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I recently interviewed Dhammarati about an emerging project about the system of training in Triratna. It goes by the name of Sikkha (with a long a), which is a Pali word meaning ‘spiritual training’. It is about deepening our understanding of what and how we practice and teach within the Triratna community, and developing an explicit shared framework to talk about it.
Here, Dhammarati reflects on what is essential in Buddhist practice: a growth of awareness which leads to positive and rich emotion and a move away from self-referential emotion. As joy and compassion arises, it allows for a deeper seeing into impermanent nature of all of your experience and a letting go. The reflex of this is to open up to something deeper; wisdom and spiritual rebirth. This moves you towards spontaneous action for the benefit of others; seeing that your own growth and the growth of others is integrally connected.
How effectively are we doing that as a system of training? Dhammarati recounts the history of how the conversation came about, and celebrates the changes that make movement-wide discussions more possible: the International Council and Adhisthana. He and I talk about how Sikkha might enquire about what is most effective in our teaching and practice.