I have attended and volunteered at the Tibetan Buddhist Society on and off over several years. There have been periods of more off than on, as at times other aspects of life have required more of my focus. Each time I reconnect with the TBS, I am warmly welcomed which makes returning after a break something to look forward to.
Being a part of the Saturday morning gardening group (who are a fabulous bunch of roses – obviously without thorns!) on a somewhat more regular basis over the last 18 months has been both enjoyable and rewarding – although lockdowns have meant that attendance has been limited for all of us.
The enjoyment comes from both being able to contribute in a small way to maintaining the beautiful gardens, spending time in the gardens with others, and receiving the instant rewards that gardening provides. I enjoy being able to give in a very small way to the TBS who contribute to others generously via programs such as community lunches and the after school program (in non-Covid times).
I get a lot of satisfaction from gardening whether it is working on a particular area that I want to attend to, or as part of the group undertaking a larger project such as the recent rose pruning. Being able to see the gardens throughout the seasons is such a reminder of the nature of impermanence and each time I am amazed at how beautifully kept the gardens are, the lawns seem perfectly manicured, a massive task in itself.
On a purely personal level, being in the garden on a Saturday morning often feels like a great de-stresser from the week – I find gardening relaxing, at times meditative and I love the “before and after” bonus of looking at the morning’s work, whether it be pruning, weeding or planting, and seeing what has been accomplished by all present. The flexibility of when I can attend also works well for me…and of course there is always a very welcome and generously provided morning tea with an opportunity to chat to other volunteers, residents and directors of the TBS.
By Mary Dooley