The Order Office

A force for good in the world
Meet the Team and TrusteesRead the 2017 Order Office Report

The Order Office

A force for good in the world
Meet the Team and TrusteesRead the 2017 Order Office Report

What is the Order Office?

The Order Office is a working group of Order members, including the International Order Convenors and the Order Office Team, that operate from a number of locations around the world. We provide support for the International Order Convenors and manage the Order’s information, administration, support and development worldwide.

The Triratna Trust

The International Order Office is overseen by the Triratna Trust, which is entrusted with making sure that the money given through Order Dana is spent wisely. The trustees of the charity are elected each year and are its guardians. They have the legal responsibility to ensure that the charity operates in line with its charter and remains solvent.

The Trust’s objective is the advancement of the Buddhist religion. In particular:

1) To encourage Order members and others to live in accordance with the teaching of the Buddha.

2) To support ordained members of the Triratna Buddhist Order.

3) To maintain close oversight of the Order Office’s work, with the guidance of the Triratna Buddhist Order and in co-operation with other groups.

Read about our latest activities at the Order Office

Read about our partnerships

What is the Order Office?

The Order Office is a working group of Order members, including the International Order Convenors and the Order Office Team, that operate from a number of locations around the world. We provide support for the International Order Convenors and manage the Order’s information, administration, support and development worldwide.

The Triratna Trust

The International Order Office is overseen by the Triratna Trust, which is entrusted with making sure that the money given through Order Dana is spent wisely. The trustees of the charity are elected each year and are its guardians. They have the legal responsibility to ensure that the charity operates in line with its charter and remains solvent.

The Trust’s objective is the advancement of the Buddhist religion. In particular:

1) To encourage Order members and others to live in accordance with the teaching of the Buddha.

2) To support ordained members of the Triratna Buddhist Order.

3) To maintain close oversight of the Order Office’s work, with the guidance of the Triratna Buddhist Order and in co-operation with other groups.

Read about our latest activities at the Order Office

Read about our partnerships

Meet the Team

Prashrabdhi – Treasurer

I heard about the Four Noble Truths and wanted to know more about Buddhism then discovered the FWBO in Llangollen in around 2000. I knew I was a Buddhist. I was ordained in September 2010 at Akashavana and in 2014 I started a Triratna Buddhist Meditation group in Chester, where I live.

The majority of my employment has been outside of the movement, teaching in Further Education, although I worked as a volunteer in the Team Based, Manchester Evolution Christmas shop in the early 2000s. When I took voluntary redundancy from a long term teaching I was awarded a training fund. I used the fund for an accounting qualification and ordination training at Tiratnaloka. I was a part time bookkeeper for Taraloka for a number of years and now Utpalavajri has handed on the Trust’s accounts to me, which is a part time role. I am delighted to be using my skills in a support role as Finance Officer at the heart of this precious Order.

Rijupatha – Administration

I was ordained in September of 2014 and joined the Order Office team in 2015. My work involves maintaining the Order database, keeping this website up to date and sending out messages on the Order Information Service.

I’m also an artist and graphic & web designer, and I work with Aryaloka Buddhist Center, Free Buddhist Audio, The Buddhist Centre Online, and other projects within the Triratna movement. I live in the U.S. and locally I’m involved with organizing the Young Sangha in New England and creating the layout for the Vajra Bell newsletter. And I’m also the proud Poppa of two fabulous girls, Cheyenne and Willow.

Shantavira – Shabda Compiler

I was brought up as a Quaker and lived in a large community in Bethnal Green for ten years before coming into contact with the Movement. I was ordained in Tuscany in 1984 at the age of 35 and worked as an editor and typesetter with Windhorse Publications, at first in Bethnal Green, then in Norwich and Sheffield, before joining the business team in Birmingham.

Since January 2009 I have collated, printed, and distributed Shabda from an office in Moseley. I still assist Windhorse when required, and I am currently helping to prepare all Sangharakshita’s books, articles, and papers for publication as part of his Complete Works.

