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A famous story tells how Avalokiteshvara truly felt the suffering of the world, but the enormity of trying to relieve it made him break into a thousand pieces. Buddha Amitabha, out of compassion, re-formed him with eleven heads looking in every direction, and a thousand arms each offering help in a different way.
Our retreat will explore the Dharmic perspective needed for truly altruistic activity, so that our creativity, willingness, and effort for social change can lead to more than just “doing good” — to the combination of clarity and compassion that support “the bodhisattva’s reply”.
Sangharakshita has said that Avalokiteshvara is a symbol for our Order — but also that our Order, in a mysterious way, is a symbol for the stream of spiritual influence and benefit which Avalokiteshvara represents. Our retreat will explore Triratna’s reply to the suffering world, and the Dharmic foundations which need to underpin it.
The retreat will include:
- story-telling, chanting and ritual to create an atmosphere of magic and beauty, receptivity, potential and encouragement.
- meditation: teaching and time to practice seeing through what restricts our response to the world, and how to free our own hearts and minds.
- talks and discussion: looking at the society we live in, what it needs, what helps or hinders our attempts to move towards a more active altruism.
- Sangha: experience the breadth and depth of the Triratna Buddhist Community, with hundreds of newcomers and experienced practitioners from all over Europe living, practising, and creating Sangha together over a long weekend in Triratna”s new home. Don”t miss it!
Each morning there is meditation, followed by an inspiring talk. In the afternoon you can join one of the groups described above. There will be short work periods each day too - for many people these are an extremely satisfying way of connecting with others and with the retreat as a whole. Then, in the evening, everyone re-gathers in the big marquee for storytelling and puja. There will also be time for sitting round the campfire and hanging out.
The event is family-friendly, and there will be a children’s area, with facilities and activities for children and teenagers. Over 400 of us will be there — from Triratna groups and Centres across Europe. Everyone is welcome, whether this is your first retreat, or you’re an old hand.
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Re-live the wonderful 2012 International Retreat on 'Imagining the Buddha' via our online archive!
Pictures from 2012 | Talks from 2012 | Chanting, Interviews & Other Resources from 2012 | More pictures from 2012