A beautiful day at Buddhafield Base in the City – Bristol

In the early morning of the day of Buddhafield Base in the City, my son woke me up and said, ‘Mum, there’s snow!’. I mumbled something along the lines so of ‘No, there isn’t- five more minutes… etc.’. But something struck me about the yellowness of the light, so I got up to look. Surreal as it was, there was at least an inch of snow covering the park and roads of Easton. The energy of the day started there for me – panic would have been the easy way out. Instead, there was a sort of gentle turning towards and knowledge that we’d still make it happen and that everything would be alright.

Fast-forward 16 hours to midnight, and we were clearing the final bits from the yard at the Pickle Factory in Easton in the dark. Someone was doling out huge organic cauliflowers to the team that were given to us by a local food growers co-op. People were smiling and happy. It was alright – more than alright – it was a beautiful day.

We hosted 250 attendees ranging from babes in arms to people who have a long history with Buddhafield. The Pickle Factory is an up-and-coming, quintessential Bristol venue with street art lining the walls of the yard, a fire pit and posters advertising wholesome events and courses inside.

We spent the day and morning before the event setting up and sweeping snow off the roof of the shrine tent in the garden. The doors opened at 2pm People ate good vegan food from the Buddhafield Café and drank chai. There was yoga, beatboxing, singing, yoga, and much more. You can still see our list of contributors here. Our mystery guests, Pete the Temp and the Vibe Mechanics took us into the evening, and we finished with an ecstatic dance set from Sophie Bolton.

Amaragita and Satyadaya hosted sessions in the shrine tent, and this culminated in an evening puja where we chanted the word of the Earth Puja by Maitridevi:

As the Spring after Snow,

As the sun after cloud

As dawn after night

As rainbow after rain…

So, may the Dharma

always shine anew

In this fleeting world

Never leaving us in darkness.

(You can see the full text of the puja here. Adapted by Maitridevi from the Green Puja in Puja: The Triratna Book of Buddhist Devotional Texts) 

It felt fitting, after the snow and on the cusp of early spring, to be right in the middle of Bristol, lighting candles and working on our experience of the relationship between our modern world and the earth in this way.

There was so much about the day, which was moving and successful. We raised just under £3,500 for the Base project and connected with a lot of people around the values. You could buy Buddhist Art via our new online shop and become a shareholder in Branch 2 of our share offer as well as sing along to the Base song and talk about becoming a Base Ambassador.

If you weren’t there, or even if you were, these are the two things I’d recommend to get a flavour of the day. You can check out this awesome short video made for us by Hartley Woolf. Or you can listen to this song – Together by Alexia Chellun – which was the last track of the night that led to people holding hands, circling and spiralling on the dance floor.

We hope to hold Buddhafield in the City again in the near future. Keep in touch with us via our newsletter and social media channels to be kept in the loop. Links for these are above.

Much love and gratitude to all who attended and contributed to Buddhafield Base in the City, Bristol, March 2024. Thank you.

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