What if there’s no Triratna sangha in your country? Yesterday and today we hear from people seeking Triratna sangha.
Today it’s Binyamin in Israel. Formerly of Manchester Buddhist Centre, UK, he’s completing advanced training as a Jungian psychoanalyst. He lives with his husband and two children in Jerusalem and he’s looking for others interested in starting a Triratna group.
He writes: “Here in Israel, the words “peace” and “dialogue” have been so over-used, they have ceased to have meaning. When the word ‘Israel’ is heard, the political and religious climate is what is most often focused upon. This being said, Buddhism, in its many forms, has been slowly growing in Israel. Now a strong and diverse set of Buddhist groups is running local meditation groups, retreats, sanghas and meditation houses.
I left Manchester, UK in 2001 and finally set up home in Jerusalem in 2006. I did not realise quite how powerful my participation in the Manchester Buddhist Centre’s life had been. I look back and note the sheer wealth of people committed to an engaged Buddhist path at the MBC - and how diverse that path can be! The need to create strong spiritual friendships, the commitment to Right Livelihood and a Buddhist vision, seem critical in a climate where Israelis and Palestinians are thirsty for a apiritual path that avoids the rhetoric of God-language.
Why am I hoping we can develop a Triratna community here? Whilst there are many small and large groups - from Korean Zen to Diamond Way to Vipassana - there is a real need for an integrated, contemporary, culturally adaptive Buddhist vision here in Israel, the likes of which Triratna has been excellent in developing in the West. I meet with people who are looking for that community and spiritual path. Yes, it’s somewhat complicated here as the law forbids other religions from “converting” people to another religion. But that being said there is a notable desire in Jews and Arabs for an alternative to the three monotheistic religions.
If you are interested in helping create a Triratna community in Jerusalem, please get in touch.”