Triratna News

The Inauguration of Toluca Buddhist Centre in Mexico

Posted 4 weeks ago

On Friday 17th January, the Toluca Buddhist Centre in Mexico was formally inaugurated. The Toluca Buddhist Centre arose from the friendship of three friends who wanted to share their practice with each other and with other people.

Fifteen years ago, Sanghadhara, Ruchiramati and Bodhikamala, then 16 years old, living in Toluca, met Buddhism through the Mexico City Buddhist Centre and began practicing together. Toluca is a city located in the middle of the country, 70 km away from Mexico City, so it was difficult for these three friends to attend the existing Sangha as regularly as they wanted. As a result, they started a small meditation group 13 years ago in Toluca, with the aim of creating a space to share their experience of the Dharma amongst themselves and with any others interested. This group continued to grow, and now it is a well-established sangha!

In July 2019 Ruchiramati and Bodhikamala sought a place to carry out Buddhist activities, so a space was rented, with two shrine rooms, a reception and a small study room. You can get a glimpse into this beautiful new Centre in this short video from Clear Vision.

Bodhikamala, now the Chair of the Centre, writes:

Toluca Buddhist Centre aims to introduce Buddhism and meditation in a way that is relevant to contemporary life. We want to create a context of community and spiritual friendship so that individuals can develop through Dharma. We would like to be a self-sustaining Buddhist Centre which can support practitioners and faithfully share the vision and the approach of Triratna and Bhante Sangharakshita.

We will try to have a positive impact at a local level and have an active social involvement, because we know that the Buddhist Centre has the potential to benefit many people. By creating a context of practice and peace we can help the current complicated socio-cultural and political situation in Mexico, and we hope to be a space that promotes friendship, harmony and mutual collaboration between Centres and Triratna groups in Mexico.

At the moment the Toluca Buddhist Centre has 6 mitras (with three more to come) and a regular sangha of about 25 people, with new people coming every week, and a lively young sangha as well! There are about 15 regulars who are in their 20s (the oldest is 32), but at least, so far, in every beginners class there are more than 8 people in the same range of age. The number of people attending activities varies but on average they are joined by 25 to 35 in every activity.

We would like to express our gratitude for all the amazing support we have received throughout the years, from Mexico City Buddhist Centre, the Cuernavaca Buddhist Centre, and more specifically, from Sanghadhara, Upekshamati, Nagapriya, Saddhajoti, and so many others who gave us their unconditional support, friendship and trust. We would also like to extend our gratitude to all of Triratna Buddhist Order and our beloved teacher, Bhante Sangharakshita, and we sincerely hope we can honour the Order legacy. - Bodhikamala

Visit the Toluca Buddhist Centre website to find out more

Watch a short video of the official inauguration of the Toluca Buddhist Centre


Local Care Networks

Posted 5 weeks ago

The Abhayaratna Trust have launched a Local Care Network project which aims to help the Order develop more explicit and organised frameworks of care and support for Order members who need it, including accessing financial assistance and other services. The Network will also reinforce the existing culture of care in the Triratna Buddhist community, and create a framework to support Order members for generations to come.

The vision is that Local Care Network Coordinators Groups will form around Triratna Buddhist Centres to give guidance and assistance with the backing of the Abhayaratna Trust, and local experts and resources such as Age UK and Citizens Advice. Each Local Care Group will be able to make use of a special software package (Compass), developed by Age UK and the NHS (National Health Service, UK), to guide a care needs assessment and produce a care and support plan for individuals.

The first stage of the project is to implement a pilot scheme, initially at one or two UK Buddhist centres, before rolling out the project more widely, including in other countries. The pilot phase of the project will start in February and last for a year.

Contact Mahasraddhha, the Director of the Abhayaratna Trust if you are interested in being involved or would like more information: mahasraddha [at]

+Follow Abhayaratna Trust space on The Buddhist Centre Online


New Director of Windhorse Publications

Posted 5 weeks ago

Priyananda, who has been at the helm of Windhorse Publications for the past ten years, is stepping down as director in March. Windhorse Publications are the main publisher of Sangharakshita, the founder of the Triratna Buddhist Order. They also publish on the whole range of the Buddhist tradition, investing in books by authors such as Anālayo, Vimalasara, Vaddhaka and many others to better communicate Buddhism clearly in the 21st century.

Dhammamegha, a published author herself, and who has been involved in the Sikkha project, and has worked at Tiratanaloka, helping women train for ordination into the Triratna Buddhist Community, takes over this role when Priyananda steps down.

Here’s a short video of Priyananda and Dhammamegha talking about this change.

Find out more about Windhorse Publications’ books for 2020

+Follow the Windhorse Publications space


Ordinations at Chintamani, Mexico

Posted 5 weeks ago

We are delighted to announce that on January 11 at Chintamani Retreat Centre, Mexico, we welcomed two new Dharmacharis into the Order from the Mexico City sangha.