Vajrapriya – Incoming Team Co-ordinator / Mananger

I was ambushed by the Dharma in Sri Lanka while travelling there in ’91. A tortuous route led me first to the old Manchester Buddhist Centre, then Milton Keynes, until I settled in Cambridge working at the Buddhist Centre for many years.

There followed 4 years “without portfolio”, two of which I spent on retreat in Spain (at the fantastically beautiful Uttaraloka, near Guhyaloka), and the other two of which were spent trying to work out my next life direction.

The result is that I’m now living in my old birth town of Shrewsbury, UK, with my partner Vajradevi, both of us drawn by the burgeoning new Buddhist Centre. And most recently I’ve joined the Order Office Team, working 3 days per week, preparing to be its manager / co-ordinator when Khemasuri steps down. I’m also training as a focusing practitioner, and hope to write a Dharma book.

Vimalamati

I met the movement in the early 90’s while living in Leeds with my partner and working as a teacher. I was a fairly reluctant Buddhist to start with but slowly realised that real change in an individual was possible and eventually seeing enlightenment was possible. I was relieved that I was addressing in some way the overwhelming amount of suffering in the world. I moved to Sheffield (now single) to engage more fully in the ordination training and was ordained in 1998, Tuscany on the first women’s retreat to be held at Il Convento. For several years I worked in the Evolution shop and was an active at the Sheffield Centre. Following this I had some years when I was not active and worked teaching in schools taking some time for deep introspection. When the international and regional order convening network was set up I knew I wanted to be part of it.

I was ready to re-engage and had always felt a structure was missing from the order so this was an ideal opportunity, I was fortunate to become the regional convenor for the Northern women. I have loved working with the convening team as it has grown and developed which has partly led to my place in the Order office team assisting Lokeshvara and Parami with their work and living at Adhisthana.

Prashrabdhi

Prashrabdhi – Treasurer

I heard about the Four Noble Truths and wanted to know more about Buddhism then discovered the FWBO in Llangollen in around 2000. I knew I was a Buddhist. I was ordained in September 2010 at Akashavana and in 2014 I started a Triratna Buddhist Meditation group in Chester, where I live.

The majority of my employment has been outside of the movement, teaching in Further Education, although I worked as a volunteer in the Team Based, Manchester Evolution Christmas shop in the early 2000s. When I took voluntary redundancy from a long term teaching I was awarded a training fund. I used the fund for an accounting qualification and ordination training at Tiratnaloka. I was a part time bookkeeper for Taraloka for a number of years and now Utpalavajri has handed on the Trust’s accounts to me, which is a part time role. I am delighted to be using my skills in a support role as Finance Officer at the heart of this precious Order.

Rijupatha

Rijupatha – Administration

I was ordained in September of 2014 and joined the Order Office team in 2015. My work involves maintaining the Order database, keeping this website up to date and sending out messages on the Order Information Service.

I’m also an artist and graphic & web designer, and I work with Aryaloka Buddhist Center, Free Buddhist Audio, The Buddhist Centre Online, and other projects within the Triratna movement. I live in the U.S. and locally I’m involved with organizing the Young Sangha in New England and creating the layout for the Vajra Bell newsletter. And I’m also the proud Poppa of two fabulous girls, Cheyenne and Willow.

Shantavira

Shantavira – Shabda Compiler

I was brought up as a Quaker and lived in a large community in Bethnal Green for ten years before coming into contact with the Movement. I was ordained in Tuscany in 1984 at the age of 35 and worked as an editor and typesetter with Windhorse Publications, at first in Bethnal Green, then in Norwich and Sheffield, before joining the business team in Birmingham.

Since January 2009 I have collated, printed, and distributed Shabda from an office in Moseley. I still assist Windhorse when required, and I am currently helping to prepare all Sangharakshita’s books, articles, and papers for publication as part of his Complete Works.

Vajrapriya

Vajrapriya – Incoming Team Co-ordinator / Manager

I was ambushed by the Dharma in Sri Lanka while travelling there in ’91. A tortuous route led me first to the old Manchester Buddhist Centre, then Milton Keynes, until I settled in Cambridge working at the Buddhist Centre for many years.

