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“On the evening of 22 August 2011 at Padmaloka, Bhante Sangharakshita addressed a group of 36 Order members representing the Triratna Buddhist Order and Community, giving his blessing to the first gathering of the International Council. This is the first time in the history of the Triratna tradition that a truly international group of Order members representing all three strands of Triratna (Order, Movement and College of Public Preceptors) and all six areas (USA/Canada, India, South Pacific, Latin America, Mainland Europe and UK/Ireland) has come together in this way.Photograph: Back row (L to R): Amogharatna (Mainland Europe, Movement), Karunamaya (India, Preceptors’ College), Sudaya (South Pacific, Movement), Aryaketu (India, Order), Viradhamma (USA/Canada, Preceptors’ College), Vajragupta (UK/Ireland, Movement), Satyaraja (UK/Ireland, Preceptors’ College), Mahamati (Order & Mainland Europe, Preceptors’ College), Sanghadevi (South Pacific, Preceptors’ College), Parami (Order), Padmasuri (Preceptors’ College), Vajragita (Mainland Europe, Preceptors’ College), Shantinayaka (USA/Canada, Order), Amrutdeep (India, Order), Guhyasiddhi (South Pacific, Order), Karunadevi (USA/Canada, Preceptors’ College), Buddhadasa (South Pacific, Preceptors’ College), Lokeshvara (UK/Ireland, Order), Dhammarati (Preceptors’ College).
What followed was five days of intense, lively discussion, workshops, presentations, practice, ritual, sharing and building of friendships and consensus all focused on ensuring that the realisation of Sangharakshita’s vision for a new Buddhist tradition would be sustainable. In addition to Bhante’s welcome, there were presentations by Dhammarati, Subhuti, Parami and Vajragupta to provide context and to stimulate discussion. A number of major themes reflecting a range of issues put forward by members of the Order, Movement and Preceptors’ College emerged over the period of the meeting and were looked at in detail. The reporting-out on the last morning was an inspiring collective mix of excitement, relief and most importantly confidence in the future of the Triratna Buddhist Order and Community.
Over the new few months, all Council participants (see below) will be working to communicate the detail of the meeting to the Order, the Movement and the Preceptors’ College.”