Ex-Juan Antonio Diaz becomes: Subhananda which means He who has the joy of beauty or él que tiene la alegría de la belleza.
Private preceptor: Samamati
Public Preceptor: Virasiddhi

Ex-Pablo Sierra becomes: Satyabodhi which means Awakening to Truth or El despertar a la verdad.
Private preceptor: Virasiddhi
Public Preceptor: Nagapriya

Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu!


Nuevo Curso Online - Dharma en Español / New Online Dharma Course in Spanish

Posted 9 weeks ago

En el ajetreado mundo de hoy, cada vez más organizaciones ofrecen cursos online: las ventajas son una mayor accesibilidad para los participantes, pero también permite que participen una gama más amplia de personas, más allá de un área geográfica limitada. Aprovechando estas posibilidades, el Centro Budista de Valencia organizará un curso de Dharma en línea sobre el tema de la ética budista. ¡Lo interesante de este curso es que no solo está abierto a personas de habla hispana de todo el mundo, sino que es facilitado por dieciocho miembros de la Orden de habla hispana de toda la comunidad budista Triratna!

El curso, que comenzará en enero de 2020, se basa en el libro de Subhadramati No se trata de ser bueno, que Dharmamegha ha traducido y producido especialmente en un libro electrónico cuyo objetivo es difundir las enseñanzas budistas en el mundo de habla hispana.

Los dieciocho miembros de la Orden que enseñarán el curso provienen de España, México y Venezuela, así como algunos con sede en el Reino Unido. También hay algunos Mitras involucrados que son de Argentina y España.

El curso será coordinado por Silamani y Dharmakirti en Valencia, quienes trabajaron arduamente para formar un equipo con equilibrio de género en todo el mundo de habla hispana. Este es el segundo curso online de Dharma que han realizado: el primero se basó en El Viaje y la Guía, que funcionó bien con 32 participantes de España, México, Argentina y Venezuela.

El curso en sí, No se trata de ser bueno, se ha ajustado para un entorno online con presentaciones cortas, meditaciones y grupos de debate para profundizar. Habrá un foro online para que los participantes se mantengan en contacto durante el curso. Se puede asistir en vivo, o puede ponerse al día viendo las sesiones grabadas en tu propio ritmo. Y, como una manera de profundizar en el material, se programó un retiro basado en el curso para finales de abril en Suryavana, un hermoso centro de retiro en el campo no lejos de Valencia.

Además, todos los recursos producidos para el curso estarán disponibles posteriormente como un recurso para los miembros Orden y Mitras en Venezuela.

Paramachitta, la directora del Centro Budista de Valencia explica una de las motivaciones para este curso:

“Triratna está bien establecida ahora en Valencia y somos una sangha pequeña pero fuerte. Esta iniciativa nos brinda la oportunidad de llegar a personas de todo el mundo de habla hispana que de otro modo no tendrían acceso a las enseñanzas del Buda para su vida cotidiana ”.

El dinero recaudado de este curso se utilizará para financiar la renovación y el alquiler de una nueva ubicación para el Centro Budista de Valencia que está en proceso de reubicación debido a los alquileres en espiral.

Obtenga más información sobre este curso

Leer más sobre el retiro “No se trata de ser bueno”


In today’s busy world, more and more organisations are offering online courses: the advantages are greater affordability for participants but it also enables a wider range of people, from beyond a limited geographical area, to take part. Taking advantage of these possibilities, the Valencia Buddhist Centre will be running an online Dharma course on the topic of Buddhist ethics. What’s interesting about this course is that it is not just open to Spanish-speaking people from across the world but it is facilitated by eighteen Spanish-speaking Order members from across the Triratna Buddhist community!

The course, which will begin in January 2020, is based on Subhadramati’s Book Not About Being Good, which has been specially translated and produced into an eBook by Dharmamegha which aims to spread Buddhist teachings in Spanish-speaking world.

The eighteen Order members who will be teaching the course come from Spain, Mexico and Venezuela as well as some based in the UK. There are also some Mitras involved who are from Argentina and Spain.

The course will be coordinated by Silamani and Dharmakirti in Valencia, who worked hard to assemble a gender-balanced team from across the Spanish-speaking world. This is the second online Dharma course they have run: the first one was based on The Journey and The Guide which worked well with 32 participants from Spain, Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela.

The course itself, No se trata de ser bueno, has been adjusted for an online setting with short presentations, meditations and breakout groups for discussion. There’ll be an online forum for participants to stay in touch with each other throughout the course. It can be attended live – or you can catch up by watching the recorded sessions at your own pace. And, as a means of going deeper into the material, a retreat based on the course has been scheduled for the end of April at Suryavana, a beautiful retreat Centre in the countryside not far from Valencia.

Furthermore, all the resources produced for the course will be available afterwards as a resource for Mitras and Order members in Venezuela.

Paramachitta, the Chair of Valencia Buddhist Centre explains one of the motivations for this course:

Triratna is well established now in Valencia and we are a small but strong sangha. This initiative gives us an opportunity to reach people throughout the Spanish-speaking world who otherwise would not have access to the Buddha’s teachings for their everyday life.