There followed 4 years “without portfolio”, two of which I spent on retreat in Spain (at the fantastically beautiful Uttaraloka, near Guhyaloka), and the other two of which were spent trying to work out my next life direction.

The result is that I’m now living in my old birth town of Shrewsbury, UK, with my partner Vajradevi, both of us drawn by the burgeoning new Buddhist Centre. And most recently I’ve joined the Order Office Team, working 3 days per week, preparing to be its manager / co-ordinator when Khemasuri steps down. I’m also training as a focusing practitioner, and hope to write a Dharma book.

Vimalamati

Vimalamati

I met the movement in the early 90’s while living in Leeds with my partner and working as a teacher. I was a fairly reluctant Buddhist to start with but slowly realised that real change in an individual was possible and eventually seeing enlightenment was possible. I was relieved that I was addressing in some way the overwhelming amount of suffering in the world. I moved to Sheffield (now single) to engage more fully in the ordination training and was ordained in 1998, Tuscany on the first women’s retreat to be held at Il Convento. For several years I worked in the Evolution shop and was an active at the Sheffield Centre. Following this I had some years when I was not active and worked teaching in schools taking some time for deep introspection. When the international and regional order convening network was set up I knew I wanted to be part of it.

I was ready to re-engage and had always felt a structure was missing from the order so this was an ideal opportunity, I was fortunate to become the regional convenor for the Northern women. I have loved working with the convening team as it has grown and developed which has partly led to my place in the Order office team assisting Lokeshvara and Parami with their work and living at Adhisthana.

Meet the Trustees

Achara

Joined the Triratna Trust in 2014

Achara lives in Sheffield and was ordained in 2000 by Padmavajra in India. He has contributed to Sheffield Buddhist Centre, Windhorse publications, Vajraloka, Windhorse Evolution and other situations around Triratna. Achara has a fascination with organisations and communication.

He says: “I have been captivated by the Dharma since I first discovered it as a schoolboy. It took me twenty years to find a teacher and when I encountered Sangharakshita and the Sangha I knew I was ‘home’.

I regard the Triratna Community as a rare and precious jewel and I want to contribute whenever I can. The Triratna Trust plays an important part in the health and continuity of the Order, so when I was asked if I would be a Trustee, I was pleased to accept.”

Lokeshvara – International Order Convenor

I came to the Dharma in the middle of the 1990’s disillusioned with my work in conflict and human rights. Previous to this I had been part of interest groups, circles of friends and various communities, but always on the fringes. When I came across the Order, and behind it Sangharakshita, I felt such a relief that a community like this existed in the world. The vision was deep enough and wide enough that it left no unanswered questions for me. More or less I am still running on the momentum of that discovery.

I was ordained in 2002 by Padmavajra and Surata. Since then most of my time has been spent living and working at Padmaloka, with a short period working for Subhuti and another for Windhorse evolution. Being in the Order has been relatively straightforward for me. I have some very good friends who I share my life with. I haven’t understood every episode or development that I’ve seen, but I fundamentally trust in the principles on which our community exists and flourishes. I believe very strongly that the Order is a force for good in the world. Despite difficulties and differences (maybe because of them), I still think it is by far the best community I have come across. Bhante’s description and vision of us as a nucleus of a new society continues to inspire me.

I am now living at Adhisthana.

Parami – International Order Convenor & Trustee of the Triratna Trust

I met the movement in 1977 in Glasgow. In 1978 I moved to London to live in a women’s community and was ordained in 1980. Soon after ordination I moved to east London to work at the (east) London Buddhist Centre where I remained until 1993. While there I worked in various businesses as well as teaching at the Centre.

In 1992 I moved with Paramachitta to Valencia, Spain to help establish the movement there. I was chair of the centre there from 1995 until 2003 as well as working in the Evolution shop there for some years.

