A regular group of Rigpa meditators meet in the shrine room for various events, courses and practice. John’s wife had just returned from an eighteen month retreat in Dzochen Beara in the west of Ireland and both she and John were shortly to go to France to commence a three year retreat along with around 150 others. The Bonnyrigg centre would continue to be run by other group members. Sogyal Rinpoche kept in touch with his worldwide supporters through a variety of means including streaming video links over good internet connections.
The problem of keeping in touch is a common concern, both for many Buddhists scattered over the UK (and the globe) and for organizations such as the NBO whose major function is to act as a networking hub. Clearly, physical meetings are highly desirable, however, physical distance and the time and expense involved in travel can prove an almost insurmountable problem. Buddhist organisers tend to be time and money poor. The ‘middle way’ suggests that we do what we can; encouraging and supporting physical meetings, but also helping and communicating with those who cannot afford to travel.
Although John and the Rigpa followers related amicably with other local Buddhist groups, the Rigpa policy was to avoid ‘politics’ and much interaction with other initiatives and focus on Rigpa activities and practice.
As we were sitting in John’s well tended garden, nibbling on nuts, cheese and biscuits, three ducks landed in his small pond. John observed that they were good news and bad. They were pleasant to have around and fertilised his pond, but also ate the plant life and left copious deposits in the vicinity.
As I left I wondered whether there was a useful lesson to be learnt from the ducks.
Rigpa Edinburgh information can be found at: http://www.rigpa.org.uk/index.php?pid=53