Money raised from this course will be used to fund the refurbishment and rent of a new location for the Valencia Buddhist Centre which is in the process of relocating due to spiralling rents.

Find out more about this course.

Read about the ‘No se trata de ser bueno’ retreat.


The Boeddhawierde: A New Retreat Centre in the Netherlands

Posted 10 weeks ago

Last week the new retreat centre in the north of the Netherlands was informally opened: the Boeddhawierde. A mosaic made by a friend of the local sangha, Lucia Keidel, was unveiled during a ceremony - which marks a significant step in the further development of Triratna in the Netherlands.

‘Wierde’ refers to a mound that the local ancestors built in the muddy fields, to keep their feet dry and bury their dead. Later when the dykes were build, they became sacred spots and churches were typically built on them. (‘Boedhha’ is the Dutch for ‘Buddha’.)

Order member Silavadin bought the building a year and a half ago and has been rebuilding it since then, with the help of many people. The Boeddhawierde is situated adjacent to the local church in the village of Usquert. It’s very quiet and there is a sense of sacredness to it all, making it a very good location for a retreat centre. The Boeddhawierde can host small groups of up to ten people, as well as those wishing to do a solitary retreat.

Silavadin’s next plan is to get charitable status for the project. At the moment he is running the retreat centre on his own - although from January there will be a young mitra joining him, forming the beginnings of a small community.

Silavadin writes: “My ideal for the Boeddhawierde is that it would be an oasis where people can have a rest from samsara, breathe, be themselves, get together and practice the Dharma, especially art and meditation, and thrive. There should also be a place for the unusual.”

Watch a short video of the making of the Boeddhawierde

Visit the Boeddhawierde website


Developing Mindfulness in Wales

Posted 10 weeks ago

Vishvapani is a writer, teacher of Buddhism and meditation, and a trainer in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR/ MBCT) through Mindfulness in Action. He’s also an Associate of Breathworks Mindfulness and of The Mindfulness Initiative, supporting the Mindfulness All Party Parliamentary Group in the UK parliament and advocating mindfulness to the Welsh Government.

Here he gives us an update on what he’s been working on, particularly in relation to developing mindfulness teaching in Wales in collaboration with the Welsh Government.

“In March this year Chris Ruane MP brokered a meeting with the Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, which allowed us to commence a series of projects to develop mindfulness provision in some of the sectors that fall within the purview of the Welsh Government. I don’t want to overstate what has been achieved, but this engagement with government has made a big difference, and I am not aware anything quite like this happening elsewhere.

An important context is the Welsh Government’s radical political agenda. A key is the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act 2015 which states that all actions of Welsh Government bodies must take place according to specified criteria that include sustainability, long-term thinking, the wellbeing of the people involved and community engagement. This creates a ready response to mindfulness practices and associated approaches. That said, they haven’t offered funding.

More specifically:

  • The new Welsh schools curriculum, to be introduced by 2022 gives a central role to Health and Wellbeing. This is an open door for mindfulness in Education, and Liz Williams has done tremendous work to capitalise on this. There is enthusiastic engagement from across the education system and tremendous potential.
    Read a full account here.
  • Things have moved more slowly in Health, where the issues are more complex, but some senior people have been helping us. Becca Crane has been leading along with Rob Callen Davies, the MBCT lead in Aneuerin Bevan Health Board (Gwent), which is one of the best examples of good practice with mindfulness in the whole UK.
    My assessment is that there’s potential from a significant breakthrough beyond what we’ve see elsewhere in the UK, but it hasn’t happened yet and it will take time and continued hard work to move forward gradually.
    Read more here.
  • For several years Rachel Lilley of Aberystwyth University has been training senior civil servants in a course that combines mindfulness with Behavioural Insights.
    This is another key part of the initiative.
  • On 21st November we held a conference in Cardiff, which I chaired and largely organised, attended by 140 people that included many public sector leaders. This went well, generating a lot of interest and excitement.
    There’s a short account of the conference here.
  • Mark Drakeford spoke for around 25 minutes. Mark is a very serious man and he gave the conference three challenges for the development of mindfulness in Wales:
    # Mindfulness in Wales needs to be based on evidence.
    # It needs to focus on individuals not in isolation, but in relation to others. This ‘social model of mindfulness’ leads us to look at people’s relationships, which includes the model of distributed leadership that the Welsh Government intends to follow.
    # And it must pay attention to the causes as well as the consequences of social distress. This means mobilising people to work collaboratively to address those underlying causes.
  • Partly in response to these challenges, I’ve written a piece offering my own understanding of what we’re working with. I suggest that we are working with three distinct issues:
    # An implementation challenge for mindfulness programmes that have an established evidence base, and developing the case for others.
    # System change on the basis of values that derive from mindfulness-based approaches.
    # Provision and system change in line with the social change agenda articulated by Mark Drakeford and embedded in Welsh Government policies.

