Newsletter - Editorial
I'm writing to you at this special time of the year when we look back at what has happened in the last 12 months, and look forward to the possibilities that the New Year holds.
Fifty Years of the Triratna
Fifty years ago, in April 1967, our teacher Sangharakshita saw the possibility of the new when he started the Triratna Buddhist Community (previously the FWBO, or Friends of the Western Buddhist Order).
A few years previously, he had returned to the land of his birth, England, after living in India for 20 years. For most of that time he lived in the foothills of the Himalayas as a Buddhist monk, studying, practicing and teaching the Dharma.
On returning to Europe he saw the tremendous potential for the development of the Dharma in the West. His conviction was that a new Buddhist movement was needed that would enable a wholehearted and radical engagement with Buddhist practice relevant to the modern world.
Since its early days when it occupied a small basement under a shop in London this movement has grown considerably. There are now Triratna activities in 27 countries with many thousands of people involved.
This spring we'll be marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Triratna Buddhist Community with a day of celebrations at the DBC on Sunday, April 9th.
On the day we'll be rejoicing in the richness, beauty and depth of our community of practitioners, as well as developing a sense of how it might grow into the future here in Ireland. Please do come along if you feel a connection with our community. It'd be lovely to see you there.
At the heart of our community is the Triratna Buddhist Order, today numbering more than 1,900 women and men around the world who have formally committed their lives to the Buddhist path.
Last September ex-Geraldine Griffin from Dublin made this commitment and joined the order on a special ordination retreat in Akasavana, a women's retreat centre located deep in the mountains of Spain. At her ordination, she was given the name Chandrachitta – 'she whose heart is radiant like the moon'. It is a fitting name for a woman whose qualities shine brightly indeed. Sadhu Chandrachitta! Welcome to the Order.
Happily, there have been two others from Ireland who have also recently been invited to join the Order in the New Year. Greg Kelly is from Westport, Co. Mayo and is a key member of our Triratna group there. He will be joining the Ordination retreat in Guyhaloka, a retreat centre for men in Spain.
Also, Mairead Keane, who is a member of our Sangha here in Dublin, will be ordained on a retreat in Akasavana.
Both retreats are several months long and present a unique opportunity to delve deeply into the mysteries of life in the context of an intense engagement with the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
Both Greg and Mairead are good friends of mine and I look forward to them bringing their fine qualities into our order. I wish them every happiness and success in their practice. May it bear fruit for the benefit of all beings!
Buddhism and Science
Finally, we have many upcoming courses and events, but I wanted in particular to mention a new course that we'll be running in 2017 led by Vajrashura. Buddhism and Science: The Quest For Truth begins on Thursday, January 12th.
Vajrashura will be known to many of you as our mitra convenor and centre manager. What you might not know is that he has a degree in Theoretical Physics (no, I don't know what means either!). He also has an avid enthusiasm in both science and Buddhism, and will be exploring the parallels and differences in their quest for Truth. It promises to be a fascinating exploration.
Wishing you and yours a very happy festive season, and all the very best for the New Year.