Triratna News

Public ordinations at Akashavana

Posted 6 days ago

We are delighted to announce that three new Dharmacharinis were ordained at Akashavana on 16th October 2020.

Public preceptor: Paramachitta

Monica Tamarit becomes Kavyadhi (long first ‘a’ and long ‘i’) - a Sanskrit name that means ‘She whose wisdom is inspired, creative and poetic’.
Private Preceptor: Saddhakara

Carmina Amaya becomes Bhavati (long first ‘a’) - a Sanskrit name that means ‘She who is full of light’.
Private Preceptor: Saddhakara

Reme Rojo becomes Suriyadassana (long last ‘a’) - a Pali name that means ’She who has sun-like vision or insight’.
Private Preceptor: Vidyasri

Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu!

[Link]

Sangharakshita's 'Complete Works' Returns to India

Posted 14 days ago

In this video, from Urygen House, Vidyadevi introduces the work of the literary executors - and her work as series editor - of Sangharakshita’s Complete Works. Launched in October 2016, the Complete Works includes all Sangharakshita’s previously published work, as well as talks, seminars and writings published for the first time. This collection of twenty-seven volumes will represent the definitive edition of his life’s work.

Here we take a closer look at the latest volume in production - Dr. Ambedkar and the Revival of Buddhism 2.

Urgyen House is a project dedicated to ensuring the long-term preservation of Sangharakshita’s collection of books, letters, papers, thangkas and artefacts as well as the building in which he spent the last years of his life.

Visit the Urgyen House website

Subscribe to Sangharakshita’s Complete Works

See the Dr Ambedkar + Sangharakshita Visual Exhibition

[Link]

The New Berlin Women's Community / Die neue Berliner Frauen-WG

Posted 16 days ago

In February this year, six women (Bianca, Mokshini, Sanghadarsini, Simharava, Viryapadma and Viryadhi) moved into a brand-new flat in a housing cooperative in the North-East of Berlin – just in time before lockdown. Together they have embarked on a journey to create the first ever women’s community in Berlin.

In this short video, made by Simharava, some of its members share the joys and challenges of the first six months.

Subscribe to the Berlin Buddhist Centre’s YouTube channel

Im Februar diesen Jahres war es soweit: sechs Frauen (Bianca, Mokshini, Sanghadarsini, Simharava, Viryapadma und Viryadhi) zogen in eine nagelneue Genossenschafts-Wohnung in Berlin-Weißensee – gerade noch rechtzeitig vor dem Lockdown. Gemeinsam widmen sie sich seitdem dem Projekt, die allererste Frauen- WG in Berlin mit Leben zu füllen.

In diesem kurzen Video von Simharava teilen einige der Mitglieder der WG ihre Eindrücke von den Freuden und Herausforderungen der ersten sechs Monate.

Abonniere den Youtoube-Kanal vom Buddhistischen Tor Berlin

[Link]

Ordinations at Padmaloka

Posted 3 weeks ago

We’re delighted to announce that 5 new Dharmacharis were ordained at Padmaloka on 1st October 2020.

Public preceptor: Satyaraja
Alex Stirling becomes Shraddhavadin
(long second and third a)
He who communicates confidence in the Dharma
Private preceptor: Mahashraddha

Clive Fletcher becomes Karunadhara
( long second and third a)
He who is a bearer of compassion
Private preceptor: Danapriya

Mike Whittham becomes Kshantabandhu
He who is a patient friend
Private preceptor: Buddhashanti

Michael Proctor becomes Buddhasamagama
(long third a)
He who is with the Buddhas
Private preceptor: Mahashraddha

Public Preceptor: Padmavajra
Chris Petts becomes Akashahrdaya
(long first and second a)
He whose heart is like open space
Private preceptor: Harshaprabha

Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu!

[Link]

Public Ordinations at Adhisthana

Posted 3 weeks ago

We are delighted to let you know the names of the 16 women publicly ordained at Adhisthana on Monday 28th September 2020.

