Last weekend saw the annual UK gathering of young Triratna Buddhists. This was the fourth such national gathering, with over 120 present – the numbers having doubled each year the event has been held! Even better, it shows signs of spreading beyond the UK – this year there was a substantial contingent from Paris, plus individuals from Ireland, Germany and Belgium (and London, Cambridge, Manchester, Birmingham, Colchester, Ipswich, Norwich, Leeds, Sheffield, Scotland, Oxford, Nottingham, Exeter, Cardiff, Bristol, and last but by no means least the Buddhafield crew, present in force to do the cooking). To accomodate this growth, its had to shift venues every year, and this year was held at Smallwood Manor, a school some miles north of Birmingham.
The theme was ‘Energy for Enlightenment’ and Samuel Rawlings, currently working as secretary to Subhuti, sends us this video of the weekend, appropriately entitled ‘B-L-A-S-T’.
There were three talks during the weekend, also available on video:
Vajratara speaks here on the imperative of energy in the quest for Enlightenment, of how to cultivate and harness this crucial spiritual factor in the pursuit of the Good.
And here you can watch two personal twenty-minute talks based around the theme of working with energy. Singhamati explores the power and importance of symbols, focusing on the Buddha’s Bhumi-Sparsa (Earth-Touching) Mudra as well as his begging bowl, whilst Dharmashalin follows with a strong invocation to strive towards that for which you truly care.
Dharmashalin referenced especially the NNBY - the National Network of Buddhist Youth, Triratna’s Indian youth wing, and their new ‘Bihar Girls project’. They’re hoping to ‘twin’ with Triratna’s youth wing in the Western world, and are initiating this with an all-night meditation on the next full-moon, 11/11/11, dedicated as a fundraising event for the Bihar Girls. Details here.
Talks from the weekend will be available shortly on FreeBuddhistAudio, we’ll be posting some photos too.