In 2004 I moved back to the UK and was based in Taraloka. In Jan 2009 I became, with Mahamati, one of the International Order convenors. Late in 2009 I moved to Birmingham to work with Mahamati and facilitate the team aspect of the work. That aspect has moved along considerably with my moving to Adhisthana. Lokesvara has now moved into Adhisthana as well and this is working very well indeed. Mahamati lives close by and that helps with the handover to Lokesvara as the new International Order Convenor. It feels a great privilege to be living and working here in such beautiful surroundings and living so close to Bhante. I continue to feel inspired to be serving the Order in this way.

Shantigarbha

Joined the Triratna Trust in July 2015

Shantigarbha joined the trust in July 2015, and is currently the Trust’s Secretary. He says:

I went along to the Croydon Buddhist Centre in 1985, when I was nineteen, and was hooked by the combination of meditation, ethics, the Arts and inspiring Order Members. Since then, I’ve lived in communities and worked in Team-Based Right Livelihoods including the Karuna Trust, Dharmachakra and ‘Urthona’, the Buddhist arts magazine.

I was ordained in 1996 by Padmavajra and given my name, which means ‘Matrix or Womb of Peace’. Since 2004 I’ve been reaching out to non-Buddhists by sharing Nonviolent Communication, hopefully bringing more compassion into the world. I love the Order and have found various ways to serve it, as a chapter convenor, as a regional order convenor for the men in the South-Western region of the UK, as coordinator of the UK & Ireland Men’s Regional Order Convenors, as a trustee of the Triratna Trust and most recently as the next UK and Ireland Order Delegate to the International Council.

I currently live in Bristol with my partner Gesine.

Sucimani

Joined the Triratna Trust in December 2013

Sucimani lives in Croydon, UK, and was ordained in 1999. She is also currently one of the Order Convenors for the southern region of the UK.

She says: “I was delighted to be asked to become a trustee of the Triratna Trust – I love being in the order and appreciate being able to contribute to the life of the order. I am a member of the international council, attending on behalf of the UK and Ireland Dharmacharinis. I am the current chair of the trust having taken over from the very capable Mahamati and am gradually growing into the role

I live with my husband of many years and spend time meeting with friends, helping our lovely women mitras in Croydon enter the Order and practicing Aikido with lots of blokes.”

Achara

Achara

Joined the Triratna Trust in 2014

Achara lives in Sheffield and was ordained in 2000 by Padmavajra in India. He has contributed to Sheffield Buddhist Centre, Windhorse publications, Vajraloka, Windhorse Evolution and other situations around Triratna. Achara has a fascination with organisations and communication.

He says: “I have been captivated by the Dharma since I first discovered it as a schoolboy. It took me twenty years to find a teacher and when I encountered Sangharakshita and the Sangha I knew I was ‘home’.

I regard the Triratna Community as a rare and precious jewel and I want to contribute whenever I can. The Triratna Trust plays an important part in the health and continuity of the Order, so when I was asked if I would be a Trustee, I was pleased to accept.”

Parami

Parami – International Order Convenor & Trustee of the Triratna Trust

I met the movement in 1977 in Glasgow. In 1978 I moved to London to live in a women’s community and was ordained in 1980. Soon after ordination I moved to east London to work at the (east) London Buddhist Centre where I remained until 1993. While there I worked in various businesses as well as teaching at the Centre.

In 1992 I moved with Paramachitta to Valencia, Spain to help establish the movement there. I was chair of the centre there from 1995 until 2003 as well as working in the Evolution shop there for some years.

In 2004 I moved back to the UK and was based in Taraloka. In Jan 2009 I became, with Mahamati, one of the International Order convenors. Late in 2009 I moved to Birmingham to work with Mahamati and facilitate the team aspect of the work. That aspect has moved along considerably with my moving to Adhisthana. Lokesvara has now moved into Adhisthana as well and this is working very well indeed. Mahamati lives close by and that helps with the handover to Lokesvara as the new International Order Convenor. It feels a great privilege to be living and working here in such beautiful surroundings and living so close to Bhante. I continue to feel inspired to be serving the Order in this way.

