Friday, June 29, 2007


My home computer crashed, failed, fanagued, gave up the ghost, and I'm waiting for a replacement. As I haven't regularly 'backed up' my data I've lost lots of - no, ALL of - my records and shall have to create new ones from scraps of dog-eared A4 in cardboard boxes, stuffed into drawers, under the stairs, and trodden in to the mess of stuff on the floor of my L-registered Ford estate. That's another story!

If you've written to the Trust recently for information, or offering your services as a volunteer, I've probably responded but perhaps incompletely, and I can only ask you to be patient, as I may have lost your address and telephone number, albeit not irretrievably, they're probably somewhere under that pile of........ oh, never mind.

Life goes on. The Inner Work School met for the last time earlier this month and a very jovial and inspirational meeting it was. Thanks to everyone who offered good wishes and contributed to the air of festivity: not a damp hanky in sight.

I'll resume the blogging as soon as maybe, probably within a couple of weeks from today. Has anyone noticed the change of piccie on the homepage? Any comments? As mentioned earlier, we tried to publish an image that wasn't too closely associated with a particular Buddhist tradition or school, in line with our unaffiliated and independent status, and the 'catholicity' of our volunteer base.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Inner Work School

After seventeen years of operation, the Inner Work school is to be wound up. The last meeting will be held this month, on 9th June, at the Central YMCA in Great Russell Street, Central London.

Established in 1990 by the late Ray Wills as a radical meeting point for Buddhists of all traditions and none, the School supported the idea of inner work without overt hierarchical ideological direction or leadership, using the ad hoc resources of individual dharma-practitioners, within a context of spiritual companionship.

It was always only a small group, starting with about a eighteen individuals who committed to regular monthly attendance, and quickly dwindling to about half that number, with attendance more sporadic (but with no less commitment), and with meetings that became progressively less structured and more adventitious, open to the emergent, more dialogic, more discursive and fluid. Sometimes the meeting comprised Ray Wills and one other, occasionally this other was myself. The meetings were no less robust and significant because they were not heavily populated, and I looked forward to them immensely. Ray was enormously companionable, and wore his great scholarship and dharma-wisdom very lightly.

Since Ray's death in 2000, the School has continued to meet, with some new members and a dwindling handful of founder-members through ill-health, incapacity and death. The School has survived four changes of venue, all have been by the courtesy and good offices of the YMCA, to whom we are very grateful.

Having run its course, it is now time for us to lay down the baton (so to speak), and rest a while. Friendships will continue beyond our formal meetings, I'm sure, and the work continues elsewhere.