EcoDharma offers new Engaged Buddhist Training course around Europe
On Fri, 9 March, 2012 - 05:45
Guhyapati, founder and director of Triratna’s EcoDharma retreat centre, set high in the Catalan Pyrenees, writes with news of their expanding Engaged Buddhist Training program, now spreading across Europe. He says - “This spring the EcoDharma Centre is offering the Dharma-based perspectives and tools which make up our Engaged Buddhist Training to grassroots organisations across Europe - from the Mediterranean to East and Central Europe across Europe. Meanwhile, back home in Catalunya we launch a new series of events with our first Engaged Buddhist Training retreat in July.
The work EcoDharma have been doing in the in the remote mountains of the Catalunya has attracted the attention of people working for social change across the continent. We have been approached by the European Youth for Action network to offer workshops to activists from Turkey, Hungary, Slovakia, Germany and Poland. The first of these will be in Berlin in April, and has been so popular that within the first week of its announcement there were more than 100 applicants for the 20 places.
European Youth For Action have accessed European Union funding to run the courses and asked the EcoDharma team to design and facilitate the residential workshops based on the reputation they have gained from their ”Sustaining Resistance – Empowering Renewal” workshops. These workshops apply Dharma perspectives and meditation tools to support effective and sustainable activism.
“One of the advantages of working with activists is the way they can carry the work back into their groups and networks,” says Guhyapati. “It is very inspiring to work with such motivated individuals, full of passion for justice and a vision of an ethical society.”
This spring they also run the first Sustaining Resistance event in the UK, in collaboration with the UK-based activist education organisation Seeds for Change. The site and logistics are being organised by Triratna’s Buddhafield collective, and like the Berlin course it is completely oversubscribed.
As well as this work aimed at activists they are developing an approach to this work specifically for Buddhist practitioners. “We have been using these tools and approaches very effectively with non-Buddhists, and it will be a real delight to be able to bring them fully into an explicitly Buddhist setting,” explains Guhyapati. “We are really excited about the Engaged Buddhist Training we’ll be running early this summer in Catalunya. It marks the beginning of a new range of courses aimed at empowering people and communities to draw on the deep resources the dharma has to offer to respond to our times. We think it is through working simultaneously on personal and social liberation that we can find a radical response to our times.” Full details of the vision and courses can be found on the EcoDharma website.
“It’s my experience that the world itself has a role to play in our liberation. It’s very pressures, pains and risks can wake us up – release us from the bonds of ego and guide us home to our vast true nature.” – Joanna Macy