It is a great delight for me to have become part of the Sydney Buddhist Centre and it is a great honour to have been invited to take up the role of Chair. Thank you to all the Order Members who participated in the consultation process which eventually led to this decision. I am looking forward to getting to know the wider sangha over time.
It has been very enjoyable working with the Management Committee prior to joining it at the AGM a few weeks ago. The current Management Committee comprises: Ratnajyoti, Aryadharma, Padmadakini, Dharmalata and myself. Fortunately we are still able to draw on the exprience and support of Shubhavyuha and Dharmananda, who stepped down from their ‘official’ roles at the AGM, but who remain active in the work of the Sydney Buddhist Centre and are an integral part of its vision.
As Ratnajyoti mentioned in his recent update to the Order, the decision was reached last week to appoint me as Chair after my return from the UK later in the year. One of the reasons I am going back to the UK for 4 months first is that I will be ordaining a Mitra from Sheffield on an ordination retreat at Adhisthana Retreat Centre. I will also be attending a 10-day meeting of the European Chairs Assembly before returning to Sydney in September. The current plan is that I will remain in post for 3 years, which is what I felt I could realistically commit to.
When I step into this new role in September, it will be the start of an important new phase in my life and also, inevitably, something of a fresh start for the Sydney Buddhist Centre. It will be an opportunity for us to take a fresh look at who we are, where we have come from, and where we are going. There is already a collective vision here in Sydney – part of my job as Chair will be to bring that vision more into the light, to enable us to connect with it more deeply, and to let it shine more brightly in our lives.
Meanwhile, if any Mitras, Order Members or Friends would like to meet up with me, I would be keen to have a chat and get to know you better. And it will be an opportunity for you to ask me any questions you may have – about me, about the Sydney situation, about the movement, about Bhante Sangharakshita, or anything at all! I will be in Sydney for another 3 weeks – just leave a message with the Centre Team and I will get back to you to set up a meeting. Daytimes at the Centre are preferable for me if at all possible but other times may be arranged as well.
Yours in the Dharma,