Amaragita has been involved with the Buddhafield Base project since the beginning. She holds the lead link position which means that she is one of the people responsible for steering the direction of the project and ensuring that it stays on track.
How did you get involved with Buddhafield?
I went to a couple of Buddhafield Festivals over 20 years ago. However, the real magic for me started at the family-friendly retreat which is now known as the Village retreat.
I came with my partner and my daughter who was 3 at the time. I had experienced a lot of division within myself between motherhood a spiritual path. So, when I experienced being able to be a parent with my child and experience no division – indeed a mutual augmentation, I was jubilant! I then went every year for 17 years and gradually got more involved with organising and leading it.
What’s your role now?
I am the Chair of Buddhafield. As a registered charity, Buddhafield has a board of trustees that is responsible for the direction of the charity and meeting our legal obligations. I am also the lead link for Buddhafield Base and a founding member of the community benefit society that we have set up for the project.
Outside of Buddhafield, I am a trainer and facilitator teaching coaching and communication skills.
What is the most important thing that Buddhafield Base is offering the world now?
It will be a constructive place for people to put their energies and resources. I hear young people, my children and their friends saying that they really feel unsure about what the future holds for them. It can be difficult to know what to do if you feel uncertain about this. Buddhafield Base will offer a place to gain resources and contribute to solutions to the challenges the world faces today. At Base, there will be ways to work and learn practical skills, to develop an emotional connection with a sense of place, and to cultivate meaningful friendships. Friendships that align with and support people’s values.
Which of the four values of Buddhafield Base (authentic community, meaningful work, care for land, celebration imagination creativity) is most important to you and why?
My background is in community development and conflict resolution. I am happiest when discovering the ways of communicating with people that open up possibilities. The combination of living, working and meditating together is deeply fulfilling for me. I feel very grateful to have a context where the liberating teachings of the Buddha are supported and passed on.
Tell us about one of your Buddhafield high points.
When my daughter was 17- after 14 years of coming to the Village retreat- she came and found me at the evening ritual in a spot on the land at Frog Mill that we call Ancestor’s Hill. We shared a blanket and enjoyed the fire and mantra ritual. Then she asked if we could go and make an offering together. This felt like a sense of completion and confirmation. I had given her the opportunity to be in this community and I felt her appreciation and valuing of it.
I know she will not come back as often now as more exciting things draw her into her own world. But she knows it is there for her should she ever want it.
Another highlight was the Women’s Yatra – a walking retreat that we held in 2021. The conditions were less than ideal weather wise and it was logistically and practically hard work. It taught me that everything is possible when you have the right people around you.
How about a low point?
Conflict is inevitable within community – we are all human after all. We have lots of systems and support in place to help people with conflicts when they arise. However, it’s not always as simple as that and there was one conflict in particular that was unresolvable at the time. That’s a painful experience even with the hope that one day things will become easier.
Do you have any Buddhafield jokes?
No – I can never remember jokes. However, we have an all-ages cabaret at the end of the Village retreat where plenty of Buddhist jokes get an airing!
Can you share something unexpected about yourself or your life?
I once met Mick Jagger… and I can never quite work out if I am an introvert or an extrovert.