Padmaloka has been a part of village life in Surligham for over forty years now and during this time it has undergone many changes. Of these changes one of the most notable is the resident community. Padmaloka is above all a centre of training, a Buddhist seminary, this applies not just to those who come here to deepen their practice of Buddhism, but also to the residential community, who are encouraged not to settle down but take what they have learnt here to wherever it can benefit others. As a result rarely a year goes by where we are not saying goodbye to a community member and welcoming another. Recently there have been quite a few changes.
Firstly we have said goodbye to our Chairman Aryapala (who many of you will have known as Mark). Originally from Australia, Aryapala has been with us for many years and has always tried to involve himself with village life. This has included time as a school governor, as well as being on the village festival committee amongst other things. Aryapala is currently on pilgrimage in Japan before a visit to Australia.
We have also said good bye to Aryabandhu, who has been with us for eight years. Aryabandhu originally came here from Cologne in Germany and is leaving us to become the Chairman of the Berlin Buddhist Centre.
With Aryapala leaving us we now have a new Chairman. Sanghanistha has been with us since 2008, he is keen to continue Aryapala’s work of ensuring good links between Padmaloka and the rest of village.
Another new member of the community is Manjusiha who joins us from the London Buddhist Centre. Although born in London, Manjusiha grew up in Norfolk. Manjusiha has joined the Ordination team here, who amongst other things lead most of our retreats and help oversee those training to join the Triratna Buddhist Order.
Joining us for six months from the Paris Buddhist Centre we have Frederic. Frederic is going to be helping us with the maintenance here over the coming months as a guest of the community. After this he plans to return to his native France and resume his role at the Paris Buddhist Centre.