From a Triratna perspective, I see the mindfulness movement as offering breadth as it can reach millions of people and engage with many parts of society where Buddhism cannot reach. At least some of the criticisms that can be levelled at it boil down to a lack of depth and I look to communities such as Triratna for that.”

Read more about Vishvapani’s work around Mindfulness and Society

Follow Vishvapani’s writing and broadcasts on his ‘Wise Attention’ blog.


First One Month Retreat for Young Women in India

Posted 11 weeks ago

“I was so determined to come here, I sent my resignation (letter) and I came” - Ashweeni (Nanded)

In 2018, for the first time in India, a five week Dhamma training course for young women took place. It was arranged by members of the Indian women’s ordination team and supported by Padmasuri and Karunamaya. It was a significant retreat as many of the participants have families and children, making it was difficult for them to come away for long periods of time.

Seventeen young women from around India participated in the training course for four weeks based at Nagaoka, in Nagpur. There was “time not only to study the Dharma, to meditate together but to spend time really living in community, going deeper with each other, sharing our lives with one another” (Padmasuri).

Afterwards the participants and the team travelled together to Bodh Gaya and, while there, the course participants ran a five day retreat for local Bihari women.

Karunamaya writes: “The whole course was very inspiring and we had a very enjoyable time. We are grateful for the help of Future Dharma Fund and other supporters.”

Watch the documentary about this retreat made by one of the participants in the course.


Cardiff Buddhist Centre's First Bed and Breakfast Retreat

Posted 3 months ago

The Cardiff Buddhist Centre have just hosted their first Bed and Breakfast retreat on the theme of the Bodhisattva training. A Bed and Breakfast retreat is where one sangha invites people from other Triratna sanghas to come and stay with members of their sangha - who provide them with bed and breakfast - so they can join them on retreat.

Kamalagita, the Chair of the Cardiff Buddhist Centre writes: “We promised guests a ‘Warm, Welsh Welcome’ (Croeso, Cynnes Cymraeg) and they came from Bristol, Devon, Worcester, Shrewsbury and even Hertfordshire and Hastings! The shrine room was packed with 25 participants, a wonderful mix of guest and local Sangha members.

When discussing the theme, Vajragupta and I wanted something that would make a big impact and offer peace and clarity in our troubled times. We decided on the Bodhicaryavatara, a training text to become a Bodhisattva, a Dharma warrior. This uncompromising text is a gem in learning how to act with wisdom and compassion in the world. It has a special place in Triratna as we are practicing the Dharma in our busy, modern lives and was the first text that Sangharakshita chose to study with a group of Order members.

There are various training principles in the text but we chose to focus on two: working with anger / developing kshanti and cultivating loving-kindness through exchanging self for other. During the weekend we explored these themes through talks, workshops, discussion, meditation and devotional practice, even film references!

The weekend was a great success both in terms of deepening our understanding and practice of the Dharma and also learning from each other with a rich cross-fertilisation of ideas and approaches from different sanghas.

Watch the video where Jen, a Mitra from Hastings and Patrick, a soon to be Mitra in Cardiff, discuss the benefits the weekend had for them.”

Visit the Cardiff Buddhist Centre website and Facebook page

Watch a video of Nottingham’s Bed and Breakfast Retreat

Download a digital version of a seminar by Sangharakshita on the Bodhicaryavatara


Marking the First Anniversary of the Death of Urgyen Sangharakshita

Posted 4 months ago

Updated: Watch the anniversary talk by Jnanavaca here

On the 30th October 2018 Urgyen Sangharakshita, the founder of Triratna’s Order and Community died. At his funeral last November an estimated 1,200 to 1,400 people attended the ceremony and burial in Adhisthana, and over 60,000 more watched online around the world.

To mark the first anniversary of his death Jnanavaca will be giving a talk at Adhisthana entitled ‘Seeing Bhante - A Personal Perspective’, in which he will reflect on the significance of Sangharakshita’s life.

We will be live streaming this talk on Wednesday 30th October 7.30pm GMT / 3.30pm EST / 8.30pm CET / 1am India (Thursday 31st) / 6.30am Sydney (Thursday 31st) / 8.30am Auckland (Thursday 31st).

Watch the live stream of Jnanavaca’s talk on a number of different spaces:

Sangharakshita Memorial Space | Buddhist Centre Features | The Buddhist Centre home page | The Buddhist Centre Facebook page

There will also be a feed of updates throughout the day on Instagram and on Twitter as Centres throughout Triratna mark this significant anniversary in their own ways.

We will also be renewing the Memorial Space itself as a permanent tribute to Sangharakshita’s life and work for the Dharma. Keep an eye out over the coming days as we update it with new content, including a new full length film of the funeral, interviews with close friends and colleagues who knew him best, and an intimate, honest talk from Mahamati about his long friendship with Sangharakshita and the issues he faced, especially towards the end of his life.

+Follow the Sangharakshita Memorial space


Public ordinations at Hsuan Tsang Retreat Centre, Bordharan, India

Posted 4 months ago

Update: You can now watch the ordinations from India here thanks to Triratna India Media.

