The Apple Orchard at Taplow Court
When I first came to London and didn't know a soul, I went straight away to see beautiful stunning Taplow Court, the home of SGI-UK, hoping to meet some new Buddhist friends. I know as a Buddhist that wherever I go in the world the Buddhist will give me a warm welcome and befriend me as if I was their own sister or daughter.To that I am certain.I am extremely very grateful of being a part of such a humanistic organization as SGI-Soka Gakka International, that encourages Peace, Culture and Education.
My second day in London, I believe it was a Saturday, I took a train from Paddington to Maidenhead ( about an hour). Viewing the English countryside from the vantage point of your window as the train speeds by a deluge of green is most relaxing and inspiring. Something about train rides makes you feel so refreshed and helps clear out all the cobwebs from one's mind. Once you arrive in Maidenhead train station,(in The Berkshires), the SGI-UK has a shuttle waiting to take you to Taplow Court. Very Classy. Taplow Court is what my friends in London call their,"castle".
Taplow Court in the Spring
Taplow Court, a mid 19th century mansion set high above the Thames near Maidenhead, is the home of SGI-UK, a lay Buddhist society.In the 18th century, Taplow Court was the home of the Earls and Countesses of Orkney.
SGI-UK is part of a world-wide network in 192 countries that aims to contribute to a more peaceful and harmonious world through educational and cultural activities based on the philosophy of the 13th century Japanese sage,Nichiren Daishonin. Nicheren Daishonin taught that each person can transform not only their own lives, but also society and the environment,by revealing their most positive and creative potential through the practice of Buddhism.
Since many of the Buddhist Centers are not open during the day, during the week, I would often frequent Taplow Court in the middle of the week.
This particular day, the current ambassador of Thailand (Sorry, but I am rubbish with names),was to arrive and a big party held. Story has it one of his relatives had sojourned there some 100 years before.As luck would have it, I was in the right place at the right time,and was invited to the party and got to meet him along with other Thai dignitaries.
Please call Taplow Court a few hours in advance to reserve the shuttle. The Trains do not go directly to Taplow on Sunday and you have to exit Maidenhead.If you'd like to eat a luscious gourmet lunch in the hall, please call before 11 a.m. to reserve.
SGI-UK National Centre
Taplow Court Grand Cultural Centre
Taplow, Berkshire, SL6 0ER
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