Meet Hugh Skinner from Trinidad. Hugh is a permaculturist in his 90s and lives in a hermitage in the Trinidadian countryside. Hugh came across Subhuti’s Windhorse Publications book, ‘Buddhism for Today’, and was fascinated by the idea of a new society. This inspired him to reach out to Subhuti and the two of them started speaking by phone. Subhuti also put Hugh in touch with an Order Member from India, Kumarjeev. Save for one group, there are currently no Buddhist activities in Trinidad, and Hugh wants this to change. He also wants to become Trinidad’s first Mitra.
In September 2022, our supporters funded Kumarjeev’s Dharma-sharing visit to Trinidad.
I arrived in Trinidad on 9th September. After a long journey from Nagpur. I left Nagpur at 1.30 pm on 7th Sept. Next flight Delhi to Amsterdam at 4.00am next morning, 23hrs transit in Amsterdam and another flight for 9 hrs to Port of Spain. With the long journey and 9.30 hrs time difference I arrived very tired.
‘[Hugh’s] hermitage is very much in tune with nature. He is permaculturist and blended his life in nature very beautifully. But the prospect to live as he lives was scary.
I had to sleep in a bed on the first floor of his metal and wood hut, three sides of which were open. With all night rain and wind and plants and trees all around … With all this so much unexpected things. I felt scared for my health.
Kumarjeev sought the help of some of Hugh’s connections to find somewhere more suitable and accessible to stay for the rest of his time in Trinidad. He also called on his new connections to help him arrange and publicise Dharma activities, and was able to offer several day retreats and workshops. To continue to support their practice, Kumarjeev has offered to run weekly Zoom meditation classes for Trinidad from India.
Almost all people expressed gratitude for an opportunity to learn more about Buddhism … They did not know how and when they will find a teacher who would introduce them properly to Buddhism.
…Participants were enthusiastic about continuing the opportunity of knowing more about Dhamma online. So we will have weekly online meditation class on zoom… Participants from both retreats will be joining it.
People appreciated the meditation practices and agreed to join the online meditation class where they can keep up their practice.
The support of FutureDharma Fund donors has meant that dozens of Trinidadian people have met the Dharma. They can continue to deepen their practice with Kumarjeev’s support, the fruits of which will ripple out into their lives and relationships. We hope this is the seed of a pioneering Buddhist movement in Trinidad!