the buddhist centre:

the three jewels in the world

Jul 22
And finally for now, the wonderful Dhanakosa Retreat Centre near Balquhidder from where Suriyavamsa’s walk recommenced… www.thebuddhistcentre.com/features

And finally for now, the wonderful Dhanakosa Retreat Centre near Balquhidder from where Suriyavamsa’s walk recommenced… www.thebuddhistcentre.com/features


Jinavamsa, temporary pilgrim and companion for a day on Suriyavamsa’s walk - with St. Fillan’s wolf! (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fillan) www.thebuddhistcentre.com/features

Jinavamsa, temporary pilgrim and companion for a day on Suriyavamsa’s walk - with St. Fillan’s wolf! (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fillan) www.thebuddhistcentre.com/features


Suriyavamsa is back on his solo Dharma walk through the Scottish Highlands - a pilgrimage of sorts! We’ll be remixing some of his pics along the way… https://thebuddhistcentre.com/features/suriyavamsas-dharma-walk-days-eleven-and-twelve-back-road

Suriyavamsa is back on his solo Dharma walk through the Scottish Highlands - a pilgrimage of sorts! We’ll be remixing some of his pics along the way… https://thebuddhistcentre.com/features/suriyavamsas-dharma-walk-days-eleven-and-twelve-back-road


Suriyavamsa’s Dharma Walk: Days Eleven and Twelve - Back On the Road

Suriyavamsa - newly installed President of Triratna Highlands in Scotland - is marking the start of his time in that position by making a Dharma Walk from Inverness to Glasgow (that’s 165 miles or so!). And he’s blogging it for us from his trusty Blackberry… + follow here for more pictures and to get updates from the road!

Back On The Road

This morning Danabhadri gave Jinavamsa and I a lift to Killin. After paying St. Fillin and his wolf our respects we set off through easy forest track and old railway lines down Glen Ogle and on to Kingshouse, where we are currently munching on chips.

We have four more milestones to Dhanakosa. My leg is playing up a little, but plenty of rests and spells doing my twirly exercise keeps it going. Its pleasant walking with Jinavamsa, strolling along and talking about most things under the sun, but he’ll be heading back to Glasgow tomorrow.

While resting this afternoon we encountered ‘Bike for Peace’, three burly middle aged Norwegians on a bicycle and a tandem, who loved that we were Buddhists and that I was a member of Scottish CND. The more talkative one knew Aung San Suu Kyi personally. Another had a cycling top with ‘Mayors for Peace’ emblazoned proudly and indeed was the mayor of a ‘pleasant Norwegian town’. Surprises never cease.

On soon to Dhanakosa retreat centre for the night, via Rob Roy’s grave. Tomorrow, Callander and more surprises.

***

Just reached Callander, where I am sitting in the Riverside Inn bending time and space. Outside is the road I’ve travelled dozens of times to Dhanakosa Retreat Centre. From here it is half an hour’s drive, yet today it took me six hours to walk from there, taking in the landscape so much more. Dhanakosa and Callander sit apart on different scales which we set by our experience of the journey.

This was the genesis of this walk - looking out of the car window on those journeys wondering where these paths I could see on the other side of the field went, what it would be like to walk on them.

This morning Jinavamsa and I sat with the retreat centre’s support community, joining in with the Tiratanavandana in one of the best shrine rooms in the Triratna community - a wooden one-roomed building made by Douglas Hastings from a tree that fell just yards from where the shrine room now stands. (See photo.) I had placed the vajra I’m carrying from Inverness to Glasgow on the shrine to link this place in with the rest of the walk. If the walk itself is a vajra Dhanakosa community shrine room is the bulbous part at the centre - the bija, ‘seed’. Many thanks to the Dhanakosans for welcoming us and feeding us so well.

Jinavamsa left me at Strathyre to get back to Glasgow and I strolled on down Loch Lubnaig and along a winding path through the beauty of an oak and moss forest by the Falls of Leny’s deep dark swirling waters.

Off soon to find the campsite at the other end of Callander, but not until I’ve sampled the baked macaroni cheese of this inn I’m currently ensconced in.

Days 1 & 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Days 5 & 6 | Days 7 & 8 | Day 9 | Day 10


Jul 13

A blurry Sadhu to Lona, our newest Triratna Mitra (for a few hours at least!)…! #DharmaDay #Buddhism #Triratna (at Portsmouth Buddhist Center)


Lona offers incense, symbolizing the fragrance of the spiritual life… #DharmaDay #Buddhism #triratna (at Portsmouth Buddhist Center)


Dharmacharini Viriyagita leading the Mitra Ceremony… #DharmaDay  (at Portsmouth Buddhist Center)

Dharmacharini Viriyagita leading the Mitra Ceremony… #DharmaDay (at Portsmouth Buddhist Center)


Lona brought a posse of her friends! #DharmaDay  (at Portsmouth Buddhist Center)

Lona brought a posse of her friends! #DharmaDay (at Portsmouth Buddhist Center)


Lona getting ready for her Mitra Ceremony! #dharmaday  (at Portsmouth Buddhist Center)

Lona getting ready for her Mitra Ceremony! #dharmaday (at Portsmouth Buddhist Center)


Dharmachari Suddhayu on Dharma Day talking about the Buddha’s decision to teach (and his reputed super normal powers!)… #dharmaday #triratna #superhero (at Portsmouth Buddhist Center)

Dharmachari Suddhayu on Dharma Day talking about the Buddha’s decision to teach (and his reputed super normal powers!)… #dharmaday #triratna #superhero (at Portsmouth Buddhist Center)


Small shrine richness… (at Portsmouth Buddhist Center)

Small shrine richness… (at Portsmouth Buddhist Center)


The Dharma Day Mitra ceremony shrine awaits…  (at Portsmouth Buddhist Center)

The Dharma Day Mitra ceremony shrine awaits… (at Portsmouth Buddhist Center)


Jul 9

Suriyavamsa’s Dharma Walk: Day Ten

Suriyavamsa - newly installed President of Triratna Highlands in Scotland - is marking the start of his time in that position by making a Dharma Walk from Inverness to Glasgow (that’s 165 miles or so!). And he’s blogging it for us from his trusty Blackberry… + follow to get updates from the road!

