Sunday, March 29, 2015

FEATURE 129 ~ Windhorse Closing Ritual ~ What we have Dedicated

An adaption I made of Triratna's Dedication Ceremony to mark the end of Windhorse's Closing Ritual.

What we have dedicated

We have dedicated Windhorse to the Three Jewels:
To the Buddha, the ideal of Enlightenment to which we aspire;
To the Dharma, the Path of the Teaching which we follow;
To the Sangha, the spiritual fellowship with one another which we enjoy.
Here was no idle word spoken;
Here no unquiet thought disturbed our minds.

To the observance of the Five Precepts, we dedicated Windhorse;
To the practice of meditation, we dedicated Windhorse;
To the development of wisdom,we dedicated Windhorse
To the attainment of Enlightenment,we dedicated Windhorse
Though in the world outside there was strife,here there was peace;
Though in the world outside there was hate, here there was love;
Though in the world outside there was grief, here there was joy.

Not by the chanting of the sacred Scriptures,
Not by the sprinkling of holy water,
But by our own efforts towards Enlightenment
did we dedicate our work at Windhorse.

Around this Mandala, this sacred spot,
the lotus petals of purity opened
Around this Mandala, this sacred spot,
the vajra-wall of determination extended
Around this Mandala, this sacred spot,
the flames that transmute Samsara in to Nirvana arose.

Here we walked, Here we sat,
Here we talked, here we were silent
Here it was that we practised,

Whatever the future may hold
May our mind become Buddha,
May our thought become Dharma,
May our communication with one another be Sangha.
For the happiness of all beings,
For the benefit of all beings,
With body, speech, and mind,
do we dedicate our future paths

Group photo after the ritual

FEATURE 128 ~ Windhorse Closing Ritual ~ Verses to the Earth

Some verses I wrote to mark the middle point in Windhorse's Closing Ritual

Verses to the Earth

We who have worked here for many years,
have seen men and women come,
and men and women go.

The earth alone will remember us,
The dreams that were realised,
the dreams that were broken
The tales and myths of our collective endeavour here.

We ask the earth to remember our aspirations and experience
The history of what has taken place here,
may it be recollected and upheld
the countless faces, past and present who made their work right livelihood,

all those who worshipped the Buddha,  
all those who practiced the Dharma,
all those who created a Sangha here.

To this
May the earth bear witness
May the earth bear witness
May the earth bear witness

Saturday, March 28, 2015

FEATURE 127 ~Windhorse Closing Ritual ~ Stupa Visualisation & Recollection

Here are the words to a visualisation & recollection that I wrote for the opening part of Windhorse's Closing Ritual on 26th March 2015.

Photo by Shakyakumara

The Windhorse Stupa ~ Visualisation & Recollection

Consciousness ~ Blue Sky into this appears

Imagine the Windhorse stupa floating in the middle of a vast cobalt blue sky,

Earth  ~ Into this we put
The dust everywhere in the warehouse and in computer keyboards, the mouse droppings, the feeling of concrete beneath the feet, the weight of inner and outer box sizes, of palettes of lever arche files, the dense texture of wood and metal of desks, the pulling and pushing of a palette truck, trolley or fork lift, the touch of plastic computer screens & keyboards, the sensation of being down the end of a forty foot container, of driving a van on a motorway on an open country road, of eating cake, the sense of our body mass as it works, stands, sits, walks or takes a nap, the earth is where our ideas, thoughts, plans, organising, dreams, aspirations grew from, our care for each other, the amount of work we have to do, the responsibilities we hold, all of these place a weight upon our shoulders. All these things ground us in the world of gravity, in the everyday here and now.

Water ~ Into this we put
The pounding of our blood when we worked hard, the moistness of cups of tea and coffee in our throat, the rumble of heavy rain on the metal warehouse roof, the rolling boil and steam of cooking food, water condensing and forming rivulets on windows, the soapy wipes as the windows were cleaned, the moistening of stamps, sweating in the warehouse in the height of summer, washing down the outside of cars and vans,the flow of newly arrived boxes from a container, the flow of work from an effective team in tune with each other, going with the flow of calls one after the other, filling oneself up with inspiration, being a glass more than half full, observing the eddies,flows and drift of your emotions and responses, the flow of arisings and ceasings year on year, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second. Little births and little deaths.

Fire - Into this we put
The heat from tea urns, the warmth from radiators, the hum of the warehouse heating system, sunbathing on the grass in lunchtime, yoga and tai chi outside in the summer,
in the heat of the moment, the anger and passion behind our disagreements, the fire of our animosities, the warmth of friendships, the energy we have applied in pursuit of the good, the fire of wisdom, ethics and meditations, the fire of self-belief and confidence, the fire of work as spiritual practice to burn up our unskilfullness, our confessions, the incense and candles we’ve lit as offerings, the tantric periods, the personal cremation grounds, giving more of ourselves, trying to transform not just ourselves but also the world, these have been the flames transmuting samsara into nirvana.

Air - Into this we put
All the hot air warming the building, the warm air rising in the stairwell in summer, the breezes blowing through opened delivery doors, the perfumed smell of incense wafting and permeating the atmosphere, the smell of dinner as you approach the canteen, the smells of coffee, tea, motor oil, paint, wood, earth, sweat, plastic, cloth, nag champa, marker pens,dust, anti freeze,fresh cut vegetables and herbs, newly mown grass, the flavours of cooking, the sound of music, of sawing and hammering, into the air went our grosser motivations like the sound of our voices they disappeared into the air, the air absorbs everything but holds nothing, into the air went our spiritual delusions and our spiritual aspirations,into the air will go all the energy, ingenuity and effort we all put into this business. we cannot see it, we cannot hold onto it,  but still we know it is there.

Space - Into this we put

The echoes of working and talking ricocheting around the chamber of the warehouse, the sense of the vastness of its cavernous space, space is multi-faceted, able to encompass boxes of stock, people, machines,racking, lighting, boilers,heaters, desks, chairs, filing cabinets, paperwork, ,musical instruments, a gym, a stupa, a shrine room, a kitchen, a workshop, a tea counter, a photocopier, plants, the sense of our bodies moving through this space watching, taking all this in, for 13 years we have been occupying,filling up and using this space, the space to raise money to support Buddhist practice both here and around the world, to support the lives of others and help alleviate their suffering. here we have been making space for the Dharma to be ever more fully present.