Public preceptor: Santavajri

Ng Yin Wan becomes Maitrigandhi (long second i)
A Sanskrit name meaning One who is fragrant with loving kindness
Westernised (Shabda) spelling: Maitrigandhi
Private preceptor: Khemasiddhi

Genny Whiting becomes Vandanacitta (long final a)
A Sanskrit name meaning She who has a heart of devotion
Westernised (Shabda) spelling: Vandanachitta
Private preceptor: Vanaraji

Michelle Healey becomes Maitrijyoti (long second i)
A Sanskrit name meaning She who is or has the light of love
Westernised (Shabda) spelling: Maitrijyoti
Private preceptor: Satyalila

Carolyn Drake becomes Karunahrdaya (dot under n, long second and final a, dot under second r)
A Sanskrit name meaning She who has a heart of compassion
Westernised (Shabda) spelling: Karunahridaya
Private preceptor: Sucimani

Rebecca Harvey becomes Vijayacitta (long final a)
A Sanskrit name meaning One whose (heart-)mind is victorious
Westernised (Shabda) spelling: Vijayacitta
Private preceptor: Jyotismati

Clare Rodger becomes Aksayadhi (dot under s, long final i)
A Sanskrit name meaning She whose wisdom is indestructible
Westernised (Shabda) spelling: Akshayadhi
Private preceptor: Candraprabha

Jackie Cooley becomes Abhayalila (long i, long final a)
A Sanskrit name meaning One whose play is fearless
Westernised (Shabda) spelling: Abhayalila
Private preceptor: Shraddhamayi

Cathy Brazier becomes Bodhivasini (long a, long final i)
A Sanskrit/Pali name meaning She who dwells in Awakening
Westernised (Shabda) spelling: Bodhivasini
Private preceptor: Punyamala


Public preceptor: Punyamala

Gill Parry becomes Karunasuri (dot under n, long second a, accent above s, long final u, long i)
A Sanskrit name meaning Heroine of Compassion
Westernised (Shabda) spelling: Karunashuri
Private preceptor: Taravandana

Anne Williams becomes Amalavasini (long final a, long final i)
A Sanskrit name meaning She who lives with purity
Westernised (Shabda) spelling: Amalavasini
Private preceptor: Varasahaya

Public preceptor: Parami

Karen McLaughlin becomes Maitrivasini (long second i, long second a, long final i)
A Sanskrit name meaning She who dwells in/is perfumed with kindness
Westernised (Shabda) spelling: Maitrivasini
Private preceptor: Moksavajri

Sheena Davis becomes Nagarani (long first a, long third a, dot under n, long i)
A Sanskrit name meaning Queen of the nagas
Westernised (Shabda) spelling: Nagarani
Private preceptor: Shubha

Jen Harvey becomes Tejasara (long second a, long final a)
A Pali name meaning One whose heart is on fire
Westernised (Shabda) spelling: Tejasara
Private preceptor: Vandanajyoti

Rosy Laslett becomes Khemini (long final i)
A Pali name meaning She who enjoys peace and security
Westernised (Shabda) spelling: Khemini
Private preceptor: Dhammadassin

Sandy Staplehurst becomes Suvannasiha (dot under both ’n’s, long i, long final a)
A Pali name meaning She who is like a golden lion
Westernised (Shabda) spelling: Suvannasiha
Private preceptor: Shantasiddhi

Sally Bridgeman becomes Gambhiradhi (long first i, long final i)
A Sanskrit name meaning She in whom wisdom is deep and profound
Westernised (Shabda) spelling: Gambhiradhi
Private preceptor: Khemasiddhi

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

[Link]

Addressing Ethical Issues in Triratna

Posted 4 weeks ago

For many years, ethical issues from Triratna’s past have affected the individuals who were involved and the Triratna Buddhist Order and Community as a whole, and a number of people have come forward with accounts of the suffering they experienced within Triratna. Some of these issues involved the sexual behaviour of Sangharakshita, Triratna’s founder.

