Further Response from the Adhisthana Kula to the Observer Article, July 2019On Sun, 28 July, 2019 - 21:45
Here is a further update from the Adhisthana kula about how we intend to take our work forward. Some of the steps we outline below are already in discussion or in process, and we recognise the need for much greater visibility of process and outcomes. We also recognise that we have been slow to implement some of our intentions.
A further update from the Adhisthana kula as to how we are addressing controversial aspects of Triratna’s past and what we are putting in place for the future.
Our initial response to The Observer article (21st July) concluded: “We remain determined to meet ethically all unresolved issues – past, present and future – based on a deep concern for the welfare of anyone affected negatively by their experience within Triratna”. Using this framework of past, present, future, we will outline the way we intend to take this work forward.
We want to spell out very clearly what’s already been done, and also lay out what still needs to be done, and what plans we have for implementation.
As a result of the recent article there have been renewed calls for an independent review or inquiry as the only way to rebuild trust. Below are nine steps we would like to implement first, as soon as possible. After that, with the help of others, we will make an assessment as to whether a further or more substantial independent review is necessary.
We have added timelines in brackets after each point as a rough guide as to how long each step will take. If something is taking longer we will communicate this, and why.
Responding to the Past
1. We will issue a clear statement of acknowledgement, regret and undertaking, inviting other Order members to add their name or support to it. (1 week)
2. We will summarise the work of the Adhisthana Kula in a way that is clear and readily accessible, on a stand-alone website, making it clear what we have done so far and our next steps. (3 months)
3. We will present this with clear pathways for comments, questions and suggestions. (3 months)
4. Anyone can report misconduct to our Safeguarding team at safeguarding [at] triratna.community. In addition, we will appoint an external body for receiving such complaints, for the benefit of anyone who feels more comfortable in reporting to an external body. (3-5 months)
5. We recognise this work needs to be a priority (1-4) and will give it the resources it needs. (Ongoing)
Working in the Present
6. We will review the membership of the Adhisthana kula, bringing in a next generation of Order members with fresh perspectives and skills, who have joined the Order since the era in which many of the historic difficulties took place (broadly, this means the 1970s and 80s). (1 month)
7. Our current UK Safeguarding provision will be reviewed by the Social Care Institute for Excellence, to ensure it meets the Charity Commission’s requirements. (6 months)
8. In consultation with external communication specialists we will create new forums for discussion within Triratna, with a view to promoting greater harmony and engagement, and improve external communications. (6 months)
9. We will develop training in ethical awareness for teachers and mentors, both among existing Order members, and those training for ordination. (Initial plans 3-4 months)
Creating the Future
10. When this work is done we will assess, with others, whether a further external, independent review would be helpful. (6-7 months)
11. We will bring on a new generation of leaders, training and equipping them to share responsibility for taking our community forward. (Ongoing)
12. We will do all this whilst honouring our inheritance and recognising the gifts Sangharakshita and the elders of the Order created for us. (Ongoing)
We share a deep love and concern for our community with all those who choose to practise within it. We want to address whatever limits us as a spiritual community, and to be able to move forward with confidence and trust that we have fully addressed the issues and concerns of the past, without losing touch with all that is good. We need to do all this within the spirit and ethos of our community, recognising our imperfections as human beings, acting with compassion and understanding, in order to transform suffering in the world.
The Adhisthana Kula
Mahamati, Parami, Ratnadharini, and Saddhaloka (Triratna’s College of Public Preceptors)
Aryajaya and Lokeshvara (International Convenors to the Triratna Buddhist Order) Dhammarati (Convenor of Triratna’s International Council)
With the assistance of Amaladipa and Munisha (Triratna’s Safeguarding team), and Candradasa (The Buddhist Centre Online).
For further information about safeguarding or to report anything please contact the Safeguarding team at safeguarding [at] triratna.community.
Contact the Adhisthana Kula at next.steps [at] triratna.co
View our work as a team to date