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“Now Buddhism.. uses both of these languages [the language of concepts and the language of images]… And both of these languages are of equal importance. One of these languages, that is to say the language of concepts, this appeals more to the conscious mind, to our conscious rational intelligence. But the other language, the language of images, which is much more concrete, much more vivid, much more pictorial - in a way much more deeply moving - this appeals to the unconscious depths within ourselves.”
Sangharakshita, On The Threshold of Enlightenment
A picture, as they say, paints a thousand words. There is a story from the Zen tradition where the Buddha simply held up a golden flower in the midst of a silent assembly of his followers - but one amongst them, Mahakashaypa, smiled because he understood what the Buddha was trying to communicate. And it is now commonly accepted that there are many different learning styles or ways of engaging with input.
As we look back over our last five years at the Buddhist Centre Online we wanted to review the different media we have shared in addition to the written word: videos, images, talks, podcasts, and mantras and highlight some of the ‘best of’ them in each category. We hope that this deep sampling helps you to engage more deeply - and reach those unconscious depths!
10 of the Best Videos
A computer animation illustrating the first two verses of the Dhammapada in translation by Sangharakshita.
The Jai Bhim Network, Hungary
A Newsbyte from Clear Vision about the Jai Bhim Network in Hungary showing how Subhuti and others are helping the Roma Community through their Dr Ambedkar High School.
To The Hills
A beautifully shot film from Shantiketu of the Glasgow Buddhist Centre, detailing a trip some members of the Triratna Buddhist Order made in 2013 to visit places in north east India associated with their teacher Urgyen Sangharakshita, and some of his own main teachers.
The Beginning of Adhisthana
A report from Clear Vision about Adhisthana, home to Triratna’s founder, Sangharakshita, just before it officially opened.
Happy 50th Birthday Triratna!
A short film from the Dublin Buddhist Centre showing high-speed mandala making in honour of the 50th anniversary of the Triratna Buddhist Community!
5 of the Best Dharma Talks
Going Beyond Capitalism - A Buddhist Perspective by Vaddhaka.
Vaddhaka inspires Triratna Buddhists to learn more about economics and challenge the Neo-liberal economists notion that individual greed will lead to everyone benefiting. He encourages us to embrace Sangharakshita’s vision of a New Society as an alternative way of being for the world. (May 2014)
Introducing Ambedkar by Vajratara.
Vajratara presents the life and work of Dr Ambedkar, who transformed the lives of his followers in India who were oppressed by the caste system. He thought that the Buddhism had a part to play in social transformation, that transforming mind is transforming society. With this in mind, he embraced Buddhism in 1956, bringing millions of people with him. These conversions formed the basis of the vibrant and inspiring Triratna community in India. (2016).
Everything of Worth Is Defenceless by Arthakusalin.
A poetic and uncompromising talk on the value of the Dharma jewel given on the Triratna International Gathering at Adhisthana, 26 August 2017.
My Bodhisattva Vow, Avalokiteshvara At Work In the Recovery and Addiction World by Vimalasara.
Vimalasara, author of Eight Step Recovery, Using the Buddhas Teachings to Overcome Addiction, explains her strong connection with the Bodhisattva of Compassion, and how Avalokitesvara has helped her in her work with recovering addicts. A talk at the West London Buddhist Centre Sangha night, 2015.
Facebook Friends, Real Friends, Spiritual Friends by Sujiva.
Sujiva explores friendship in general and spiritual friendship (Kalyana Mitrata) in particular, drawing upon his personal experience in this heart-felt talk. Given at the Auckland Buddhist Centre as a part of a Dharma night series in 2018.
5 of the Best Podcasts
Here is the irrepressible Upeksamati: Dharma pioneer in his homeland and founder of the Mexico City Buddhist Center. We hear of his Buddhist training in England in the 1980s and ’90s and how that influenced his approach to bringing what he learned back home again. We get, in effect, a crash course in the essentials of starting a new Buddhist Center - at scale, and with ambition!
Gender Diverse Community As Buddhists
A conversation about gender diversity in Triratna on the occasion of the first residential retreat for gender diverse people in our community in 2016. Exploring the issues raised in society generally by changes in awareness around gender – and in a particular Buddhist culture as it expands its sense of itself to be more inclusive and more forward thinking about a crucial area of personal identity.
Banker to Buddhist
How do you go from investment banker to full-time Buddhist practitioner? A fascinating account of a very rich life that takes Amalavajra on a journey via improbably different worlds.
On Editing Sangharakshita
An excellent conversation with Kalyanaprabha on what it’s like to work with and edit Sangharakshita. Words and their meanings, the transformative effect of literature in a life, writing as a gateway to spiritual insight - these are just some of the topics covered as we hear from someone whose passion for literary work is both inspiring and encouraging.
5 of the Best Mantras
Om A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhih
Here is the mantra from the 2016 International Council where the fourth day was concluded with a ritual that included readings in many languages and this rather beautiful, atmospheric harmonized chanting of the mantra of the Bodhisattva Manjusri, whose great sword of kindly wisdom cuts through the heart of all ignorance and confusion.
Om Mani Padme Hum
A rousing recording of the Avalokitesvara Mantra from the 2014 Triratna European Chairs Assembly. The harmony is led by Amalamati from Valencia.
Muni Muni Maha Muni Shakya Muni Saddhu
The mantra of the Buddha Shakyamuni, chanted as part of the opening ceremony at the 2016 Triratna International Order Convention.
Oṃ Bodhicittam Utpādayāmi
The development of Bodhichitta is a truly communal practice, and might even be said to arise on a collective basis. The mantra captures a flavor of what that might mean and the joy implied. This was recorded at the 2016 Triratna International Council as part of a puja to welcome new members of the Order.
Om Ah Hum Sangha Kalyana Mitrata Siddhi Hum
As part of a meditation evoking the path of friendship and lineage, members of the Triratna Buddhist Order chant the ‘kalyana mitrata’ mantra in a rainstorm at Chintamani Retreat Centre in Mexico, 2015.
We hope you enjoy this latest offering in our anniversary series - stay tuned for more ’sound and vision’!