Buddhafield: Buddhism, Meditation and Community

Buddhafield Festival 2017 | Wednesday 12 — Sunday 16 July | Booking now! | Volunteer!

Next Buddhafield Event

The Buddhafield Kit Retreat

We are holding a week of work at Frog Mill, our land located within the beautiful Dartmoor National Park, running from the 31st March until the 7th April.

In the Udana the Buddha tells Dhaniya “It rains right through the thatch, it rains not through the open. So open up the thatch: thus it will not rain through.” If it is open the rain cannot come in. What does that mean? This may be the earliest example of a koan.

In the Udana Seminar (1975) Bhante Sangharakshita explains:
“The Buddha doesn't erect any defences. He's not trying to keep out what, in the long run, at least, can not be kept out. Of course you can keep out the rain - Dhaniya is quite correct in saying that his roof can keep out the rain - but that reflects a whole attitude on Dhaniya's part of keeping things out. You can keep out the rain, but you can't keep old-old age, disease and death. But it is as though because Dhaniya can keep out the rain, he tends to think he can keep everything out. So his sort of self-satisfaction in keeping out the rain with his nicely thatched roof just reflects his self-satisfaction in keeping everything out of his life, so he thinks, that could disturb it. But the Buddha says 'You can't do that'! You can't keep these other things out of your life, so it is best to be open. The Buddha didn't have a mental attitude of keeping things out.”

Such courageous acceptance lies at the heart of all existential liberation. This level of acceptance conflicts with our deeply ingrained habit of evasion – “it should be like this”. However what arises belongs and it it is our task to turn towards experience, never away from it. As rain breaks through an ill-thatched house, passion will break through an unreflecting mind. So what has this to do with the Buddhafield Kit Retreat!? I’m glad you asked…..

Our kit needs constant work so that the rain actually doesn't come in. But metaphorically speaking this kit is what enables many many people during the season to practice the Dharma and open their hearts to how things really are; to allow an awakening of the heart within a supportive community, a gift that can then be brought to our often troubled world.

Throughout the winter we have been working on our kit and now we are asking the broader community for help. We are holding a week of work at Frog Mill, our land located within the beautiful Dartmoor National Park, running from the 31st March until the 7th April. We invite you to come and give whatever of your time you can to working in community on the land, drinking tea round a fire, meditating and opening up the thatch. You can come for the whole week, or just a few days, or just make a day trip. All are welcome.

The plan for the week is to work on canvas, electrics, plumbing, vehicles and more. There are heavier tasks and lighter tasks, just get in touch if you have any questions about the work and how suitable it might be for you.

If you're staying over please bring camping gear. We will provide food, tea and warmth, a shrine space and dharma input. The Buddhafield season can't go ahead without your help. Please don't underestimate what you give to us by volunteering.

Through working together in Sangha, with the right intention and the right vision we can open up to the wonders of existence.

More Infomation
A slideshow of images representing the facets of Buddhafield

What is a “Buddhafield”?

Buddhafield is a collective of Buddhists involved with the Triratna Buddhist Community: some of us are members of the Triratna Buddhist Order. We live all over the UK, but we run a programme of camping activities in the South West of England, focused around the teaching and practise of Buddhism and Buddhist meditation. We are perhaps best known for organising our own Festival and for the Buddhafield Café, which goes to festivals and fairs like Glastonbury, Sunrise and The Green Gathering. As well as this, we run an annual programme of meditation retreat camps and we cultivate on our own land.

The concept of a “Buddhafield”, or of “Buddhafields”, originates in the Mahayana Buddhist Sutras. In these Sutras, Buddhafields are planes of perfect beauty created by the compassionate action of a Buddha. As such they are an environment in which all conditions are perfectly conducive to spiritual practice and in which to gain Enlightenment.

Each year Buddhafield adopts a theme. This year we are exploring “Embracing Simplicity”.