Lokeshvara

Lokeshvara – International Order Convenor

I came to the Dharma in the middle of the 1990’s disillusioned with my work in conflict and human rights. Previous to this I had been part of interest groups, circles of friends and various communities, but always on the fringes. When I came across the Order, and behind it Sangharakshita, I felt such a relief that a community like this existed in the world. The vision was deep enough and wide enough that it left no unanswered questions for me. More or less I am still running on the momentum of that discovery.

I was ordained in 2002 by Padmavajra and Surata. Since then most of my time has been spent living and working at Padmaloka, with a short period working for Subhuti and another for Windhorse evolution. Being in the Order has been relatively straightforward for me. I have some very good friends who I share my life with. I haven’t understood every episode or development that I’ve seen, but I fundamentally trust in the principles on which our community exists and flourishes. I believe very strongly that the Order is a force for good in the world. Despite difficulties and differences (maybe because of them), I still think it is by far the best community I have come across. Bhante’s description and vision of us as a nucleus of a new society continues to inspire me.

I am now living at Adhisthana.

Shantigarbha

Shantigarbha

Joined the Triratna Trust in July 2015

Shantigarbha joined the trust in July 2015, and is currently the Trust’s Secretary. He says:

I went along to the Croydon Buddhist Centre in 1985, when I was nineteen, and was hooked by the combination of meditation, ethics, the Arts and inspiring Order Members. Since then, I’ve lived in communities and worked in Team-Based Right Livelihoods including the Karuna Trust, Dharmachakra and ‘Urthona’, the Buddhist arts magazine.

I was ordained in 1996 by Padmavajra and given my name, which means ‘Matrix or Womb of Peace’. Since 2004 I’ve been reaching out to non-Buddhists by sharing Nonviolent Communication, hopefully bringing more compassion into the world. I love the Order and have found various ways to serve it, as a chapter convenor, as a regional order convenor for the men in the South-Western region of the UK, as coordinator of the UK & Ireland Men’s Regional Order Convenors, as a trustee of the Triratna Trust and most recently as the next UK and Ireland Order Delegate to the International Council.

I currently live in Bristol with my partner Gesine.

Sucimani

Sucimani

Joined the Triratna Trust in December 2013

Sucimani lives in Croydon, UK, and was ordained in 1999. She is also currently one of the Order Convenors for the southern region of the UK.

She says: “I was delighted to be asked to become a trustee of the Triratna Trust – I love being in the order and appreciate being able to contribute to the life of the order. I am a member of the international council, attending on behalf of the UK and Ireland Dharmacharinis. I am the current chair of the trust having taken over from the very capable Mahamati and am gradually growing into the role

I live with my husband of many years and spend time meeting with friends, helping our lovely women mitras in Croydon enter the Order and practicing Aikido with lots of blokes.”

Partnerships

The International Order Office – whose mission is to keep the Triratna Order connected – works in close partnership with The Buddhist Centre Online (TBCO), which handles general communications for the Triratna Community. This is a very significant partnership that has many elements to it and this is the first year that we’re offering a dedicated report on this area of our own work and development. We have collaborated on various pieces of work with The Buddhist Centre Online team since the platform launched in 2012.

This year’s projects have built on the technical improvements to Order systems in 2016 – which included making Shabda and Shabda Articles accessible on TBCO via a secure Order login system, creating summer Order Conventions spaces online, offering continuous coverage of the conventions themselves, enhancing the Order email information service and offering access to new Dharma teaching resources specifically intended for Order members. The year began with the need for in-depth online Order discussion around a variety of controversial issues, and the Order Office lent its support to and helped guide communications and response to and from the Order worldwide.

In 2018, in partnership with TBCO, we put in place an ambitious new system to improve the Order Register, which houses vital information on Order members and underpins so much of the work we do for the Order. This new online system, Maitrijala, allows easier storage and retrieval of Order information for our team and others who partner with us. It has a slick new interface and will also allow us to more easily track statistics on Order members around the world to serve them better, and will help to boost Order Dana giving. Maitrijala was built to be integrally connected with other Triratna platforms to make information transfer and editing seamless, and will improve the experience of Order members for all of Triratna’s online services.

