Sunday, 11 April 2010

FWBO becomes Triratna Buddhist Community

An item from FWBO News 11th April
"In January FWBO News carried a story announcing that Sangharakshita had suggested a change of name to the Order and Movement, and that he had asked the Order and Movement to adopt the new names of the Triratna Buddhist Order and the Triratna Buddhist Community respectively.

Parami and Mahamati, the two International Order Convenors, have now written with confirmation that the Order has adopted Sangharakshita’s suggestion, and officially became the Triratna Buddhist Order on April 7th, the 42nd anniversary of the founding of the Order. They say “This means that we can celebrate the founding of the Western Buddhist Order and the renaming to the Triratna Buddhist Order on the same day now and in the future”.

The Movement is expected to follow suit, and indeed a ceremony to mark the adoption of the name “Triratna Buddhist Community” is being planned for the International Retreat at the end of May. Triratna means "Three Jewels", specifically the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, which are the central foci of a Buddhist's life and practice. They've long been represented in our logo and on the kesas worn by Order Members, so we're delighted that our name will now reflect them as well."

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The Buddha's Noble Eightfold Path

The Noble Eightfold Path is the last of the Four Noble Truths taught by the Buddha. It offers us the way out of conditioned existence (samsara) and opens the way to Nirvana. Over the next 8 weeks we will be learning about the Noble Eightfold Path and you are welcome to join us any where along the way. No experience necessary!

The Noble Eightfold Path is often thought of as a path of 8 consecutive steps, but look at the meaning of the Sanskrit (Sk. Arya = noble, holy; asta = 8; anga = limb, member, shoot; marga = way, path). So it’s not a series of 8 stages but a method of spiritual development having 8 parts. You can start anywhere and work on more than one stage at once, but it’s better to start from a personal vision of spiritual reality.

Vision and Transformation
According to tradition the Eightfold Path divides into two successive stages; again we need to look at the original languages, Sanskrit and Pali to learn the ‘gist’ of each part.

Firstly, the path of Vision, Sk. darsana-marga (part 1, Right Understanding). Darsana is a sight, view or vision. This can arise for many people in different ways; a mystical experience, contact with nature, through meditation or devotional practice or through caring for others. Perfect Vision is an initial spiritual insight that grabs our emotions and sets us on the path to truth.

Secondly, the path of Transformation Sk. bhavana-marga (parts 2 – 8). Bhavana is development, change or transformation. This consists of the 2nd through to the 8th part of the Noble Eightfold Path. According to Sangharakshita in "Vision and Transformation" it “represents the transformation of one’s whole accordance with that initial spiritual insight."

Vision and Transformation’ by Sangharakshita, online at
Talk; “The Nature of Existence” from