Vishvapani has been studying, reflecting upon, and living out the Dharma life as presented by Urgyen Sangharakshita, Triratna’s founding teacher, for over 40 years. To mark the fourth anniversary of “Bhante” Sangharakshita’s death in 2018, this new audio essay delves deep into the heart of what Vishvapani calls a “unique and strange” intuitive approach to Buddhism that, at its best, seems to capture and vibrate with the essential vital energy of the universe.
Many people’s lives have been touched and profoundly changed in relation to Sangharakshita’s teaching, which is never less than ambitious, bold, imaginative and uncompromising. Here Vishvapani looks at what lies at the core of “the organic whole” of Sangharakshita’s approach to Buddhism, tracing its roots through the words of Lama Anagarika Govinda, John Middleton Murray and the Diamond Sutra back to the original spirit of the Buddha’s revolutionary approach to spiritual life.
For anyone concerned with trying to understand Sangharakshita or Triratna, this is a brilliant primer on the principal ideas that animate our community today; and an excellent general introduction to the work of a pioneer of “Western” Buddhism, whose life was dedicated to the cultivation of a new garden of the Dharma where the flowers of wisdom and compassion might bloom resplendent.
“We used to do rituals in the basement of the shop, invoking Padmasambhava while we made egg sandwiches”
In 1968 I was living in my birthplace, Swindon UK, with my parents and younger brother in the house we’d moved into in 1960. I was finishing primary school where I’d been a bright, happy child (top of the class) and moving to secondary school where I met children who were more of a match for me. I was moving into the...
“You have to balance or hold the bearer of the archetype with the ordinary human being, that’s very important. Because there’s no way you’re going to reconcile them.”
In 1968 I was living in Cornwall with my family, sharing in a kind of family community experiment. I had met Bhante and the seedling movement a year before at his first summer retreat at Haslemere, Surrey.
In 1978 I was working as a carpenter at Sukhavati in Bethnal Green, which soon came to be...
Vishvapani looks behind the veils of history, legend and the texts themselves to conjur a vivid, felt image of the Buddha’s personality. In a series of beautifully observed close-up drawings from the Pali Canon we are left with a portrait of spiritual genius that is both enigmatically distant and thoroughly human.
What’s happened over the years is I’ve got more and more confident in the existence of the Buddha, the effectiveness of the Dharma and the joy of the Sangha.
In 1968 I was 21 years old, living in London, enjoying the ‘Swinging 60’s’, studying physics at Imperial College, exploring sex and drugs, dabbling in religion and psychology, and spending the summer hitch-hiking with my future wife across Europe to Yugoslavia and Turkey.
I had to come into relationship with what was happening to me. I couldn’t run away any longer.
In 1968 I was in my hometown, Whitstable, Kent, struggling as a self-employed carpenter. Getting myself into terrible debt.
In 1978 I was living and working on-site as the foreman and worker (mainly worker!) in the Sukhavati/Old Fire Station/LBC building project. It was the last phase. I’d been involved with the ‘Friends’ for 7-8 years and ordained 2 years. Some time...
Al igual que muchas de las historias que escuchamos en el proyecto Cincuenta Años, Cincuenta Voces, la amistad ha marcado la vida de los miembros de la Orden en toda nuestra comunidad internacional. En este episodio escuchamos a dos buenos amigos que comparten sus caminos y su historia de práctica del Dharma, con un toque poético. Desde Mérida, en el corazón de los Andes venezolanos, hasta el Centro Budista de la Ciudad de México, Aryavacin y Manjugita están animados por...
The first mettā bhavana I was completely blown over and that was it. I thought ‘If that is a way of living, I’d quite like to live that way.’
In 1967 I was 13 years old; a happy child in a little village in the South of Holland, near the Belgium border. I was attending secondary school in a nearby city 10 miles away. I had a lot of friends and was regularly send out of the classroom due...