Triratna News

New Inter-Buddhist Union formed in Ireland

Posted by Sadayasihi on Mon, 9 April, 2018 - 16:37
Sadayasihi's picture
Sadayasihi

Maitrikaya from the Dublin Buddhist Centre writes: “On March 24th 2018 at the historic Rotunda building in Dublin a meeting took place to establish the Irish Buddhist Union (IBU) to represent Buddhism in Ireland. The IBU is a new umbrella association of Buddhist Sanghas and Organisations in Ireland. It is envisioned as a fellowship of Irish Buddhists, intending to bring Buddhist ideas and principles to the attention of wider Irish society.

Buddhism is among the fastest growing faiths in Ireland, showing a 12.1 per cent increase - to 9,758 practitioners - from the previous census in 2011. This is evident in the vibrancy in our own Dublin Buddhist Centre not to mention the various other traditions with a presence in Ireland.  In an increasingly diverse Ireland, the IBU hopes that the many Irish people who identify as Buddhist will become visible and active in Irish public life, with the IBU acting as a conduit for this.  Hoping to have an input on the national debate as Ireland develops to accommodate its growing diversity for the first time.

At the inaugural meeting a constitution was adopted and a board of trustees elected. On the day the Triratna Buddhist Community, Zen Buddhism Ireland, Kagyu Samye Dzong Dublin and Jampa Ling Tibetan Buddhist Centre were represented. The Order of Interbeing (Thich Nhat Hanh) and Sunyata Buddhist Centre (Thai Forest tradition) couldn’t attend on the day. It is hoped that the Union will expand in the future with SGI Ireland joining soon. The aim is for all Buddhist traditions to come together in a spirit of celebrating our shared Going for Refuge rather than our differences.  

Bhante in 1996 almost 30 years since the founding of the Order wrote Extending the Hand of Fellowship outlining how we might relate to the wider Buddhist world. We in the Dublin Buddhist Centre feel that in a changing Ireland - and in the spirit of Bhante’s vision - it’s important that Buddhists ethics and viewpoints are heard and a good way to do this is through some kind of umbrella organisation representing Buddhist groups in Ireland.”

Visit the Irish Buddhist Union website

Visit the Dublin Buddhist Centre website

View ‘The Balance of Being’ film from RTE 1 which features members of the Dublin Buddhist Centre community, exploring how the Buddha’s teachings informs their lives in Ireland

+Triratna in the Buddhist World space on The Buddhist Centre

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Responses

Vajracaksu's picture

Sadhu to all involved, may it benefit many. A 12% growth in 7 years in big. Do you know which faiths have grown even more than Buddhism in Ireland??

Kind wishes

Vajracaksu 

Sadayasihi's picture

Hi Vajracaksu,

Interesting question! Looking at the information from the Central Statistics Office (which you can find here) there were two other religions which grew more than Buddhism in Ireland between 2011 and 2016:  there was a 28.1% increase in the number of Muslims (up to 63,443 people) and a 34% increase in the number of Hindus (up to 14,332 people).  Buddhism is the next largest non-Christian religion after that.  The next census will be in 2021 so it will be interesting to see if the upwards growth of Buddhists in Ireland continues!

With Metta,

Sadayasihi

Vajracaksu's picture

Thank you Sadayasihi for taking the trouble to respond, I’ve taken a bit of a look at the link you sent. It seems to me that the wording of the original article was not accurate. The numbers of Buddhists are growing in Ireland but that Buddhism is one of the slowest or the slowest growing one:

Hindus 34%
Jewish 28.9%
Muslims 28.1%

Buddhist 12.1%

It is great that more people are interested in the Dharma of course but in this day and age I’m especially fond of ‘accuracy of narration.’

Thank you for the job you’re doing.

Kind wishes

Vajracaksu 

 

Sadayasihi's picture

Thanks for pointing this out Vajracaksu.  I take your point about accuracy of narrative. Just to say that I think Maitrikaya got that statistic from an article in the Irish Times, a national newspaper.

If you look at the list of religions (in the database list) there are 53 listed.  Without going through all 53 (and deciphering which are Christian and non-Christian) and calculating the % growth or otherwise between 2011 and 2016 I can’t definitely dispute whether Buddhism should now go from being described as the fastest growing to the slowest growing religion or not.   

However the fact remains that the numbers of Buddhists in Ireland according to the census indicate that it is the third largest grouping after Muslims and Hindus, which seems the most significant point, and why at this juncture an Irish Inter-Buddhist network would be warranted.

I hope things are going well in Istanbul.

With Metta,
Sadayasihi

maitrikaya's picture

Yes while apologising for not being more accurate with the stats I did take them from the newspaper acticle but it must be said they came from the IBU press release drawn up by a colleague which I took as accurate. Point taken Vajracaksu your work in Turkey inspires. 

Vajracaksu's picture

Thank you Maitrikaya for your response & your kind words,

I hope you are vital & open,

Kind wishes

Vajracaksu

Vijaya1's picture

Excellent. Very impressed by the RTE video -beautifully done. Your second and third links above are the same btw.

Tony25's picture

Good representations from the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions though it’s a pity the Theravada reps couldn’t attend.  It is also a pity not to see a representative from Mahayana Pure Land school.  Pure Land is the largest and most popular sect in Asia.

maitrikaya's picture

While that might be the case in Asia Tony25 this is Ireland and as far as we are aware there are no representatives of that steam of Buddhism in Ireland.

Kaisan's picture

Well done everyone!

I sometimes wonder how the other Buddhist groups feel about the Centre being called ‘The Dublin Buddhist Centre’ I’d called it ‘The Dublin Meditation Centre out of respect for other local Buddhist Traditions. Perhaps ‘Dublin Triratna Centre’ might work better these days?  That’s up to you guys, but it might be worth giving Sasanaratna’s latest article a look? Some of our ways of doing things are looking a bit dated, but I still like everything I hear from Dublin! You are doing really great! 

With much warm Metta, 

Sanghapala.