College of Public Preceptors

Subhuti: Retirement from the College

On Fri, 1 December, 2017 - 18:02
Saccanama's picture

Retirement from the College 

As I have been approaching my 70th birthday in December this year, I have for some time been considering retiring from the College. After consulting with Bhante, Saddhaloka and his Deputies, the Adhisthana Kula members, my own Indian Kula, and other close friends, I have decided to take that step. This has therefore been my last College meeting as an active Public Preceptor. 

There are a number of reasons behind this decision. The primary one is what could be said to be a matter of principle: I believe that I need to get out of the way of new generations who are well able to take responsibility. I have been a Public Preceptor for 28 years and have had a great deal to do with the shape the College has taken. Bhante long ago inculcated in us the principle of ‘up and out’ and of ‘working to make yourself redundant’. Well, I have been redundant for a while, to some extent because of my own efforts, and there are many now capable of carrying on without me. 

My most active area of responsibility has been India, where I have been a key figure in the Indian Public Preceptors Kula. But there are now 7 very experienced Public Preceptors in the kula, 6 of whom are Indian-born. They can be fully effective without me and I believe need the opportunity to take responsibility completely independent of me. I will be available for consultation if they need me, but I shan’t interfere. I will still be making my biannual visits to India, but will concentrate on teaching the Dhamma and kalyana mitrata.

From a more personal point of view, I am resigning because I no longer feel that I am best used in this way and the overall strain of my activities, responsibilities, and schedule, especially travelling back and forth to India, is beginning to tell on my health a little. I have no serious problems but don’t want to wait until I do. I would like to open up some space and time for something new to arise - and by definition I do not know what that may be. I’m sure I will continue to be active but I hope in less programmed ways! I simply want to be useful to the Order and movement, as I have tried to be since I was ordained 44 years ago.

How much retirement from the College will mark a real change I’m not sure, apart from immediately freeing up a few weeks of my time. I still have a number of responsibilities and interests, in India especially, but also in Hungary and in the UK. I have not retired from these yet, though I have been actively handing on more and more of my work to others and hope that that will now gather pace. Notwithstanding these other responsibilities from which I am not yet able to retire, I think it will definitely make a difference to me and probably to other people that I am no longer a member of the College. 

Finally, I should say that I certainly will continue to support the College and it’s leadership, and am open to being consulted or called upon - or not! I am keen to keep in contact with my many friends in the College, several of whom have been my brothers and sisters in the Order throughout my adult life. 

Needless to say, I take this step in full of confidence in the future of our precious Order and movement and in their very positive contribution to our suffering world. 


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Vajranatha's picture

Dear Subhuti,

Thank you for all the work you have done to help the spiritual growth of our Order. Thank you too for exemplifying the principle of moving back to allow other people to step into the responsibilities which you have been holding.

I’m looking forward to seeing what your next step turns out to be… especially if it means more teaching the Dhamma and kalyana mitrata!

With lots of love & appreciation


Vishangka's picture

Hi Subhuti

Many many thanks for all that you have given to the order and college over the years. I find your example so inspiring and I wish you well in this next phase of your life. I look forward to seeing what arises!


Vishangka x

khemajoti's picture

28 years! Thank you for all you have given in that time.  I do hope that new, creative space opens up for you and that you enjoy and spiritually benefit from whatever emerges. With metta Khemajoti

Amaladipa's picture

Thank you so much Subhuti for all that you have done for Triratna and the world. Your exhortation to bring about a Dharma revolution to also include the poor and marginalised in our society has been my compass for many years and you having said it made me feel I could be part of the Order and give of myself in my own unique and imperfect way. I wish you deep fulfilment, creativity and happiness. May all blessings be yours.

With deep thanks


Sanghanistha's picture

Dear Subhuti,

thank you so much for all you have done and for all you have given, I believe the Order owes you an immense debt of gratitude for this, there is so much that could be rejoiced in.

With love,

vajrasara's picture

Dear Subhuti

It’s hard to imagine how the Order would have been without your mountain of qualities: your vision, clarity, energy, sraddha, generosity and depth. Thank you for your awesome dedication – which has touched thousands of us. You’ve contributed enormously to our understanding of Bhante and what it means to Going for Refuge. A Good Disciple indeed! When hearing about your recent work in Hungary I sensed your humility, as you surrender to a myth (or force) of compassion … for the welfare of the many.

I hope the next phase of your life opens up joyful, creative possibilities – and brings a rain of blessings.

metta Vajrasara

Dhiramani's picture

Hello Subhuti,

You have given so much of yourself over the years to the Order & various projects. How refreshing that you have confidence in the College, that you can now step aside. Perhaps this opening up of space for something new, will give you more time in Wales.!

Jnanacandra's picture

Thank you for all you’ve done for our precious Order, dear Subhuti!