The Adhisthana Kula arose from a wish to acknowledge openly and respond effectively to these issues. The members of the Kula worked together over the course of nearly four years to review these difficulties in our community and find ways to address their lasting consequences. They investigated what had happened, inviting people to share their experiences, especially those who were directly affected; and worked with others to create fresh structures that could address past difficulties and help prevent future problems.

Towards the end of 2019, they published an update on the Adhisthana Kula webspace, stating an intention to summarise the work, making it clear what had been done so far and outlining next steps. It was a complex piece of work and has taken longer than was intended, but the report has now been published, and can be read here.

“As the Adhisthana Kula concludes its work in 2020, this site shares its findings and reports on progress. For all our efforts, we wish to acknowledge the wounds that have not yet healed, the stories that have not yet been told and the pain that has not yet been recognised. This is a report on unfinished business, and we suggest how this work can be taken forward in the future.”

With the publication of this report, the Adhisthana Kula is stepping aside and Triratna’s International Council Steering Group is commissioning a working group to oversee the next phase of this process. Anyone who has comments and questions can contact the working group at next.steps [at] triratna.co.

Triratna is committed to responding openly to any difficult issues within our community, and we encourage anyone else who has been hurt or harmed in any way to come forward. Anyone with Safeguarding or other ethical concerns in Triratna, past or present, is welcome to email safeguarding [at] triratna.community

Read the report on the work of the Adhisthana Kula, August 2020

Read the Triratna Model Safeguarding policies and Ethical Guidelines 2020

+Follow Safeguarding news from Triratna

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Ordinations in a Time of Covid-19: Watch Upcoming Public Ordinations Online

Posted 4 weeks ago

The impact of the coronavirus has been felt on all aspects of our daily lives as well as the life of our sangha - severely curtailing the ability to hold in-person retreats, including ordination retreats. Ordination is a significant point in the lives of Dharma farers in our community: many of whom have been training for ordination for a number of years, in preparation for joining the Triratna Buddhist Order. The public ordination ceremony marks the deepening of their commitment to their spiritual journey - for their own sake and for that of the world - in harmony with all those in our particular Buddhist community. Sadly, earlier this year, both the women’s three month ordination course at Akashavana retreat centre and the men’s four-month ordination course at Guhyaloka retreat centre in Spain had to be cancelled in light of the global pandemic.

Despite the challenges however - lockdowns and the necessary restrictions imposed by social distancing - over the course of the last few months ordinations have continued, with all of them having to adapt to the changed circumstances of our new global reality. In March and April there were two ordinations - in Melbourne, Australia and in London, UK. Furthermore, the first ordination on Polish soil took place in Krakow in August and last weekend there was a public ordination at Dharmadhara retreat centre in northern California, US.

As our community adapts to the restrictions imposed by Covid-19, there have also been opportunities presented by an increasingly online world. The ordination teams and retreat centres have been working hard to make larger ordination retreats possible, ensuring that they meet all necessary risk assessments and appropriate hygiene standards to enable a safe retreat environment for the ordinands, but also how to include the wider community in celebrating the important step taken by these women and men.

So we are delighted to say that at the moment there is an ordination retreat for 16 women taking place at Adhisthana retreat centre in Herefordshire, UK, and Tiratanaloka retreat centre, Wales. On Monday 28th September at 14.00 BST the public ordinations of these women will be live streamed on Youtube. And, in a few days, on 25th September, Padmaloka retreat centre in Norfolk, UK will be opening its doors again to men coming on retreat for the first time since March - and this first retreat will be an ordination retreat for five men who were due to be ordained in April. Their public ordinations will be live streamed from the Padmaloka shrine room on YouTube on Thursday 1st October at 14:30 BST.

All from our sangha are welcome to join these public ordinations as they take place online and send these women and men their well-wishing as they take this significant step. 🎉

Watch the upcoming public ordinations online

[Link]

Launch of Western Buddhist Review Volume 7

Posted 4 weeks ago

The Western Buddhist Review is the scholarly journal of the Triratna Buddhist Order and community. Volume 1 was published in 1994, and it has appeared periodically since then. Now, under the editorship of Dhivan, Silavadin and Matt Drage, the team are ready to launch volume 7, with a new website which will provide an exciting point of reference for scholarly and philosophical activities in the Triratna community.