Interlude in Killin
This morning I packed, took the vajra off the top of my rucksack and limped around Killin until the bus came. I found the healing stones of Saint Fillan (the local holyman of the 8th Century). These are located upstairs in the old mill and are the highlight of this village. They can still be used on request. I just held my hand over the protective perspex. They lie on a bed of rushes and bracken that are still changed every Christmas eve.

There is a great story of a huge wolf killing and eating St. Fillan’s ox, the one he was carting stones with to build a church. So the saint reprimanded the wolf, told it the errors of its ways and hitched it to his cart to continue the work.

I’m back in Glasgow now, after travelling the chain of buses and a train. Once I’ve had a witch-doctor look at my leg and let my blisters heal I’ll be back to Killin to pick up where I left off, tie the vajra back on and finish the last 5-6 days of walking.

Photos: The healing stones of Saint Fillan, My tourist photo of the falls, The Falls of Dochart Hotel, with tourists on the bridge taking photos of the actual falls.

Days 1 & 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Days 5 & 6 | Days 7 & 8 | Day 9


Jul 8

Suriyavamsa’s Dharma Walk: Day Nine

Down and out in Killin

Sunday was an easy day in Aberfeldy with a Sutra of Golden Light Puja at the end of the day, hunched in my little tent, as a way of catching up with all my lonesome recollections and confessions.

On my way through town on Monday morning I met the ex-Uttara in Aberfeldy’s Co-op supermarket where he now works and we talked of the people we know. He was one of my first Buddhist teachers and I am grateful to him and others who were there with a Buddhist practice and a Buddhist Centre in Sauchiehall Street when I turned up 31 years ago.

The walk took me up and along the side of the glen, through woods and over sheep pasture, with great views of castles, villages and eventually the great shimmering Loch Tay (the sun was shining) and Ben Lawers and neighbouring mountains rising in the north. This is the kind of country - summer sun on hill farms with flowery meadows, ash, beech, hazel and birch and here and there the sacred rowan. And sheep of course. And no new prefab sheds or malls to be seen. Like where I grew up, really.

Then it was a long walk along a B-road as I realised it would be just possible to walk all the way. But the pains in my thigh came on stronger and stronger and I only managed to reach Killin with the help of neurofen, paracetamol and intense entreaties to mother Tara.

At Killin I booked into the first hotel I came to - the Falls of Dochart. Oh, the bliss of civilised conveniences - someone bringing you food and drink - tea and biscuits and mineral water from the mini bar in your room with a little kettle boiling away at the flick of a switch - and a sweet, hot bath. My legs still sing gratefully to me.

I can’t walk on painkillers, I decided that I must return to Glasgow for rest and repair and start from Killin again later for the last 5-6 days of walking.

Photos: Near to parardise, German cyclists racing ahead of me on the road to Killin, Looking up Loch Tay - Queen’s View (Victoria, of course) over Loch Tay.

Days 1 & 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Days 5 & 6 | Days 7 & 8


Jul 7

Suriyavamsa’s Dharma Walk: Days 7 & 8

Suriyavamsa - newly installed President of Triratna Highlands in Scotland - is marking the start of his time in that position by making a Dharma Walk from Inverness to Glasgow (that’s 165 miles or so!). And he’s blogging it for us from his trusty Blackberry… + follow to get updates from the road!

Days 7 & 8: I’ve reached Aberfeldy, booked into the campsite and found a place to serve me what I’ve been dreaming of as I walked on, macaroni cheese and chips - the Fountain, where I’m charging my phone and the Wimbledon men’s finals are on in the background.

I’m having one of my lazy days, just four or five miles from the Canoe Club’s campsite at Grandtully. Its right by some top rapids on the powerful Tay river, a paradise for canoeists.

Yesterday I walked through the Killiekrankie pass walking by the Barry and the Tummel (I’m getting to know some important rivers, I’ve been walking by the Tay today!) On the way I stepped round the grave of the commander of King William’s Dutch regiment, the remains of a rare Jacobite victory. Wandering about in this landscape has made me more sympathetic to the Jacobite cause and its relation to current politics.

After stocking up on blister plasters and socks in Pitlochry, I headed over the hill to Grandtully but got lost for two hours in the forest and turned up late at my campsite.

I made a detour today to visit St. Mary’s Grandtully, an old church that looks like a byre on the outside, and inside too but for exquisite paintings on the ceiling - 16th C. folk Baroque with everything from angels to turkeys to moral instruction and aristocratic crests.

I’ve been doing rough sums as I sit here - 113 miles so far, 96 to go. The blisters are holding up but the stabbing sciatic pains in my right thigh are getting stronger and I’m getting more and more exhausted, apart from that I’m fine, if still all emotional. If I can make it to St. Fillan’s healing stones in Killin (27 miles further), I’m in with a chance! Watch this space…


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