Cover image, Kindling the Flame

EXCELLENT COMMUNITY (working title)

On Fri, 21 March, 2014 - 17:20
Suryaprabha's picture
Suryaprabha
Can 20 people, just 1% of the 2000-strong Triratna Order, represent it in a meaningful way?
That is the task that’s been set them in this new film. One out of every hundred people has been chosen, using records of their ordination dates, and invited to talk or take part in some way. Their experiences in terms of location, culture, gender and language may be very different but they share many experiences that go to create the Order, its aspirations and ambitions.

Here’s is picture (from Google) of where the Order began life in an upper floor wood panelled room. Bhante Sangharakshita had done a remarkable job assembling delegations of senior Buddhists and the Press, as well as his dozen freshly minted Western Buddhists. Here’s part of a contemporary (1968) newspaper report:

Mrs Sara Boin, a 30-year-old London housewife was ordained a Buddhist yesterday. The ceremony was performed by the Venerable Sthavira Sangharakshita head of Britain’s Buddhists. Mrs. Boin, of Coptic Street, Bloomsbury, is believed to be the first British woman ordained into Western Buddhism.
People often talk about the moment of ordination as being special and that will be interesting to hear as 15 men, 6 women, 11 Europeans, 9 Indians and 1 New Zealander reflect on their experience now.
Sangharakshita, refers to as the Order at its most creative and imaginative as manifesting the thousand-armed Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Many have been impressed by Lokabandhu’s wonderful photo collage of Avalokitesvara composed entirely of Order members’ portraits. Given so few contribute to the Order’s private newsletter, Shabda, this project is another way to communicate the diversity and unity of the Order in a visually enjoyable and meaningful way.
Though I’ve long thought to extend work on my History of FWBO/Triratna (the final part A Circle of Friends culminates in 1979) I decided against the monumental effort of closing a 30 year gap in the movement’s story, at least for now.

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