Ritual and devotion help to loosen the sense of self. Ritual is creative and an active
experience of body, speech and mind. Devotion is the flow of the heart response, including
reverence, respect, gratitude and delight. Imagination holds the vision of the transcendental
and its beauty.
We will turn towards the Buddha and to other archetypal Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, as
figures that arise and fade away, that are shimmering, insubstantial, translucent. They might
be glimpsed through sight, sound, touch or presence or we might simply wish to know them
better. Ritual also enables a kindly response from the depths of our humanity. This might be
experienced as sadness, regret, gratitude, compassion or joy. Through ritual and other
experience in the landscape, we will invoke the spiritual mandala of Taraloka, including the
presence of Green Tara.
The indoor and outdoor practice includes: ritual and devotion; presentations; meditation;
direct experience in the landscape; gentle movement exercises; groups; personal reviews;
and an extended period of silence.
Punyamala is a public preceptor who has regularly led the long ordination retreat at
Akashavana, where she shares her deep connection with ritual and devotion. A founder
member of Sheffield Buddhist Centre, she has lived there for over 30 years with her family
and worked part-time as a clinical psychologist.
Samantabhadri is a private preceptor and one of Taraloka’s most longstanding retreat
leaders, who lived there for 8 years. She has a special connection with ritual, devotion and
the imagination and a love of the arts, poetry and drama.
Sinhacandra is a private preceptor who has been much appreciated as a creator of ritual,
memorable shrines and sacred objects. She is an engaging speaker who also creates
beautiful Dharmic images as a stained-glass artist.
Moksalila worked as a therapist in palliative care, giving massage and healing to those
nearing the end of life. She has a particular interest in developing simple rituals in everyday
life that can connect us to something more profound.