The Fruits of Commitment
If somebody asked you to put aside an evening every week for the next five years, what would your response be? Would you consider turning up each week for a study group requiring you to read and reflect beforehand, being prepared to share yourself wholeheartedly with others? Would you also be willing to examine your ongoing experience and the conditions that gave rise to it?
At West London Buddhist Centre we have people doing precisely that, joining study groups and in the process making significant friends and companions on the spiritual path. When I joined one in 2010, I did not realise the threads that will be weaved into my life ten years later. One friend volunteers at the Buddhist centre in the library, I would be in an Order Chapter after Ordination with another, and I have been meeting weekly with another for the last three years – almost! We meet to examine our ethical behaviour with a fine toothed comb, as part of a confession practice.
The beauty of this is not just the depth of those friendships but also being witnessed in the process of transformation from year to year. In groups and in the context of friendship we learn to communicate in a such a way that chimes with our deepest values and aspirations.
‘Thus have I heard’… this photo was taken on Monday19 October as part of the concluding evening of Mitra Study for four women, who saw through that commitment – turning up wholeheartedly, every week for the last five years. The room was filled with gratitude to the women who made it possible over that period of time, the group members, and particularly Lilamani (their former study leader who left WLBC last year). There was also the inevitable sadness of the study group coming to an end, and entering the bardo (time in between) before something new will emerge.
It was a joy to see fruits of commitment ripening, the satisfaction, the deepening of friendships that comes when we see through a pledge we have made.….
SADHU (congratulations) to Ana, Iwona, Jo and Rachel
If you would like to take your Buddhist practice further, or even ask us what that means (!), there are a number of ways we can support you to do that.
Please contact Bodhilila, Prajnanita or Ratnadeva who would be delighted to hear from you for a general chat: info [at] westlondonbuddhistcentre [dot] com
If you’re interested in Dharma study, we have a Foundation Study Course starting later this Autumn. Please contact ratnadeva [at] westlondonbuddhistcentre [dot] com.
If you are already feeling committed and would like to express this inner commitment to the community and become a ‘mitra’ or friend to the Sangha, again, let any one of us know. This can be a meaningful and significant step in your life and we are here to help you with that decision.