We are delighted to announce that the following men have been publicly ordained yesterday (20th October 2019) at Hsuan Tsang Retreat Centre, Bordharan, India.

Public Preceptor: Adityabodhi

Aurn Baburaoji Ingale from Amaravati becomes Vishuddhavacha
Private preceptor: Nagaketu

Dilip P. Khadase from Akola becomes Kripaveer
Private preceptor: Lokanath

Vinod Mahadevrao Thamake from Wardha becomes Dhirchitta
Private preceptor: Lokanath

Bhimrao Gulab Gade from Pune becomes Dharmaprabha
Private preceptor : Surangam

Raju Aba Chandanshive from Pimpri Pune becomes Kushalabandhu
Private preceptor: Surangam

Bhagvan Kisan Jondhale from Nanded becomes Samantachakshu
Private preceptor: Chandrabodhi

Vishvanath Limbaji Kamble from Pimpri Pune becomes Maitrichandra
Private preceptor: Chandrabodhi

Kishor Sukhadevrao Maitriveer from Amaravati becomes Sugatananda
Private preceptor: Chandrabodhi

Bhalachandra Tambe from Khed becomes Amoghasen
Private preceptor: Yashosagar

Public Preceptor Amrutdeep

Gautam Sukhadas Borkar from Nagpur becomes Pramodaditya
Private preceptor: Amrutdeep

Sandeep J. Rakshit from Amaravati becomes Ratnaraj
Private preceptor: Amrutdeep

Divyanshu Boudh from Nagpur becomes Kshantiprabha
Private preceptor : Amrutdeep

Milind Devidas Patil from Amaravati becomes Sucikirti
Private preceptor: Amrutdeep

Vishnupant Kedar from Amaravati becomes Anshulbodhi
Private preceptor: Ratnasiddhi

Santapal from Delhi becomes Anshulraja
Private preceptor: Ratnasiddhi

Deepak Tayde from Amaravati becomes Anshulvajra
Private preceptor: Ratnasiddhi

Harendra Kumar from Bordharan becomes Anshulratna
Private preceptor: Ratnasiddhi

Raghunath Nandeshver from Nagpur becomes Buddhadatta
Private preceptor: Nagaketu

Gangadhar Shamraoji Sonone from Amaravati becomes Kulanishtha
Private preceptor: Nagaketu

Prabhakar Daulat Walke from Nagpur becomes Kulachandra
Private preceptor: Nagaketu

Krushnarao B. Khobragade from Amaravati becomes Nirajbodhi
Private preceptor: Lokanath

Pitambar Ramchandra Gajbhiye from Nagpur becomes Lalitmitra
Private preceptor: Lokanath

Bhimrao Gunaji Wankhede from Nagpur becomes Bodhikiran
Private preceptor: Maitreyasagar

Public Preceptor Yashogar

Rahul Pandurang Bhaisare from Bordharan becomes Akshobhyamati
Private preceptor: Amrutdeep

Sachin Madhukar Pudke from Bordharan becomes Sanghakumar
Private preceptor: Amrutdeep

Shankarlal from Kanpur becomes Anshulsiddhi
Private preceptor: Ratnasiddhi

Ramesh Sahebrao Dhaotre from Pimpri Pune becomes Prabodhsen
Private preceptor:Surangam

Rajesh Bhimrao Bhange from Nagpur becomes Yashosiddhi
Private preceptor: Maitreyasagar

Dilip Namdev Gajbhar from Dapodi Pune becomes Amritketu
Private preceptor: Jnanadhvaja

Kumar Devidas Kamble Yerwada Pune becomes Vinayaditya
Private preceptor: Adityabodhi

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!


Pan-American Ordinations in Mexico / Ordenaciones Panamericanas en México

Posted 4 months ago

Estamos muy contentas de informarles que las siguientes mujeres recibieron su ordenación pública el día 20 de Octubre en el Centro Budista de la Ciudad de México.

We are delighted to let you know that the following women received their public ordination on the 20th October in the Buddhist Centre in Mexico City.

Paula Michelangelli se ha convertido en Abhayasara, nombre Sánscrito cuyo significado es: ‘Ella cuya naturaleza es la valentía (de Amoghasiddhi).’
Paula Michelangelli becomes Abhayasara, a Sanskrit name meaning ‘She whose nature is fearlessness.’ (long 3rd and 4th ‘a’s)
Anglicized spelling: Abhayasara.
Private preceptor Jnanadakini, Public preceptor Parami.

Chela Huerta se ha convertido en Vidyavani, nombre Sánscrito cuyo significado es: ‘Ella que está en el Río de la Sabiduría.’
Chela Huerta becomes Vidyavani, a Sanskrit name meaning ‘She who is in the River of Wisdom.’ (long 1st ‘a’)
Anglicized spelling: Vidyavani.
Private preceptor Jnanadakini, Public preceptor Parami.

