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This year’s meeting of the Buddhist Teachers in Europe (BTE) was hosted by Triratna at Adhisthana at the very start of October. Following straight on from the European Buddhist Union meeting it was much smaller: eight to 10 people attended each day, including Sangharakshita. BTE is a chance for informal discussion on topics of current common interest, this year on the topic of ‘Buddhists in Dialogue with European Societies’, taken from the title of a conference held in Berlin in June this year.
Because of other work, I attended only sporadically but very much enjoyed the sight of Bhante attending the two morning talks, sitting in a group of teachers listening intently and commenting carefully. It was a particular joy to see the friendship between him and Lama Shenpen Hookham. Now 93 and 72 respectively, they first met over 50 years ago when he was her first Dharma teacher. She later founded the Awakened Heart Sangha in north Wales.
Dr Carola Roloff spoke on themes from the Hamburg conference and Lama Shenpen spoke about the roles of a guru or Buddhist teacher, a topic on which she is writing a book. Watch Lama Shenpen giving a talk on the same topic to her own students on another recent occasion.