The Buddhist Centre Online Highlights from 2021On Sun, 26 December, 2021 - 12:58
2021 has been another rollercoaster of a year: with the three of the traditional ‘four sights’ of old age, sickness and death an ever present backdrop. But 2021 has also been interspersed with moments of beauty, generosity, connectedness and hope.
Our team has been busy this year keeping the fourth sight—the Dharma—alive; fostering community—sangha—at a time of continued uncertainty.
Looking back over the year, here are some of our highlights from the year that was 2021:
1. The Alchemical Heart Home Retreat:
2021 kicked off with some heart magic in this super popular home retreat with Paramananda.
Listen to the Dharma Toolkit Podcast with Paramananda discussing an an “alchemical” approach to meditation.
Revisit ‘The Alchemical Heart’ with Paramananda on our new Home Retreat space
2. The Dawning Moon of Mind - Study Seminars with Nagabodhi:
Why not live for the moment, just for ourselves? Crucial questions like this were explored with a depth of warm perspective during two wonderful seminars on the Bodhicaryavatara (Guide to a Bodhisattva’s Way of Life) by the eight century monk Shantideva. The seminars were generously led by experienced study leader, Nagabodhi.
Watch these seminars on our YouTube Channel
3. A Wave of Blessings - Triratna Day 2021:
In April, we collaborated with Adhisthana Retreat Centre and others for the international Triratna day celebrations: marking 54 years since the founding of our community.
Visit the beautiful dedicated space for Triratna Day and re-experience the Wave of Blessings
Listen to Bhante, Urgyen Sangharakshita, the founder of our community, reminiscing on a Triratna (FWBO) Day past
4. Alive in Nature - Micro-Adventures with Dhanakosa Retreat Centre:
Continuing our collaboration with other Buddhist centres, we hosted a series of live meditations and Dharma adventures from the Scottish Highlands in partnership with Dhanakosa Retreat Centre. Bringing the outdoors indoors and evoking joy of exploring the Dharma in nature.
Reconnect with ‘Alive in Nature’
Here’s a beginner’s guide to meditating outdoors with Nayaka
5. Writing Workshops with Yashobodhi:
A four week course in March with Yashobodhi using writing to explore the mind was so popular that we ran a day retreat in September, and a follow-up course in the summer!
Want to try it out? Check out Looking into the Well: Using Writing to Explore the Mind on our YouTube channel
More coming in 2022! Watch this space…
6. In the Footsteps of the Buddha Home Retreat:
Close to Buddha Day we ran our second home retreat of 2021 with artists Nagasiddhi and Mandarava, based at Rivendell Retreat Centre. There were amazing puppets, original artworks for the event, and an abundance of magical images illustrating tales from the life of the Buddha!
Be inspired all over again by the life of the Buddha on the dedicated retreat space
7. Into the Valley of Being - Meditation and Movement Workshops with Jayachitta:
In May, we piloted a different kind of event, a series of interactive workshops with improvisation expert and professional clown, Jayachitta, exploring movement and dance.
8. Triratna Earth Sangha Conference 2021:
In September we hosted a weekend conference with the newly formed Triratna Earth Sangha for a weekend of talks, workshops and practice exploring how Buddhists can respond to the climate and ecological emergency. Hundreds of concerned Dharma folk attended! With contributions from Parami, Analayo, David Loy and more.
9. Covid Emergency in India - An Evening with Padmavajra and Friends:
In April, more than 10 Order members died in a short period from Covid-19. Mobilising quickly to respond to the crisis in India, we helped organise a fundraising event, raising tens of thousands of pounds and supporting The Abhayaratna Trust in reaching their £150,000 Covid appeal target.
10. The Four Lotuses - The Combined UK & Ireland Area Order Weekend:
The first large in-person gathering being held at Adhisthana after a long hiatus due to Covid was the Combined Area Order Weekend in August. During that weekend The Urgyen Sangharakshita Trust was launched and Urgyen House was opened to visitors with a dedication ceremony:
11. The Preliminaries Without Which No Means Exists - Three Keynote Talks Live from Adhisthana:
The opening lines of Canto 103 from The Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava formed the basis for the Sub35 Festival Retreat at Adhisthana. The gathering was held in person for young people but the keynote talks were livestreamed so that anyone could attend!
12. Launch of Karuna USA:
In early November we partnered with Karuna Trust (a Triratna Buddhist charity which aims to mobilize resources in support of marginalized people in South Asia) to launch a USA branch. Sharing some of the incredible work that Karuna does, we explored the relevance and possible focus of Karuna’s approach within the United States during this moving event.
13. International Sangha Day:
This year’s International Sangha Day celebration focused on communication. As part of the celebration there was a panel discussion on the theme, as well as a conversation between friends featuring Subhuti and Nagapriya, a sangha Metta Bhavana (development of loving-kindness) meditation, and a chance to chat to others around the world!
14. How to Really Save the World (home retreat) | Cómo realmente cambiar el mundo (retiro):
With retreatants joining in from Mexico, Venezuela, Patagonia, Germany, Ireland and the UK this truly was an international event, led by Parami who was exploring a theme close to her heart: the Bodhisattva Ideal. Thanks to a team of translators each session was in both Spanish and English. Taking the exploration of the theme into real life examples, the last session was a conversation about practicing the Dharma when a country has fallen on hard times.
Con participantes de México, Venezuela, Patagonia, Alemania, Irlanda y el Reino Unido, este fue realmente un evento internacional, dirigido por Parami, quien estaba explorando un tema cercano a su corazón: el Bodhisattva Ideal. Gracias a un equipo de traductores cada sesión fue tanto en español como en inglés. Tomando la exploración del tema en ejemplos de la vida real, la última sesión fue una conversación sobre la práctica del Dharma cuando un país atraviesa tiempos difíciles.
Visit the gorgeous teaching and resource space for this Home Retreat | Visite el magnífico espacio de enseñanza y recursos para este retiro en el hogar
Watch ‘Radical Dharma in Venezuela’ | Ver ‘Radical Dharma en Venezuela’
15. Still Breathing in the World - A Journey into the Heart of Tonglen with Yashobodhi:
Our final live event of 2021 was a Solstice series exploring the meditation practice of Tonglen with our friend Yashobodhi. A wonderful way to turn towards the festive season in all its joys and challenges!
In 2022, we want to be an inspiring Dharma home online to even more people around the world! Looking forward a little way we already have a Mythic Dress-up Sangha Time, a home retreat with Paramananda exploring meditation, a Windhorse Publications book launch of Exploring Cancer by Devamitra lined up. Keep an eye on our live events page—or sign up to our newsletter—as we will be adding more events over the coming weeks!
Our team at The Buddhist Centre Online wants to take our work to the next level. To finish the job of making the whole site mobile and accessible on all devices, and also to extend our vision into the future so we stay at the cutting edge of technology, ready to respond to Dharma practitioners everywhere when the need arises, as we were able to when the pandemic hit.
Can you help us support the sangha online? Whatever you can give in 2022 and beyond will help us finish building a platform that delivers Buddhism to everyone who would benefit from the Dharma in the most challenging times.
Thank you for all your support in 2021. And a very Happy New Year! 🙏❤️