Lupita Honda se ha convertido en Dhammasukhini, un nombre Pali cuyo significado es ‘Aquella que es feliz siguiendo el Dhamma.’
Lupita Honda becomes Dhammasukhini, a Pali name meaning ‘She who is happy following the Dhamma.’ (long final ‘i’)
Anglicized spelling: Dhammasukhini.
Private preceptor Dayachandra, Public preceptor Parami.

Elsa Cobos se ha convertido en Suryatara, un nombre Sánscrito cuyo significado es: ‘La que es radiante como el sol.’
Elsa Cobos becomes Suryatara, a Sanskrit name meaning ‘She who is radiant like the sun.’ (long 2nd and 3rd ‘a’)
Anglicized spelling: Suryatara
Private preceptor Dayachandra, Public preceptor Parami

Jo Wace becomes Khasanti, a Pali name meaning ‘She who finds peace in the open sky.’
Anglicized spelling: Khasanti
Private preceptor Taraprabha, Public preceptor Karunadevi

Gail Yahwak becomes Subhramani, a Sanskrit name meaning ‘She who has a radiant jewel.’ (acute accent above the ’s’, dot under the ’n’ and long ‘i’)
Anglicized spelling: Shubhramani.
Private preceptor Amala, Public preceptor Sanghadevi.

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!


Triratna Sanghas and the Earth Strike

Posted 5 months ago

“I felt my interconnectedness with all beings and that somehow what we were doing was intensely worthwhile.“ - Lilamati, Sheffield Earth Strike Street Meditation

Members of Triratna sanghas across the globe came out in support of the ‘Earth Strike’ on Friday 20th September. In 2018, schoolchildren began walking out of school in protest at global inaction around climate change. This year, the youth climate activists called on adults to support them at an Earth Strike, on 20th September 2019. They did: millions from across the world demonstrated their concern for our ecosystem and the consequences of global warming. People across cultures came out in solidarity - on Pacific islands, through Australia, southeast Asia and Africa, Europe and the Americas. The demonstrations were the largest protests around climate change and other ecological issues ever seen.

From Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, to Portsmouth in the USA, to Essen in Germany, to sanghas across the UK large and small: Glasgow, Manchester and Sheffield; London, Leeds and Nottingham; Cumbria, the Scottish Highlands and Aberystwyth - and likely others - people came together as Dharma practitioners and citizens of the world to participate in the Earth Strike.

Over the last year, youth activists such as Greta Thunberg and the non-violent XR (Extinction Rebellion) movement have between them catalysed a major societal shift towards climate activism. Many people in the Triratna Buddhist Movement want to participate - they want to respond to urgent ecological issues. But often they want to participate with Sangha, and they see it as part of their Dharma practice.

Within the UK, Maitrisiddhi has recently been encouraging and supporting UK Sangha members to get involved in direct action around the ecological crisis. She’s been delighted with both the grassroots enthusiasm, and the numbers of people wanting to participate.

People want to express Buddhist qualities of awareness and compassion, not horrified anxiety nor anger. My experience of Dharmic direct action is that it can be powerfully effective, as well as powerful spiritual practice.

For me, this isn’t about trying to fix the world - although any positive impact would be welcome. It’s about responding in a way that is truly adequate, and that meets the wisdom aspect of the ecological situation as well as the compassion aspect. It’s about how to bring a response of awareness and metta to this situation, because that is a worthwhile act in its own right, which has effects.

I’m not really interested in debates about climate science. What I am interested in is a debate around appropriate Dharmic responses to the Earth’s current ecological crisis. That could be really interesting! As a Dharma practitioner and a human being, I need to find a response to this situation that turns towards it and embodies the Dharma, and then I want to make that response in a visible public way, and to create sangha with others doing the same. - Maitrisiddhi.

Read Maitrisiddhi’s piece on Direct Action Meditations and the Dharma

How did different sanghas participate in the 20th September demonstrations?
Members of some sanghas participated in existing Earth Strike events together, while others organised their own sangha-based direct actions in support, adding to the richness of the demonstrations and bringing a distinctively Buddhist emphasis through street meditations or simple ritual. Here’s a round-up from some of those sanghas who participated:

Scottish Highlands, Scotland, UK
Teen Ross writes: ”Climate strikers of all ages turned out in force in a day of blazing sunshine in the north of Scotland. Protests were held in towns, villages and islands throughout the Highlands, as well as in Moray, Aberdeen, Orkney and Shetland.

Several sangha members joined the strike in Inverness, where hundreds of people gathered in the city’s Falcon Square. After several speeches and stirring pleas for action, the strikers lay down at 1pm for a ‘die in’, symbolising the mass extinction of species now underway. Padmolka, the chair of Triratna Buddhist Community Highlands said: ”I went along to show solidarity with the young people and by way of apology for the part I’ve played in the climate crisis. I was moved and heartened by the passion and intelligence of the young folk who organised this and who stood up and let their voices be heard.”

