Dhamma on a Journey to the South
Pimmy Takdhada (Exec member and webmaster) and Robert Hunt (Chair) visited NZBC members in the South by travelling to Dunedin and then Invercargill.
In Dunedin we visited Dhargyey Buddhist Centre and Wat Phra Dhammakaya, then travelled on to visit Wat Buddha Samakhee Invercargill. The further south we went, the colder the weather, but we received warm welcomes wherever we went. We appreciated many conversations about areas of common interest and about the welfare of the Buddhist communities.
Travelling inland from Invercargill allowed us an enjoyable and hospitable meeting with practitioners from Queenstown Dharma Centre. From there, the time of Saga Dawa Duchen (Tibetan tradition equivalent of Vesak) coincided with our journey along the route by Lake Tekapo, and mostly clear skies affording some fantastic views of the full moon.
What did we learn from this trip? Centres were quite innovative in facing these pandemic circumstances. Buddhist training prepared people well for coping with the restrictions, and lay supporters have been doing their best to sustain the financial viability of their centres despite the hardships many of them have been facing.
The journey brought us into contact with a range of authentic means of practice, allowed heart to heart discussions, and revealed opportunities for communities to learn more about each other’s cultures, needs and aspirations.