ABOUT THE Adhisthana Kula
The Adhisthana Kula was a group (‘kula’) of people with senior roles in the Triratna Buddhist Order who were based at Adhisthana – Triratna’s main retreat centre in rural Herefordshire (UK) – when it formed in 2017. Its seven members held responsibilities in the major Triratna institutions and were in communication with Sangharakshita, who also lived at Adhisthana up to his death in 2018. In early 2017 the group began meeting daily to address issues connected to past difficulties and controversies, and most of their work was undertaken by early 2018.
While the Adhisthana Kula was an influential group, no one can speak on behalf of the Triratna Community, the Order or the College of Public Preceptors. In that sense, it speaks only for itself.
It is not our job to protect Triratna from difficult truths, and we recognise and deeply regret the pain of those who suffered in any way as a result of their involvement in Triratna. We thank those who have come forward to share their experiences for their courage in doing so.
We recognise that the members of the Adhisthana Kula are all deeply committed to Triratna and want it to thrive, and that this could compromise their ability to address these issues objectively and without bias. To counteract this the Kula approached its work on the basis of the Buddhist ethical precepts, which include honesty and a commitment to preventing suffering wherever it occurs. In examining Sangharakshita’s behaviour and its impact on others, the Kula consulted with other Buddhists and experts in the fields of Safeguarding and Restorative process. In some cases it delegated work to them, for example bringing in an external Restorative facilitator. It also worked collaboratively with others in Triratna, both in the UK and internationally, and especially with the Safeguarding Team.
We have regularly shared our work with others through the Adhisthana Kula Blog:
Saddhaloka has been the Chair of the Norwich Buddhist Centre, a member of the team helping men prepare for ordination in Europe, and the Chair of the Triratna College of Public Preceptors – a position he held for five years during which time The Adhisthana Kula was initiated.
Ratnadharini has been involved in many projects within Triratna, including being a member of the women’s ordination team at Tiratanaloka, and was part of the team setting up the Adhisthana Retreat Centre in Herefordshire. After being a Public Preceptor for 16 years, she became Chair of the Preceptors' College in 2019.
Aryajaya joined the Adhisthana Kula in late 2019, after the bulk of its work had been done and having become one of the Order’s two International Order Convenors in early 2018. She and Lokeshvara facilitate the flow of communication within the Order and are responsible for overseeing Order gatherings and conventions. Aryajaya was a director of Windhorse Evolution for five years.
Lokeshvara is the other International Convenor of the Triratna Buddhist Order, sharing his responsibilities with Aryajaya. Before working in Triratna he worked in the field of international conflict prevention and human rights and is interested in learning from critiques of the Order and supporting a culture that meets contentious or difficult issues without polarisation.
Mahamati was Director of the Karuna Trust, which supports social work projects in India’s poorest communities. He worked with Order members in India and later became an International Order Convenor. He lives near Adhisthana and from 2014 until Sangharakshita’s death in 2018 was one of his secretaries and carers.
Dhammarati was Chair of the College of Public Preceptors from 2005 to 2015. From the mid-1980s to the early 90s he was Chair of the London Buddhist Centre, and his other experience includes being the President of several Triratna centres and involvement in ordination training for men in North America and Scotland. He is currently the Convenor of Triratna’s International Council which he helped establish in 2010.
Parami was one of the International Order Convenors from 2008 to 2017. She has been a member of the Triratna International Council since its inception in 2010, initially as part of the Steering Group. Having worked extensively in the Spanish speaking world, she now represents the Latin America area.