In Aviemore, in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, Sridakini and local mitra Fred Tilston were among the strikers. “It was heartwarming to see the size of the turnout and the amount of support, particularly the engagement of the younger generation,” said Fred.”

Melbourne and Sydney, Australia
From Australia, Tejopala writes: ”In Melbourne we had a multi-faith service in the city to which 150 people came. Maitrikashin and I led the Buddhist parts. We then joined the protest along with people of many other religious traditions. The crowd was estimated at 150,000 people.

In Sydney, meditators, many from the Sydney Buddhist Centre, gathered at the Domain in Sydney before the crowd of 80,000 arrived. On the Friday morning before the Climate Strike, the multi-faith group met together to meditate, pray or reflect, as a group of friends. All of us care greatly for all living beings in the world today and those yet to be born. We need urgent action on climate change!”

Leeds, England, UK
Beth Poynor said: ”I’d advertised the event within the sangha, but I was nervous beforehand. I didn’t really know who would come. The giant posters read ‘Buddhists For Climate Action / Grief and Love for the Earth.’ Participating in Friday’s Earth Strike felt quite different to previous demonstrations I’d been on: perhaps it was because I didn’t just turn up. It was heartening to join with others in the Sangha, and those friendships and something in the posters united us. I feel we started something as a collective and I’m hopeful this is something we can nurture and grow.”

Glasgow, Scotland, UK
While some Glasgow Sangha members marched in solidarity with the youth climate strikers on Friday 20th September, others wore black and meditated in George Square as the marchers arrived. It was a strong, grounding, collective experience, sending metta to the world and all beings… This was the inauguaral event of DANCE Glasgow. (Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement (DANCE) is a network of Buddhists across traditions coming together to respond to the ecological crisis.) This may be the first of many peaceful yet powerful presences - all the way up to December 2020’s COP26 UN Climate Conference in Glasgow.

I found it, as I think many did, a powerful experience, aware we were a point of curiosity which did seem to engage folk in a positive way. Diana, Kuladharini and Parami took turns as greeters for folk who wanted to ask more about it. A couple of people joined in, while some wee ones copied us. Many of us experienced strong and grounded meditations, in the midst of screaming sirens, music, chatter, and many people. There seemed, from our later ‘debrief’, to be a common experience of feeling like we were presenting as a sort of fourth sight. - Angela Lombardi

Aberystwyth, Wales, UK
Maitrisiddhi reports: “In bright sunshine and a sea breeze, twenty or so Buddhists and meditators from West Wales Buddhist Group, Zen and Insight Meditation traditions came together as DANCE Wales to process meditatively, wearing black, ringing gongs and bells, as part of the hundreds-strong Earth Strike march. The bells symbolised the voice of wisdom, calling to us to wake up, to care about this world, this ecosystem.

‘So powerful. So beautiful. I feel so grateful to have been part of that’ was one participant’s comment. Our march was followed by a street meditation, then the entire Climate Strike gathering was invited to attend a Moment of Mass Mindfulness - a led meditation in both English and Welsh - introducing some to meditation for the first time.”

Nottingham, England, UK
Nottingham Buddhist Centre itself went on strike for the day, and ran activities from the city centre.

Saccanama writes: ”Starting at 8 a.m. as the early commuters arrived in Nottingham City centre, a group of us sat and meditated whilst the sun rose above the urban cityscape. Different people from the Sangha arrived to join us whilst some members of the public also chose to meditate with us and many passersby stopped to take photos and ask questions. As the morning wore on, many of the other Nottingham groups involved in the Climate Strike began to arrive for talks and music and many seemed struck by the atmosphere of peace and stillness we had created. Not only was it good to be part of this global event, it was also great to be able to contribute something distinctively Buddhist to the day’s activities here in Nottingham.”

Sheffield, England, UK
Sheffield sangha with DANCE Sheffield held a street meditation at the Earth Strike. Lilamati and Clair Mullineaux describe what that experience was like for them.

Clair: ”I was feeling quite distracted and a bit edgy inside, but there was something very powerful about hearing all the speeches with my eyes closed… not that I could even hear all the words, but it was as if the voices and the emotions flowed in unimpeded by visual distractions, and then there was nothing to do but let it all in and wish it all well. And some of the voices were so young, I could feel tears creeping out from under my closed eyelids in response.

And I was completely thrilled at how many of us there were! Each time I opened my eyes at the end of a sit, more meditators had joined us. One thing I did hear quite clearly was a speaker from the Sheffield Climate Alliance, thanking ‘the Buddhists for meditating here today’ … and cheers from the crowd! Nothing to do but sit through that one as well … probably with a huge grin on my face!”

Lilamati: ”I felt held, surrounded by thousands of other people who also care deeply for our beautiful, fragile planet. I had expected to feel very vulnerable sitting with my eyes closed in the middle of a crowd in the middle of a city but I actually felt very safe, surrounded by metta. I loved hearing the flow of different young voices through the loudspeaker as we meditated… different young people from different local schools all of whom were passionate about the planet and had presumably risked something to be there. Their confidence to speak up for the planet to a big crowd was inspiring and gave me confidence and hope.

