West London Buddhist Centre

Into the heart of life

Published on Mar 27th 2024, in Blog

Andy Psyllides head shotAndy, our Centre Coordinator, reflects on his first 6 months at the WLBC…..

An overdue but very warm newsletter hello to the members of the West London Sangha – those that I know, and in particular those that I don’t.

It’s coming up to six months since I fully and formally took on the role of Centre Coordinator (among other things looking to build up room hire, liaising with our many wonderful volunteers, occasionally dealing with enquiries from Celebrity Big Brother… ), and it really has been a privilege to support the small but heroically committed team that makes this centre tick. They know who they are, and it bears repeating just how inspiring it is to see how much they hold, and how much they give, so that others can contact the truth and beauty of the Dharma.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed what is my first experience of working in right livelihood. It’s allowed me to bring my practice more squarely into the heart of my life – to spend a sizeable chunk of my working week in a space that helps people to move away from the surface, doing-driven stuff of everyday, and towards the depths.

Granted I’m not always in the most direct, immediate contact with that – you’ll very often find me in the back office firing off emails and (horror of horrors) filling out spreadsheets, but somehow that doesn’t matter. The result of sending emails, filling out spreadsheets and dealing with the administrative headaches of a last-minute train strike, is that a sangha – our WLBC sangha – can get away on retreat.

That really is a wonderful thing, and as painfully earnest as all this might be getting, I’m not sure I’ll ever forget my first experience of waving off an Othona-bound minibus – the Amitabha mantra ringing out in my mind, the gates of my heart flung wide with joy. That definitely stands out as a highlight, but it doesn’t stand alone.

There’s also been the friendliness and warm, full-hearted welcome of sangha members old and new, Dharma Day 2023 (my first WLBC festival day with a full house in the shrine room and five people becoming mitras), the chance to flex my teaching muscles by leading lunchtime drop-ins, this year’s Padmasambhava Day (a shared and deeply soulful encounter with love and loss). Here’s to many more…


from the WLBC Newsletter, 27 March 2024
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