Our Connection to Land
For us, touching the earth as the Buddha did is the most profound gesture. More than ever, we need to connect with the elements and be in the natural world.Muditajina
Buddhafield events have always been held outdoors and under canvas. There is something about simplifying life to this level that enhances people’s experience of a retreat or other event. In natural settings, we have a greater connection to the rhythms of life as well as to the resources that sustain us. When we have to fetch water, chop wood and immerse ourselves in the consequences of the weather. This type of living wakes something up in the body and mind. We gain a renewed sense of connection with and respect for the world around us.
When we hold events, we take care not to damage or significantly impact the land we use. Once our temporary community disbands, we leave the land to continue flourishing and benefiting from our presence and care.
How will this change at Base?
For Buddhafield Base, we are looking for 60-80 acres of land on which we can create a more permanent home for Buddhfield. We will still be holding our temporary events on our land at Frogmill and Bowerwood. We hope that greater access to resources will support these beautiful spaces more fully.
Some of our events will move to Buddhafield Base and we will therefore be able to hold them in a more sustainable way. Not only will we create infrastructure that is truly responsive and sympathetic to its surroundings, but we’ll also be creating greater links between our visitors and community, and the land. Imagine how people will feel if they are able to return to the spaces and living structures year after year, bringing new generations and creating a sense of home away from home.
Ecology and land sensitivity will be a big part of our sitewide management plan. We intend to have a collaborative relationship with the land and the beings that live there. This may include the use of permaculture principles, sustainable power and water use, woodland management and biodynamic food production. Much depends on the site we eventually move to but every step will be guided by care for land and ecology.
We use the word ‘care’ to signify when something is important and to signify that we feel compassion or love. It signifies that we are tending to the needs and concerns of an individual, particularly an individual in a difficult situation. All of these aspects pertain directly to the relationship between Buddhafield and land.
In Sanskrit, karuna is usually translated as ‘compassion’. Karuna involves active sympathy and a willingness to bear the pain of others. It is one of the two qualities that the Buddha taught as necessary to achieve enlightenment. The other is prajna, usually translated as something like “wisdom” or “discernment”.
The practice of Buddhism involves a cycle of karuna and prajna, with each giving rise to the other, in an endless,upward spiral. Practically speaking, this practice involves acting to alleviate suffering wherever we find it – karuna impels us to act and prajna allows us to know how to act.
There is a lot of suffering in the world. Today especially, we see that the land and ecology itself is suffering. Thus our Buddhist practice compels us to act to alleviate that suffering. We act because we care and, in so doing, perhaps we move towards enlightenment and becoming an Eco-Sattva. We feel strongly that land is in need of care right now and through Buddhafield Base we seek to act as a caregiver.
In the context of the world’s issues, it is common to feel like there’s nothing we can do. Ultimately, we need more examples of inspiring ways to live, grow and gain benefits from a simpler life living in harmony and relationship with land. This is one way in which Buddhafield Base can be a great resource in the world.