The International Council’s 4th meeting closed yesterday with much appreciation for the great hard work and skill of everyone involved in running the event, from the facilitators to the cooks. Many of us were already looking ahead to the next meeting, in early 2018, in India.
Even before we had all left, Adhisthana was welcoming early arrivals for the next event, much bigger than ours: the international Order convention for men, including a group of Dharmacharis from India.
Today the International Council looked to the future, starting with a time machine journey in which we were all transported forward 30 years. Apparently British intelligence services were particularly wanting their prototype time machine tested by a group of Buddhists with a courtyard. And they found us!
Chanting the maitri mantra we circled three times clockwise around the courtyard, then broke into small groups to look back at today’s Triratna from an imagined future, which yielded many imaginative ideas. Coming back to the...
International Council members woke today to the best kind of lush, golden Herefordshire summer morning: pigeons cooing; deep green oak trees in full leaf.
The day was devoted to the theme of conflict resolution and related matters. Dhammarati presented the document “What is a Triratna Buddhist Centre?” As the result of the Council’s first-ever worldwide consultation, this is a landmark.
Saddhaloka introduced new draft model ethical guidelines for the Order and Munisha introduced the latest version of the model ‘Safeguarding’ documents regarding the protection...
Dhammamegha’s detailed exposition of the early stages of an ambitious, exciting new project to renew and re-imagine the Triratna system of practice as a genuinely collective international endeavour…
Her full account of where the project is at after its early stage research is preceded by Dhammarati’s helpful account of the Sikkha Project in relation to the Triratna International Council - the hows and whys of the project got started.
Following the earlier set of talks about different areas of challenge for contemporary Buddhists in the modern world - at times sobering as we heard evoked strongly the huge needs involved - we get to hear some tales of ordinary communities of practitioners who are doing something creative in response.
The day began with collective practice of the Manjughosha stuti sadhana in front of Sangharakshita’s Manjughosha rupa which watches over the atrium of the Sangharakshita Library. (This is a visualisation meditation practice given to Sangharakshita by his teacher Jamyang Khyentse in October 1957.)
In the morning session, Dhammamegha presented the Sikkha Project, intended to deepen our understanding of what and how we practise and teach within the Triratna community, and develop an explicit shared framework to talk about it.
A strong set of short talks as befits the title to start us off on day two of the 2016 Triratna International Council.
Parami introduces Akuppa challenging us to examine our responses to the possible realities of climate change; Viveka, asking us with great feeling to be curious about the possibilities for diversity amid the realities of deep-seated conditioning around racial bias; and Yashosagar inviting us to embrace the Buddha’s vision of the Dhamma as an adequate response to...
Today was devoted to looking at our relationship with a suffering world and how we might meet its needs as a community.
The morning saw short but heartfelt talks from • Akuppa (UK), on climate change and the effect it is already having, including its relationship to refugee crises; • Viveka (North America), on moving towards greater ethnic diversity in Triratna; • Yashosagar (India), on combatting poverty and discrimination, looking at the teachings of Dr Ambedkar.
The International Council’s first full day started with meditation, ritual, lively breakfast conversation and introductions from around the world.
The Council’s membership spans six Areas: Spain & Latin America, India, North America, Mainland Europe, the UK& Ireland and Australia & New Zealand. These in turn are subdivided into Regions, to enable consultation across the Order.
There are about 40 of us here this week, including some guests. The 33 delegates present, roughly 50:50 women and men, introduced themselves in groups from these Areas and...