It’s an interesting aspect of collaboration to move between establishing what we would like (expressed strictly in ‘layman’s terms’!) and then exploring the technical options with the patient and skilled team at the Buddhist Centre Online team who help us achieve our goals. We have just completed work with them on a new space for the upcoming 2018 International Order Convention in India, and we are currently planning a mobile application, discussing the future of Shabda, and planning expansions and new features on the Maitrijala system.

All this work takes time to develop because of the need for careful thinking about how new projects and systems will function best for everyone involved, and about how to make them user-friendly and stable to ensure they remain useful well into the future. Finding the resources to develop and maintain this kind of thorough approach has also been a part of our mutual work.

The Order Office also has a hand in other emerging projects that reflect the collaborative approach of many of Triratna’s international institutions. We work with those helping administer the International Council, the Preceptors’ College, and the ECA Development Team as part of a set of ongoing partnerships.

Partnerships

The International Order Office – whose mission is to keep the Triratna Order connected – works in close partnership with The Buddhist Centre Online (TBCO), which handles general communications for the Triratna Community. This is a very significant partnership that has many elements to it and this is the first year that we’re offering a dedicated report on this area of our own work and development. We have collaborated on various pieces of work with The Buddhist Centre Online team since the platform launched in 2012.

This year’s projects have built on the technical improvements to Order systems in 2016 – which included making Shabda and Shabda Articles accessible on TBCO via a secure Order login system, creating summer Order Conventions spaces online, offering continuous coverage of the conventions themselves, enhancing the Order email information service and offering access to new Dharma teaching resources specifically intended for Order members. The year began with the need for in-depth online Order discussion around a variety of controversial issues, and the Order Office lent its support to and helped guide communications and response to and from the Order worldwide.

In 2018, in partnership with TBCO, we put in place an ambitious new system to improve the Order Register, which houses vital information on Order members and underpins so much of the work we do for the Order. This new online system, Maitrijala, allows easier storage and retrieval of Order information for our team and others who partner with us. It has a slick new interface and will also allow us to more easily track statistics on Order members around the world to serve them better, and will help to boost Order Dana giving. Maitrijala was built to be integrally connected with other Triratna platforms to make information transfer and editing seamless, and will improve the experience of Order members for all of Triratna’s online services.

It’s an interesting aspect of collaboration to move between establishing what we would like (expressed strictly in ‘layman’s terms’!) and then exploring the technical options with the patient and skilled team at the Buddhist Centre Online team who help us achieve our goals. We have just completed work with them on a new space for the upcoming 2018 International Order Convention in India, and we are currently planning a mobile application, discussing the future of Shabda, and planning expansions and new features on the Maitrijala system.

All this work takes time to develop because of the need for careful thinking about how new projects and systems will function best for everyone involved, and about how to make them user-friendly and stable to ensure they remain useful well into the future. Finding the resources to develop and maintain this kind of thorough approach has also been a part of our mutual work.

The Order Office also has a hand in other emerging projects that reflect the collaborative approach of many of Triratna’s international institutions. We work with those helping administer the International Council, the Preceptors’ College, and the ECA Development Team as part of a set of ongoing partnerships.

Shrine cloth table behind the scenes at Triratna Order Convention
Flowers on table behind the scenes at Triratna Order Convention

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the work of the Order Office team or trustees, please let us know by emailing orderoffice@triratnaorder.org.

You can also call Prashrabdhi in the U.K. or Rijupatha in the U.S.: UK: +44 7736 005 901 | US: + 1 603 777 7098

If you have a technical issue using this web page please let us know by emailing support@thebuddhistcentre.com and we’ll do our best to help.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the work of the Order Office team, please let us know by emailing orderoffice@triratnaorder.org.

You can also call Prashrabdhi in the U.K. or Rijupatha in the U.S.: UK: +44 7736 005 901 | US: + 1 603 777 7098

If you have a technical issue using this web page please let us know by emailing support@thebuddhistcentre.com and we’ll do our best to help.

 

with thanks to khemasuri, rijupatha, shantavira, vimalamati, utpalavajri, vajrapriya.

web design by dharmachakra.