Thursday, 27 August 2009

The Datsan in St Petersburg

I have been twice now to the Datsan in North West St Petersburg. It is Tibetain in style and was build under the inspiration and vision of Buriyat Agvan Dorjiev, who was a Lama in the Gelug tradition, between 1903 and 1915 during the reine of Tsar Nicolas II.
If you would like to see 30 or so photos of the Datsan you can do so on Facebook searching for the account and then photos of 'Suvannavira'.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

First (few) words from St Petersburg

I have now been in Russia for 4 days, spending about on the first 24 hours wondering what on earth I was going to do here? It was then that I visited the Buddhist Datsan, built under the inspiration and vision of Agvan Dorjiev at the start of the 20th Century. Whilst I was sitting outside aborbing the atmosphere Vikotoria walked by ... We last met in Siberia in 2002 when she translated for me during my visit there. We met later and she found friends for me to stay with as of tonight. At the hostel I met Dima and he was the first that I taught -in broken Russian and frequent English- to meditate.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Letter from Finland

On 6th July I left Paris, France, and arrived a little after midnight in Cambridge, UK. There followed a three and a half week intensive period of work for Windhorse Trading which saw me driving visiting customers between Portsmouth, Penzance and Lemington Spa. On the afternoon of the 20th July I arrived in Birmingham for a rendez-vous with Bhante Urgyen Sangharakshita, the founder of the WBO/TBM. We had a lively, interesting and inspiring conversation about Russia and Russian culture and its relation to Buddhism. On Saturday 1st August I arrived at Wymondham College to attend first Mixed, and then at Padmaloka, Men's European Conventions of the Western Buddhist Order. Finally, a little after midnight last night, I caught the overnight bus from Cambridge to Gatwick to catch the early morning flight to Helsinki where I am staying for the weekend thanks to the generous hospitality of Nagashila and the Mylly community. On Monday I will take the boat and meet Vaddhaka and others in Tallinn, Estonia, and Tuesday the bus to St Petersburgh, and will let the adventure begin ...