Cover image, Kindling the Flame

Alchemy. Great Ocean: Sangharakshita and Friends 3 - from 1970.

On Fri, 26 August, 2022 - 12:32
Suryaprabha's picture

I am going to celebrate Bhante’s 97th birthday today by publicly launching Great Ocean 3- Alchemy following a large and appreciative audience at it’s screening last Saturday in Wymondham College.

This is the third of four films very loosely summed up by the title and subtitle Great Ocean: Sangharakshita and Friends

At some point I will write about the key stages of the project including meeting Sangharakshita to talk about it and the first two films, Memories of the Road and Opening Out arose from his suggestion to tell his story of his friendships with Buddharakshita and with Terry Delamare. One friendship facilitated a Buddhist life in India and the other a modern western life including the formation of a new FWBO/Triratna tradition.

The friendships in Great Ocean are not limited to personal ones and by Alchemy it’s clear some key relationships are trans-personal. There is an ethical theme that begins to grow from 10 minutes into Memories of the Road that suggests creating a new Buddhist tradition is, on an unconscious level, vitiated by the odd makeup of the UK constitution. Deeper friendship, in or out of the Order, relies more heavily than we’d care to admit on freedom of speech. As Bhante thundered in 1988 - a decade after the catastrophic ‘year of the blasphemy trial’: 

We accept the need for more ethics in our social life but we reject the notion that those ethics have to be Christian ethics. I believe they can be Buddhist ethics. 

For two films I relied of several Sangharakshita memoirs. The new film has no single source but relies on many sources, written or spoken, marshalled into two modes: didactic and reflective.

The three films can be found at Please, please consider using the donation form that appears as that helps both the work of and my own. Also, make use of them for group screenings when people can ask for clarifications - and you can ask for donations as well. 

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khemajoti's picture

I’ve just watched Memories of the Road which I enjoyed.

Thanks for all your hard work on films about Bhante and Triratna, Suryaprabha

metta  Khemajoti

Suryaprabha's picture

Thank you.