ECA Winter 2016: Days 1-4On Sat, 9 January, 2016 - 14:52
The first of the ECA’s two meetings this year began last Monday evening.
The first day was spent, as usual, in groups sharing their lives as Order members and as Chairs of Triratna centres and other Triratna enterprises in Europe; friendship is at the heart of the ECA meetings, as well as the work itself. Many of the Chairs have been coming for years, or know each other from other Triratna gatherings. Thus business takes place in an atmosphere of trust and friendliness, even where there is disagreement.
The second day was a day of study with Ratnaguna, who travelled down from Manchester to talk about the Pure Land Sutras.
Many Chairs said how they felt spiritually refreshed and inspired by the study - a good preparation for several days of meetings and talks on topics of common interest.
Prajnaketu, the new full-time Young Buddhist Co-ordinator, introduced himself and this plans. I spoke about using the media to publicise Buddhist events, and also about my work with other Buddhist groups in Europe, and Triratna’s relationships with them.
In the context of society more generally, where it appears men are becoming less involved in public or group activities, we discussed how we can make our classes and activities as attractive and relevant to men as to women.
“Centre presentations” are a feature of ECA meetings, always compèred by Visuddhimati (Chair of North London Buddhist Centre) with her glove-puppet dragon, though nobody knows why… This evening saw presentations on Taraloka and Guhyaloka. (Guhyaloka urgently needs more (male) Order members to live there. Could this be you?)
All this was followed by a late-night showing of the film Pride, which was partly inspired by the real life experience of the young Upekshapriya, Chair of Clear Vision. The music was A Bit Loud, so many apologies, Bhante, if you woke up to the sound of top-class Eighties disco.