On the evening of 1st July 2008 Rachel Abel became a member of the Amida School, Amida-shu at a ceremony held at Amida Sanctuary, the home of Amida Newcastle. She also took the Five Precepts in the Amida-shu form of the Five Prayers of Upasikas.
The celebrant was Rev Sujatin, Bellmaster Sophie Williams and the congregation included Rachel's mother, on a visit from Colorado, Rachel's husband Enrique and a friend, regular sangha member Jackie and long-term friend of Amida, David.
Just got back from a week in Delhi visiting our project there. The project is in its fourth year and offers English classes to some of the poorer communities in the East of the city. This year Amida chaplain, Sahishnu has two volunteers with her. Kaspalita and I travelled out on Monday a week ago. We spent most of our time visiting the different classes, held in different Buddhist temples around the area. Some were for children, some for young women, and others for mixed adults. They tended to be very interactive with lots of word games and singing. On Sunday the visit culminated with a school admission ceremony for ten people in Shanti Nagar, a district just over the border in Uttar Pradesh. This group has been meeting with Sahishnu for a couple years to practice Buddhism and its members have become particularly interested in our form of Pureland and wanted to become part of our group. You can see photos of our visit on my facebook site
Among those joining the school was Shiv Kumar Gautam who has been a very active supporter of the project in his local community. At the ceremony he also received the Buddhist name Suvidya. The community from Shanti Nagar presented us with a lovely picture of the Buddha teaching the five ascetics. In this picture you see Kaspar and I seated with Suvidya in his home.
Rev. Prasada, assisted by Rev. Kaspalita, has just returned from ten days in Delhi where she went to support the Amida Trust project which provides English teaching to children and young people from poor areas and also to conduct ceremonies to admit ten new members to the Amida-shu.
Rev. Prasada Caroline Brazier, deputy head of the Amida Order, will be traveling to India on 10th December for a one week visit to conduct refuge ceremonies. She will be accompanied by Gareth Thompson as jisha. This visit will support the Amida Delhi Project and help establish the Amida-shu sangha in India.