Triratna International Gathering 2017 - What The World Needs Now

Paganism and the Dharma

On Wed, 26 July, 2017 - 12:24
mokshini's picture

This fabulously interesting workshop aims to explore the common ground between paganism and the Dharma. Ratnadeva writes - 

“We will look at extracts from Bhante’s writings, in which he describes possible benefits for Western Buddhism of engaging with paganism. More specifically we will look at animism as a common mythical context. I will describe how I have been exploring these complementarities within the context of team-based-right-livlihood with Buddhafield. There will be time for a (hopefully!) open-minded and open-hearted discussion, during which we will address questions such as:
- Can paganism help the Dharma take root in the West? 
- What does Bhante mean when he exhorts us ‘to hunt for a real feeling for the life in all things’ and when he says ‘…a universe conceived of as dead cannot be a universe in which one stands any chance of attaining Enlightenment’? (Living with Awareness, Ch. 6).
- Does Buddhafield have a unique contribution to offer to the Movement and the development of the Dharma in the West?
- Is there a place for pagan elements such as dance, drumming or nudity in Dharmic ritual?
We will perform a short ritual based on the Ratana Sutta that illustrates a bridging of the pagan and Dharmic traditions.

About Ratnadeva: After a couple of decades working as an engineer and scientist, Ratnadeva made a conscious move towards the mythical and immersion in nature in 2008. He took up an invitation to join Buddhafield in the Southwest, working mainly on their camping retreats. This move was partly inspired by previous explorations of the nature-based tradition of Druidry. Almost a decade of practice in this context has confirmed for him the complementarity of the two traditions.


Natascha Trolle's picture

Very interesting subject ! Being fond of the native American way of spirituality I am looking forward to this talk!   Peter Mathiessen in his book The Snow Leopard,  is walking the mountains of Tibet and is struck by the many similarities between the Tibetan and the native American approach to nature and spirituality.