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If you come along to a Triratna Young Buddhists group today you may think this thriving project must have been set up and running forever, however this is not the case. In November 2008, 20 or so Triratna Buddhists of all ages, gathered together to explore how to inspire more young adults to practice the Dharma, having noticed a serious decline in the number of them coming to our Buddhist Centres. As a young Buddhist I could see there weren’t many others my age around, especially given that at the time I was living in a Buddhist Community where the next person in age was 20 years older than me, however I was still reluctant to go to that weekend, questioning why it was important. None the less, I went and being there something happened, the energy was so different and I really valued making friends with other young Buddhists. I was converted and dedicated myself to running more of these events.
So we began running Annual Young Buddhists Retreats, with 30 people attending in 2009, 60 in 2010 and then 120 every year from 2011, hence the retreat has fondly become known as “The Big One” (click here for a video about these retreats) Young Buddhists coming on these retreats would get inspired about practising with other young people and go back to their own Buddhist Centre to set up a Young Buddhists Group. In this way Triratna Young Buddhists has grown and currently has over 20 groups around the world, in the UK, Mainland Europe, India, US and Australia, a list of them can be found here.
This weekend many groups are running events to celebrate the success of Triratna Young Buddhists. In Australia they are gathering in the Georges River Valley in south west Sydney for their National Young Persons Retreat exploring “The Courage Inside Ourselves”. In Portsmouth, US they are “Getting Radical” for the weekend, with an exciting line up of events. In Essen, Germany they’ll be doing an all night meditation on Saturday night. In the UK many groups will meet for their monthly meeting, celebrating with events to kick off this years Buddhist Action Month.
You can also join in online with a live talk from Parami called ‘Radical Then, Radical Now: The History of Triratna’s Progressive Vision’, from New York City. It’s at 12pm EST and 5pm GMT on the Saturday, live on video via Google Hangout on The Buddhist Centre Online page here.
Are you doing something to celebrate Triratna Young Buddhists? Do let us know on this discussion page and feel free to add your own rejoicings and celebrations of this project.