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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