“Even though we were effectively trying to meditate through a series of little speeches and the crowd cheering, my mind was more focused, less distracted by my normal internal mental chatter than it is meditating in my attic at home.

“There were moments when I felt I was able to hold great pain and great love together… my own and the world’s and that point where the two blur and it doesn’t matter whose pain, whose love it is any more. Where metta takes on a universal quality and there is ‘just love’.”

I often don’t ‘feel’ much in the 5th stage of the metta bhavana at home (perhaps bringing all beings to mind just feels too big to imagine, and too abstract… and I struggle to connect emotionally unless I can imagine ‘the story’). But I really felt that today… a sense of a love that wasn’t mine or yours or anyone else’s radiating out to the world with all its suffering and its joy and its beauty. I felt my interconnectedness with all beings and that somehow what we were doing was intensely worthwhile.

+Follow the Buddhist Action space to find out more about the Dharma and social action

Listen to a talk by Vishvapani about responding to the climate emergency as Buddhists

Read The Three Jewels meet the Climate Emergency (including an extended discussion around some of the issues raised here).


Public Ordinations at Golden Bay, New Zealand

Posted 5 months ago

We are delighted to announce that the following women have been publicly ordained on Sunday 29th September during a five-week retreat at Golden Bay in New Zealand.

Public Preceptor Varadevi

Judy Gray becomes Padmapuspa (dot under the ‘s’, long final ‘a’), a Sanskrit name meaning “(She who is like) a lotus flower”.
Anglicised spelling: Padmapushpa
Malini was her Private Preceptor.

Ainslie Hannan becomes Sraddhanaya (accent over the ‘S’, long last three ’a’s), a Sanskrit name meaning “She who guides to faith”.
Anglicized spelling: Shraddhanaya
Megha was her Private Preceptor.

Kate Ewing becomes Maitrikirti (long second and third ‘i’), a Sanskrit name meaning “She who is renowned for her love”.
Vajrajyoti was her Private Preceptor.

Public Preceptor Malini

Maree Beverland becomes Suvarnadhi (long last ‘i’), a Sanskrit name meaning “She whose wisdom is like gold”.
Malini was her Private Preceptor and Vidyamala was the Giver of the Name.

Prue Treadwell becomes Prasantacitta (accent over the ‘S’, long second and last ‘a’), a Sanskrit/Pali name meaning “She whose heart is calm”.
Anglicized spelling: Prashantachitta.
Varadevi was her Private Preceptor.

Kirsten Gracie becomes Priyada (long last ‘a’), a Sanskrit name meaning “She who gives love and kindness”.
Chittaprabha was her Private Preceptor.

Public Preceptor Vajrajyoti

Helen Clack becomes Vajrasarasi (long last ‘i’), a Sanskrit name meaning “She who is like a vajra and a lake”.
Akampiya was her Private Preceptor.

Public Preceptor Megha

Sam Sammut becomes Sraddhanita (accent over the ‘S’, long second and last ‘a’), a Sanskrit/Pali name meaning “She who is guided by faith”.
Anglicized spelling: Shraddhanita.
Varadevi was her Private Preceptor.

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!


Public Ordinations at Guhyaloka Retreat Centre in Spain

Posted 5 months ago

We are delighted to announce that the following men have been publicly ordained today (24th September 2019) during a one month retreat at Guhyaloka Retreat Centre, Spain.

Public Preceptor Mahamati

Paul King becomes Viryamati, a Sanskrit name meaning “He who has energy and resolve”
Private preceptor: Swadipa

Gary Murray becomes Aryasara, a Sanskrit name meaning “He whose nature is noble”
Private preceptor: Srikirti

Frederic Rosset becomes Pavaka, a Sanskrit name meaning “He who is pure, bright, shining (like a fire)”
Private preceptor: Lokeshvara

Steve Howe becomes Sanghamuni, a Sanksrit name meaning “Sage of the community”
Private preceptor: Khemadhamma

Public Preceptor Arthapriya

Mark Melbourne becomes Jyotida, a Sanskrit name meaning “Giver of light”
Private preceptor: Paraga

David Tyfield becomes Ketumati, a Sanskrit name meaning “He who has a mind like a comet”
Private preceptor: Buddhashanti

Paul Mason becomes Prajnavaca, a Sanskrit name meaning “He who has the voice of wisdom”
Private preceptor: Pramudita

Ian Hannah becomes Ajitamati, a Sankrit name meaning “He who has a mind which is unconquered”
Private preceptor: Buddhashanti

Sion Williams becomes Amita, a Sanskrit/Pali name meaning “Unbounded”
Private preceptor: Tejananda

Billy Frugal becomes Nagakushala, a Sanskrit name meaning “He who has the skilfulness of the nagas”
Private preceptor: Samanartha

Will Elworthy becomes Kamalavajra, a Sanskrit name meaning “Lotus vajra”
Private preceptor: Paraga

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!