net time: 1:46:35
10 km time: 50:12
overall position: 4408
position (age group) 442
5:03 per km
average speed: 11.88 km/h
and here is the medal!
In the evening I was very happy to introduce Ashvajit at the Buddhist Centre, who in the course of the Sangha Evening, launched the publication of the German translation of his and Cittapala's popular booklet A Garland of Terms. Beginning as a purely personal project to improve my German, I spent several years systematically collecting translations for the terms in the booklet and later realised that a German edition of the title would be much appreciated.
With the assistance of Elisabeth Bendlin and Aryadeva who checked and improved the reanslations, Harald Eckhoff who translated the prefaces, and Andreas Eickelkamp who provided the index and worked on the layout, the booklet is published as Buddhistische Begriffe und Listen, die man kennen sollte, which translates into English as Buddhist Terms and Lists, that one should know. Proceeds from the sale of the booklet will go towards helping to finance our new centre in Berlin, which is planned to open in 2011.
Copies of the booklet can be purchased from Buddhistisches Tor for 5 Euros. Ashvajit is my preceptor, which means it was he who ordained me in 1997 in the course of a four-month retreat at Guhyaloka in the mountains of southern Spain. In the course of the ceremony he witnessed my Going for Refuge to the Three Jewels, gave me my new name and introduced me to a new meditation practice, which involves the visualisation and mantra-recitation of the Buddha Shakyamuni.
A few days later at my public ordination ceremony, when my name was made public, Ashvajit introduced my name as follows:
The ex-Adrian Weller is a member of the Padmaloka community, so I have had all sorts of opportunities to get to know him and to see all sorts of qualities really beginning to shine in him or through him. Perhaps the first quality that I would like to allude to is an emotional positivity. In every situation that he has been in, although he himself has admitted to difficulties at times, what shows outwardly is his emotional positivity. He is also able to apply himself to things successfully, and he has applied himself to all sorts of things. He has applied himself particularly to the garden at Padmaloka and the garden at Padmaloka nowadays is an object of everybody's admiration. So he has green fingers. He has also applied himself successfully to cooking at Padmaloka and I think he makes the best soup of anybody. He has also got other fine qualities, he has considerable dramatic potential. I call it potential because it is not yet fully realised, but one of the things that I did with the ex-Adrian was to read the Lord of the Rings aloud with him. I noticed that he gave beautiful characterisations of people, he could really get inside the characters in the tale. It is as if he sort of understood them from the inside. He also has this capacity just to respond appropriately to the Situation, and yes, to be successful in
whatever he does.
So I thought to myself what is it, who is this person who is always successful, who has the secret of successfully applying himself to so many things? And of course it came to me it is one of the Dhyani Buddhas, infallible success, amogha, as in the Buddha Amoghasiddhi. So that was the
first part of his name. Of course this seemed wonderfully appropriate because one of his kalyana mitras is Amoghavamsa. The other one is me. So perhaps it is only natural that there should be an affinity of qualities. Then I thought amogha, green, and all the qualities that go with that
magnificent Dhyani Buddha. He is a very mysterious figure, that dark green, but the ex-Adrian isn't mysterious in quite that way. Yes, there is a sense of mystery to him in that I feel there is this tremendous potential which has yet to come out, which has yet to manifest. One can see his qualities beginning to emerge, but there is much more to come.
But there is something else about him which is already very evident, that he not only has a beautiful smile, he has very expressive eyes with a gentle sort of sparkling quality to them. So again I thought ratna. So he is Amogharatna. So here we have the Jewel of Successful Application. Mogha, apparently, is the origin of a word meaning unprofitable, vain, useless, and
given its similarity to the Pali moha, meaning, ignorance, it seems very likely that amogha ("a" being a prefix meaning "not") originally meant simply non-ignorance. So here is a man who is not ignorant, not that he need possess any tremendous knowledge in a worldly sense, although he is quite worldly wise, he has had quite a lot of experience, a not always happy experience of life, he has seen the dark, side of life. But he values spiritual knowledge, he values the Dharma, he is not someone who professes ignorance, he is someone who is led by the Truth, he is someone in
particular who loves Bhante's teaching. And one of the marks of someone who is not ignorant, we find in the Pali Canon, is that he follows the words of the True Individual. In order to remove ignorance, in order to remove that spiritual veil, what you do to begin with is you just listen to the words of the True Individual. So that is another aspect of our new Dharmachari Amogharatna. The Successful Jewel, the Jewel of Non-Ignorance.