You are invited to the launch party via Zoom on Monday 28th September 7.30-8.30pm (UK time), in which Sanghadhara be interviewing the editors, Dhivan will give a history of the Western Buddhist Review, there will be a reading from Sangharakshita, and a small ritual to conclude.

Zoom invite: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81153171352?pwd =QWY5a1pPbFVYdTFJYXpudDJYaERZZz09
Meeting ID: 811 5317 1352
Passcode: 194036

And whether or not you can get to the launch event, you can take a look at the new website, and sign up on the home page for email updates about new articles and reviews, and news about events and publications.

Visit the newly launched Western Buddhist Review website

[Link]

Ordination in the United States

Posted 5 weeks ago

We are happy to announce the public ordination of ex-Rob Devney of Seattle at the Dharmadhara Retreat Center in northern California on 20th September 2020.

Rob becomes Siladhara, a Pali name meaning “He who upholds ethical practice.”

Viradhamma was both Private and Public Preceptor.

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

[Link]

Alfoxton House: A New Retreat Centre

Posted 6 weeks ago

On 29th June the Alfoxton Park Trust – Jayaraja, Lokabandhu and Cittapala - received the keys to Alfoxton House in Somerset, UK, with the aim of creating a retreat centre where longer, intensive retreats can take place, as well as having retreats focusing on poetry and the arts. The intention is for this retreat centre to be an eco-centre that produces its own food.

Alfoxton House is a place with a rich history: in 1797, the poet William Wordsworth lived there for a time, having moved to the area to be close to his friend and fellow poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The first reading of Coleridge’s famous poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner took place in one of the rooms in the house.

As the house hasn’t lived in for twelve years there is quite a bit of work required to make it habitable and the team living there have have run a number of working retreats in the past few months: at the moment there is a Mindful Communication and Working Retreat taking place. Due to the covid-19 pandemic all these retreats have been camping retreats with the participants eating outdoors. It is hoped the main house will be open for retreats from August 2021.

On Saturday 12th September at 5.30pm (UK time) there will be a socially distanced, outdoor performance of the Rime of Ancient Mariner - for more information email quantockstudio [at] gmail.com.

[Link]

The Valencia Sangha's Search for a New Home

Posted 7 weeks ago

The Triratna Order and Community have been present in Valencia for more than 30 years. From simple beginnings the sangha has grown and become a feature of the life of the city, offering a chance to discover and explore the benefits of meditation on its own or in the context of a more committed Buddhist practice. Over the years the Valencia Buddhist Centre has reached many people with the Buddha’s teaching.

Support the Valencia sangha with a donation.

The Valencia Buddhist centre has also been a base for outreach and connection farther afield, for example, in other parts of Spain such as Barcelona and Madrid, as well as helping in the development of sanghas in other parts of the Spanish-speaking world, having especially close contacts with the sanghas in Mexico and Venezuela.

As a result of the Covid-19 crisis many people have lost much and continue to suffer the consequences in different ways. For the community in Valencia it meant curtailing their activities to the extent they were unable to raise enough to pay their running costs.

Paramachitta, the Chair of the Valencia Buddhist Centre writes:

“We had to leave the place where we had met together and participated in activities which touched our hearts; the place where we had grown as individuals and had met people who became close friends; between whose walls we had experienced joy, celebration, progress, where the Dharma had given meaning to each of our lives as well as that of so many who came through our doors.

We have not given up and like many others, we have taken advantage of the technology which has permitted our activities to continue whilst we have not been able to meet together. However, it is so obvious, that a place to actually meet, talk, deepen friendships, explore our lives together is absolutely essential and we are actively looking for new premises.

We are lucky enough to have the support of the Windhorse Trust who are willing to lend us the money to buy a place, as renting is not a realistic option any more. We will need money to refurbish and make any premises adequate to our needs. We have launched an appeal to help us raise the money needed to make the move and establish ourselves once again in a new neighbourhood. We need 50,000 euros. We are confident that with the support of our friends and all those who value what our Buddhist Centres offer people, the society in which we find ourselves and ultimately the world.”

