International Council Team: UpdateOn Mon, 4 January, 2021 - 15:12
Dhammarati has worked as the convenor of the International Council for the last decade, establishing a structure for communication and collaboration between the College, Order and Movement from every geographical area, to support the unity of our spiritual community across the world.
In March, he will be handing over to Arthavadin and Akasajoti who will become co-convenors and work together, with the International Council Steering Group and Area Councils, to support and develop the work of the International Council in its next phase.
Since resigning as chair of the Manchester Buddhist Centre (MBC) in 2018 I’ve been working as a freelance organisational development consultant and leadership coach - mainly for the police in the UK. This has been socially worthwhile work and it’s kept me financially afloat but, to be frank, it hasn’t made my heart sing! I have certainly appreciated an 18 months’ sabbatical from ‘full-on’ engagement in Triratna institutions, but I’ve also missed the inspiration, intimacy and intensity of working with order friends who share a common vision.
When I heard about the opportunity of working for the International Council I didn’t have to ponder too long before deciding to apply. Over the past two years I’ve co-facilitated the IC and this has given me a sense of its value and enormous potential. Sadly, I don’t think this is (yet) fully appreciated by the order and movement so I look forward to working alongside Akasajoti and the IC Steering Group to change that!
I’ve known Akasajoti for several years and I’m very happy and excited that we’ll be co-convening the IC together. We have different but complementary skills which I expect will work to each other’s, as well as the IC’s, advantage.
I shall start the co-convening role in early spring but, as you might expect, my mind is already turning towards it. Over the coming months I want to ‘get up to speed’ about the IC and that’s going to require a lot of listening and learning. If you have thoughts or ideas regarding the IC that you’d like to share with me, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’ll be pleased to hear from you.
I’ve been working for the International Council for the last 15 months or so and I’ve really loved and benefitted from working with Dhammarati in this time. I’m sad that this phase is ending, but look forward to working with Arthavadin who I’ve got to know in a few different contexts over the last years. I appreciate his broad and principled perspectives, and the ease and flexibility in his communication, and am glad that he’ll be bringing his experience within and beyond the Order to our little team.
I feel excited by this shift in generations and interested in what it might bring as the International Council evolves into its second decade. I care about the IC as a structure to support harmonious relationship across a diverse Sangha of individuals, grounded in what is essential and shared between us. In the last year I have particularly enjoyed connecting and working with Area Council members and have come to look forward to regular early-morning and late-night calls to check in with people across time-zones – and the chance to be inspired by the vitality of dharma and sangha exemplified in other parts of the world by people who give their time and energy for the love of it.