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Following the US Dharma Teacher Gathering, Bodhipaksa, Singhashri, Vidyamala and Vimalasara travelled on to the ‘Gen X’ gathering, 6th-10th June, at Dharma Drum Retreat Centre in New York State. This was a meeting for Dharma teachers born between 1960 and 1980.
They were joined by Padmadharini, making the Triratna team an internationally diverse (if Anglophone) bunch: Bodhipaksha and Padmadharini are British, living in the US: Singhashri is American, living in the UK; Vidyamala is a New Zealander living in the UK; and Vimalasara is British, living in Canada!
“This was a small gathering, with numbers limited to about 60. It takes place every two years and is intended to address issues specific to this generation of Buddhist teachers and practitioners and to help build friendship and sangha across traditions.
It was a wonderful gathering, with depth and maturity and a willingness to look at conditioning and find our common ground. There were no formal talks – rather a series of interactive exercises and ‘open spaces’ to allow for a range of topics to be discussed. Topics included diversity; Buddhism in the modern world; upaya (skillful means) across different traditions; tradition versus innovation, and articulating the essence of our respective paths. The question of how to speak of liberation - the whole issue of ‘making claims’ - was a controversial topic for many of the traditions represented.
Many of those attending were from traditions which have dealt with scandal and schism over the decades; there was a maturity and realism about what it takes to practise in the modern world. Rather than being attached to and protective of our own traditions, there was much curiosity about how we each follow the path, as well as much receptivity to Triratna as a radical re-visioning of Buddhism for the modern world. (We discovered that Won Buddhism, in South Korea, has many similarities with Triratna!)”
Vidyamala is interested in facilitating a ‘Gen X’ gathering within Triratna, possibly in 2016, to enable us to deepen connections and address generational issues within Triratna. If you are interested please Vidyamala [at] breathworks.co.uk (email Vidyamala.)