Find out how you can support the Valencia Buddhist Centre’s search for a new home

[Link]

Compassionate Action: Venezuela Sangha

Posted 10 weeks ago

The first time we visited the Covid ward five people lay naked on beds. Two weeks later the long ward was full of people on closely packed beds. The next morning we got a desperate call from the Director of the hospital asking for help.

We - myself and members of the Triratna sangha in Merida - were at the hospital for three reasons: to help with the weekly donation of liquid soap, to research protective clothing which we are making and donating, and to talk to doctors and staff to see if there were other needs. On our rapid tour of all the bathrooms and hand washing facilities of the 9 floor hospital many randomly attired doctors greeted us with great pleasure and gratitude.

I know that my practice, my training in the Dharma life has prepared me for this. In fact, openness, energy and courage from Metta Bhavana and other practices brought me to make the journey to the country and, later, to the hospital.

It’s amazing to be able to respond so directly and cleanly to needs. It seems rare in our well ordered lives in developed countries. Sangharakshita taught that before the Dharma can flourish culture has to be established. Safety and security, co-operation around the basics of life up to freely sharing, fine art and spiritual friendship.

Since that first visit I’ve set up a Just Giving page which in the first two weeks raised thousands of pounds, we still could use a lot more… every little helps. £7 is a bio-protective suit, £100 will keep our team busy all day!

We’ve bought hundreds of meters of fabric and are busy making protective clothing. We have made and delivered 33 blankets for babies in the maternity ward. We have started re-upholstering some of the worst chairs, and responded to the bed shortage.

We’d met the director a week previously, she had wanted to thank us and explain something of the situation. Today she said there were Covid patients lying on the floor - the hospital has friends, relations of staff, with sewing machines, could we help providing cloth so that mattress covers could be made urgently? The next morning in the local fabric store, for £620, we bought 200m of synthetic leather to be delivered to the hospital. That’s 60 new beds.

I had arrived in Venezuela to help at the Merida Buddhist centre one day before all flights out were cancelled and the country went into lockdown. The Dharma is the best medicine and sometimes the doctor needs unusual skills and many resources to be able to truly help. And sometimes, like the Buddha did with the famous ‘case of dysentery’, the doctor takes off their religious robe, and engages with illness, violence, poverty and suffering in a very direct way. The actions of Buddhists are now part of the life support of the more than 1,000 people working in the hospital.

I’m living in a small community in the Buddhist Centre. We put on online classes, pujas and meditation tips. We do a daily Metta Bhavana at 11:30am. We have professional sewing machines and skills to save the lives of doctors and nurses. Would you like to help? There are so many needs in our world at the moment, the hunger pandemic hand in hand with Covid; so many inadequate health facilities world wide, financial and emotional hardships. Do some research into how you with your experience and resources can help and follow your Dharmically inspired heart.

Donate to help support this project

Visit Saraha’s Facebook page for regular updates, news and responses to life in Venezuela

[Link]

A New Buddhist Centre for York

Posted 11 weeks ago

A new Triratna Buddhist Centre is currently taking shape in the heart of historic York in the UK, just round the corner from the famous Minster.

This will be the new home of the York Buddhist Group which was started in November 2017 by Shakyapada, and three mitra friends: Mark Jones, Kate Readman and Ley Robinson, using a hired room in a York community centre. As the Group grew, it moved to the York Quaker Meeting House in 2018 where more facilities were available.

It is now a lively, active and growing sangha with 11 mitras. The Group runs several newcomers courses each year, day retreats, sangha retreats, and study groups, in addition to the weekly sangha night.

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis the Group has also reached out to the local community by offering regular online meditation sessions. These virtual sessions have been an important source of support to many suffering from the effects of stress and isolation, with people from the York area, and even further afield joining in regularly. They have also been an excellent way of building the sangha at a difficult time.

