A few weeks of spring rains have replenished the valley and brought welcome green growth.  The weather is however unpredictable and is not following the usual early summer patterns. Layers of clothing seem to go on and off according to the ever-changing temperatures.

For me, a recent highlight was attending our recent Green Tara practice weekend for the commemoration of Akong Rinpoche’s departure 8 years ago. The participation of our 2 Southern African monks Samten and Zangpo, recently out of many years retreat in Nepal, and an Irish couple, Jinpa and Rigdzin, close students of Lama Yeshe Rinpoche, made it extra special. The positive energy generated from the practice and their presence felt as if it spread throughout Tara’s valley. Activities on the main site, managed by Tanja, are picking up after winter and pandemic-related travel hesitancy.

Tirisano crèche has had many challenges with staff and endless lockdown changes but at the moment has an average attendance of 18 children stimulated, fed, and cared for by Keba and Anna. The Rietvaly community, who are encouraged to be involved in the running of the creche, will hopefully soon choose a new creche assistant.

Activities on the permaculture site are still in a bardo. Alhyrian has been here for nearly 2 months working alongside the staff, sorting the surrounding areas, and being involved from a distance with planning. Lea from Rokpa International is due to visit this weekend and hopefully, funding will be forthcoming for the growth of the training centre.

The Marico Biosphere management has been involved with trying to register more farming areas as “nature reserve” or “protected area”. Registration is supposed to offer SA protection for conservation, which the Unesco Biosphere doesn’t. I have attended some of the meetings to keep in touch with what is happening. Our land was declared a “protected area” many years ago in the first round of registrations.

Mmutlwa wa Noko objections to prospecting and mining applications continue. We are so grateful to Jeanie and Brian for their tireless energy in guiding the process and to either stop or stall mining in the area.

I hope the appeal of personal time out in our healing valley or a retreat will entice you to visit TRC soon.

Oct 2021