Tumbling into Love

It is exactly 19 years ago today that I started life as Yashobodhi. A bit later that year I felt the ground shifting under my feet. I met Kamalashila at an order event in April 2006. We had been working together on an online forum for a while before we talked in person. Five years before that I was on a retreat he led, but we had not really had much personal contact then. Back to that day at the beginning of April 2006. We walked from the dining hall to the arts centre and as KS was matching his footsteps to mine, I fell in love. I do not think I could say one sensible word for the rest of that weekend. My heart went right open. It did not only open for him, but it seems it was opening for the whole world. I kept falling for years after that. So much change. Nothing to hold onto. A lot of letting go and getting used to. A lot of growing, realising, seeking meaning, trying to understand each other. Getting to know what each of us needed.

I left the Netherlands a year after we met and moved in with him into a Buddhist community in Devon. From living on my own for 15 years in Amsterdam, I was all of a sudden cohabiting in a small caravan. This was challenging. This was often almost unbearable, but the love and interest in each other was strong. We wanted to live in a land-based community. We thought we would somehow achieve that by moving to Spain, to what is now EcoDharma. This was also challenging. It didn’t work out for us. We came back to the UK and settled in London. What a relief. We lived here for ten years and then, after the first pandemic lock-down and receiving a notice to quit, we moved out of London into the countryside of East Suffolk. I tried this life. I tried very hard. Lots of fields, animals, beautiful skies, but not much culture and friendship. After three years of this, we moved back to London again. It is so good to be here. In some ways. The downside is Kamalashila is dying. The upside is we have excellent medical care close by, friends, galleries, work opportunities for me, lots of interesting things happening all around. Amidst it all, I am still falling. Still going places.

KS and YB in caravan in Hittisleigh, Devon, July 2006