And go where night is day, and day is night.

Brief though my stay, I shall be thinking ever

Of this quiet spot, beside the sluggish river.

Thinking and dreaming, in this quiet spot,

Summer and Winter, I shall end my days,

Till like the rose I am remembered not,

And life has vanished with the sunset-rays.

Then, among silver lakes and golden mountains,

The new-born lotus smiles beside the crystal fountains.