Saturday, 15 June 2013


This evening I'm at The Buddhist House, Narborough, for a vegetarian barbecue and garden evening. It's been raining quite heavily, off and on, for most of the day, and there's quite a downpour on the way here (hailstones in the middle of June, for goodness sake). But it stops and the sky clears around 1830, so enjoyment of the evening isn't dampened.

This is my first visit to The Buddhist House, though it's not for want of being asked. I recall that one of the earliest activities in which I took part after being appointed to this post six years ago was a Buddhist-Christian dialogue session in Bishop Street Methodist Chapel, next door to the Council of Faiths HQ in Town Hall Square. It was certainly the first Saturday event I attended on the job.

The Buddhist House is home to the Tariki Trusta community of people who believe that Buddhism is something to be lived, not merely a practice to be fitted in during a busy day. The name Tariki means "other-power" in Japanese, a fundamental concept in Pureland Buddhism. It's the basis for Other-Centred Approach, the model of psychology underpinning the psychotherapy taught on Tariki courses, which are offered at The Buddhist House.

It's a fine, rambling house of character and distinction, dating from around 1900, with a garden to match. There's a Buddha statue nestled under a lime tree.

I get the chance to chat with some interesting people, each of them with different manners of association with The Buddhist House or for being here this evening. I also discuss briiefly with Carolyn Brazier tentative plans to start an informal collective group bringing together the many and varied groups of Buddhists in Leicester and Leicester. I've been asked to help get that going as an "honest broker" working with and between most of these groups.

I also propose that The Buddhist House be fitted into next year's programme of Faith Awareness summer visits to places of worship and faith-related sites in and around Leicester. I'm sure we could fill a minibus for an evening visit here.

I honestly can't think why I haven't made the short trip out here before. I mean, the Arriva number 50 bus from Leicester city centre comes straight to the door, for goodness sake! So I have no excuse for not coming again.

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