We have certainly been blessed with lovely weather for the festival this year !
Day 0 ( Friday ) was Registration.
Days 1,2 and 3 were teachings.
Days 4 and 5 are retreat, where we have 5 sessions a day to medidate on the teachings.
Our teachers and meditation leaders are really wonderful and inspired.
When you add in 2 to 4 miles walking per day and 3 tasty vegetarian meals, you can see how it the whole event is healthy for body and mind.
Thursday we have a day off and then we return for the Empowerments (there will likely be 1000 more people as well !) .
The very last day of the Festival there is a play on The Life Of Buddha. I am lucky enough to be in the chorus and we practice every day. Our first walk through with the actors will be tomorrow ( Thursday) evening.
Everyone volunteers from some chore at the festival as well. The Canadians are on lunch dishwshing duty.. and a LOT of dishes there are.
Saturday, my friends and compatriots from Victoria arrive and Sunday morning we walk together to the Centre, taking in the sites – Laurel and Hardy, Hoad Hill, a cat in deep concentration, trees with a doorway, signs we don’t need yet ( or do we?), etc
Conishead Priory dates from the the 1100’s and is located on some 70 acres of wooded land. It includes significant beachfront and extensive gardens. You can read the early history by clicking on the first picture and then clicking on it again to get it full sized.
It is now owned by the New Kadampa Tradition – International Buddhist Union who are meticulously restoring the Priory. They have also built a beautiful Buddhist Temple on the grounds.
I am here for a 2 week Buddhist Festival which includes teachings, meditation and empowerment. It is truly a beautiful place for it and the teachings are inspiring me already. Here are some pictures of the priory. More on the temple and the festival doings in future posts.
Shaking off the jet lag on my first full day in England, I headed out at 11 am for exploration. After getting a map I headed to the path by the old canal down to the beach. I ate at the pub at canal’s end and then cross fields to the beach and down to the Conishead Priory – now the Manjushri Buddhist Centre. Today is registration day. More about the festival and pictures of the Priory in the next post. ( Click on any picture that you want to see in a larger format.)
I made it to Ulverston – just 24 hours door to door.
The train was easy, at least after I found which end of it was going to Ulverston rather than Glasgow. It’s about 2 hours and the last half hour is particularly picturesque – along the coast , sheep, cows, sand. Great town names like “Grange-on-Sand”. It was also an easy walk from the train station to the Bed & Breakfast. It wasn’t open yet so I wandered on down a few blocks toward the middle of town and found it was Market Day. A friendly local bought me a glass of tea and we sat outside in from the The Farmer and people watched. She told me that Thursday has always been Market Day.. the farmers used to bring their cattle in on that day to trade and so the wives would come in to shop and the pubs would have special hours – altogether making a day of it for the whole family.
I got into the B&B by 1 pm. I thought about going back out and exploring now that I could be unencumbered by luggage, but I only got as far as the thought and crashed for 3 or 4 hours. Took a walk in the early evening before having dinner back at Farmers.
Here are some highlights of Ulverston – first viewing – including pubs, streets, the Barrow Monument on Hoad Hill*, and our room at Sefton House – GOOD NIGHT !!
*Sir John Barrow was an explorer, math teacher and a great advocate of artic exploration. The Barrow Strait in the Canadian Arctic as well as Point Barrow and the city of Barrow in Alaska are named after him. Hoad Hill is easily seen from most of the town.