Friday’s post on Triratna News reported on the upcoming BAM - Buddhist Action Month, rolling out across the UK throughout June. Alongside BAM, Triratna is also launching two parallel initiatives: ‘Beyond BAM’ and the ‘Sustainable Centres Project’.
Beyond BAM looks to have an impact beyond the month of June and is asking “could, or should, Triratna projects commit to making some long-term, permanent changes to how they operate? Could they, for instance, follow the lead of the Quakers and commit collectively to becoming a low-carbon, sustainable community?” And how might the Triratna Buddhist Community as a whole reach such a decision?”. This is the start of a debate explicitly looking for ways to link our ethcial commitment as Buddhists to our environmental outlook and actions, taking as its inspiration the lead of the Quakers’ Minute 36’, taken at their Yearly Meeting Gathering in 2011.
The Sustainable Centre Scheme has also grown out of Triratna’s participation in BAM. A 10-point certification scheme has been developed allowing qualifying Buddhist Centres to be certified as “Sustainable Centres” along the lines of the Fair Trade Association’s Temple Certification scheme. The ten points taken together cover all aspects of a Centre’s environmental footprint, arranged under three headings:
becoming aware taking action and spreading awareness
The tenth and last point asks local Sangha members to commit to taking a ‘green precept’ and 1000 postcards promoting this have been printed for distribution at Triratna’s upcoming International Retreat. The scheme has been developed over the winter, with Triratna’s Brighton and Colchester Centres already joining - it will be launched to other Centres at the July 2014 Triratna European Chairs Assembly.