Shakyapada is currently the only Order member in York so Order members from other centres - Khemasuri, Amoghavamsa and Mahasraddha - have generously given up their time to help form and run Triratna Buddhist Community (York) - a new charity registered in June this year. They are joined on the council by Shakyapada who becomes the Chair of the new Centre with Mark as Treasurer and Kate as a Trustee.

Now, established as a charity, and with the easing of restrictions, members of the sangha are busy decorating the premises, erecting shelving, building a new shrine and generally, creating a beautiful new centre for the sangha and for the people of York.

Shakyapada, who lives in York, says: “This is a really exciting time for us and a great reward for the commitment and dedication of the York sangha over the last two and a half years. Many strong spiritual friendships have been formed in that time, lives have been changed, and all the time, new people are joining us and experiencing the benefits of the Dharma and of friendship.

We have a very committed, supportive and growing sangha and we are all very excited about moving into a ‘home’ of our own and creating a really special place where the Dharma can thrive in York. We’ll be able to increase our activities with more open meditation sessions, day retreats and open days. The new centre will also include a small shop selling ethically sourced products.

Shakyapada adds, “I am so grateful for the support of all the Order members who have visited us in the past two years and given talks, run evenings, and been so supportive to our young sangha”.

The Group recently received a generous grant of £2,000 from Future Dharma Fund supporters which has has boosted other funds raised by the sangha over the last two years, through skills auctions, sponsorship and stalls at local events.

Obviously, the cost of decorating and fitting out a brand new Centre is expensive, and while the grant helps a great deal towards the setting up expenses, the sangha still needs to raise another £2,000 to cover the costs and get the project off the ground.

So the York sangha is appealing to the wider movement for donations to help make this new Centre a reality and ensure that it can open as soon as the lockdown restrictions end.

Watch video about the York Buddhist Centre

Make a donation to support the new York Buddhist Centre

[Link]

Closure of Clear Vision

Posted 12 weeks ago

It is with sadness that the Trustees of Clear Vision have announced its closure from September 2020. Over the past 35 years Clear Vision has been a vital part of the FWBO/Triratna Community having documented much of our community’s history through video, particularly Newsreels, Triratna Newsbytes, filming Sangharakshita’s talks, events and tours, and much more. Clear Vision has also developed the beginnings of a photographic archive and library and video archive, a range of award-winning teaching resources on Buddhism for school children as well as supporting a team-based right livelihood project.

Having developed two important archives for our community: a photographic and a video archive - which are as yet unfinished - the hope is for these two archives to be completed and made available as curated online resources (with the full archives available at Adhisthana). Uddiyana Trust (Urgyen House) has agreed to take ownership and responsibility for these two archive projects with Mokshapriya continuing the work. In addition to this, maintaining the online education resources is being explored - and the remaining stock of education DVDs will be sold by Adhisthana.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to all team members and trustees past and present, all the volunteers who have helped out, all our funders and donors, and all those who have watched and enjoyed the material we have produced over the years. May the work of communicating the Dharma through video continue to thrive, and may our rich archives be widely viewed and valued. - Mokshapriya, Akasajoti, Vishangka and Sanghadhara (Clear Vision trustees and team)

Read the statement from the Trustees of Clear Vision

Subscribe to the website Urgyen House to keep updated with developments in relation to the archive

Visit the Clear Vision website

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Please feel free to share your favourite memories, videos, photographs and stories about Clear Vision below - a chance to rejoice in all they have contributed to our community over the years 🙏

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[Link]

Ordination in Poland

Posted 12 weeks ago

We are delighted to confirm the first ordination of an Order Member in Poland. The ex-Wojciech Janowski from the Krakow Sangha was ordained during a short retreat south-east of the city. His private ordination was on Thursday 30th July and his public ordination on Saturday 1st August.

Wojciech becomes Maitrinanda, a Sanskrit name meaning ‘He whose joy is love’.

His private preceptor is Santaka and Amogharatna is his public preceptor.

The photo shows Maitrinanda (centre) with his preceptors.

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

[Link]