Video of the wheel of life. The wheel of life is depicted on this 19th-century Tibetan Buddhist thangka. The world is shown in the hands of the demon Mara, indicative of temptation, death and impermanence.
“We tend to imagine that we can only become addicted to a few sorts of things. But real addiction is about using something, anything, to keep our real emotions, fears, and hopes at bay. There are many more addicts among us than we think.” – Alain De Botton
Meditation has the power to show us our own mind, to open our hearts, to help us see with fresh eyes, to transform us and to show us new ways of being. With consistency and dedication, each practice can ‘take us all the way’ to transforming insight.
Yet what if you feel all over the place and pulled in different directions in your life? What if you are plagued by doubt and self-loathing? How do you find the freedom of letting go? And what about compassion? Do you sometimes have questions about where you are going with your meditation? There is a way to have an overview of our practice and to have a way to guide ourselves in meditation according to our needs.
In the Triratna Buddhist Community, we have been exploring the benefits of the ‘System of Practice’ for decades. The Triratna system of meditation can be seen as a set of meditations that you progress along, or as a ‘mandala’ a circle or spiral of practices, which you go around in order to approach the center, Enlightenment. This system reflects the two main approaches to meditation found in virtually all Buddhist schools: samatha (‘calming’) and vipassana (‘insight’), and Just Sitting, in which simply sits with whatever happens in awareness, without attaching to it or rejecting it.
The second presentation on the Blazing in the Fires of Sunyata retreat, held at Adhisthana in 2017, on the theme of Metta and Bodhicitta.
Dhammarati takes us through the ethical foundations of Metta expressed in the Karaniya Metta Sutta, drawing out their relationship with attha, or ‘the good’.
Following a quote from James Hillman:
“Purpose in our lives doesn’t usually appear as a clearly framed goal, it appears more likely as a troubling unclear urge coupled with a sense of dutiful importance. This sense of purpose comes with a force but what it is and how to get there remains unclear”, Dhammarati likens this “unclear and troubling urge” to the experience of attha in the midst of our lives, and articulates how cultivating the foundational ethical qualities in the Metta Sutta – of uprightness, humility, gentleness and so on – support the process of our path towards the ‘good’.
Study course in Buddhist philosophy
Questions to ask a Buddhist. This is designed to be a study course that takes Buddhism seriously on a philosophical level by studying its arguments with an eye to seeing which arguments hold up well and which fail to be fully convincing. It is not meant to be an exegesis of Buddhist scriptures or a doctrinal history of particular schools, but a systematic discussion of issues. The principal sources of information on the issues discussed are Indian Buddhist treatises, but there are occasional discussions of those issues as they were treated by Tibetan and East Asian Buddhists, as well as by non-Buddhists in various cultural settings. Although all of what is dealt with here with has been discussed by Buddhists in the distant past, it is hoped that the topics chosen have universal appeal and are still of philosophical interest today. While many of the arguments studied were initially made long ago, an attempt has been made to illustrate them with examples that people living in today’s world can readily ﬁnd relevant. In short, this course is based on the conviction that if Buddhist philosophy was ever worth examining seriously to assess its merits and shortcomings, it still is.
Richard P. Hayes (Dayāmati Dharmacārin, TBO) received a doctorate from University of Toronto’s Sanskrit and Indian Studies department in 1982. He taught comparative religions and Indian philosophy at University of Toronto before taking a position in 1988 in the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University, where he taught intermediate and advanced Sanskrit and several courses in Buddhist thought. He returned to his native New Mexico in 2003, teaching Asian philosophies in the Department of Philosophy at The University of New Mexico until his retirement in 2013. He now lives in Jemez Springs, NM.
Padmavajra and Ratnaguna converse about their early involvement, getting ordained and their appreciation of Sangharakshita on the occasion of the Triratna Buddhist Community Triratna Day 50th Celebration in the Northern England Region at Sheffield Buddhist Centre, 8 April 2017
The Buddha, Bhante and Babasaheb – Talk1, Part 1
Dhammachari Suvajra spent many years with our sangha in India. In response to comments about the relevance of Sangharakshita’s teaching to Ambedkar devotees, he draws out eight of Bhante’s main contributions to Triratna and links them directly to the Buddha and Babasaheb.
In part one of his first talk, he highlights Going for Refuge to the Three Jewels as the most central act that defines our sangha as Buddhist and thereby links us all as a worldwide community.
In 1987 Clear Vision filmed Dhardo Tulku Rimpoche, one of Sangharakshita’s main teachers and friends, whose life profoundly influenced how the FWBO/Triratna Buddhist Community developed. Two fascinating programmes resulted.
In part one Dhardo Rimpoche talks about: his discovery as an incarnate Lama; the early years of training; his gurus; why he journeyed to India; developing a monastery at Bodh Gaya; major turning points in his spiritual life and the importance of meditation.
Watch part two here vimeo.com/30390744
A six 6 week series led by Samayasri and Savanna
Feb 23rd – April 5th
6:15pm to 8:30pm Midtown
Feeling thrashed about by the business of living? Thus is our human experience, says the Buddha. The winds of gain and loss, pleasure and pain, fame and infamy, and praise and blame all blow about us at any given time… and yet, we can turn them into spiritual opportunities.
Savanna and Samayasri join forces to share some of the traditional teachings and well as their personal perspectives on working effectively with the “eight worldly concerns”.
Tournesol Wellness 26 East 36th Street
between Madison and Park Avenues in the Murray Hill neighborhood of New York City.
Kamalashila speaks on ‘Where Faith and Wisdom Meet’ in which he “hopes to get us thinking about the volitional side of what dharma practice looks (and feels) like – pre and post insight. Maybe we don’t think of ourselves as a devotional type, but have certain responses and observances that don’t get expressed ritually, but are still about our respect for the ideal”.
A talk given at the Triratna Buddhist Order Men’s UK & Ireland Area Order Weekend at Adhisthana, 6 February 2016. The weekend was exploring Reverencing the Buddha: Devotion and Spiritual Life, through a programme of meditation, puja, discussion groups and two talks.
A characteristically clear and witty interview is at the heart of this intimate portrait of the Venerable Sangharakshita. Though the film’s title skips Buddhist etiquette, the film itself is perfectly sincere and charming. Made in 1989 by Bob Mullan of Gizmo Films for Anglia Television.