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The Western Buddhist Order is now Triratna Buddhist Order

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Re: The Western Buddhist Order is now Triratna Buddhist Order

Postby Dan74 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:04 am


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Re: The Western Buddhist Order is now Triratna Buddhist Order

Postby jayarava » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:52 pm

I was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order in 2005. I considered the name of the Order to have changed when Sangharakshita sent out his email on 6th January (as did he, when I asked him about it) as is clear from my . The auxiliary movement is a more complex issue as each centre is autonomous (within limits). But clearly when the Order changed it's name the movement calling itself "Friends of the..." had to change as well.

I now find the whole criticism thing dead boring. Yawn...

The reason for changing the name is that "western" no longer applies - fully a quarter of our Order are Indians! Many others do not identify with the label "western". I don't. I was born East of Japan, in the Southern Hemisphere (176E, 39S) on the edge of the Pacific Ocean; and don't feel a natural affinity with Europe or the US, and living in the UK for 8 years has not dented that! If anything I am a Southerner, or Pacifika. Thank goodness for the change I say, though as 'Awakening' (wings of?) said earlier we don't all agree on the subject and never have (about anything really, the Order is far more fractious than people usually imagine).

But then as the Wikipedia will tell you my opinions on the Order, even as a Member of the Order, do not count as an RS (reliable source).

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Re: The Western Buddhist Order is now Triratna Buddhist Order

Postby Zearro » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:38 pm

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Re: The Western Buddhist Order is now Triratna Buddhist Order

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:37 am

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Re: The Western Buddhist Order is now Triratna Buddhist Order

Postby jayanatha » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:11 pm

The question of the name change wasn't simply about a different name. The 'Western' Buddhist Order was established as an attempt to translate dharma into a non traditional Western context. The shift in emphasis that accompanies the name change is more significant than a set of words.
In the Book 'The Triratna Story' the author tells us that the name was changed after consultation with the Order. Jayarava is right, this is a misleading statement. A consultation process started, but Sangharakshita intervened and the name was changed without a consensus within the Order. It may well have reached a consensus, given time, but the point is that it this didn't seem important to some members of the Order. The use of accurate speech to convey meanings that are misleading is, in my opinion, a breach of speech precepts and the book should be amended.
The Order in India was built on a significantly different foundation to the rest of the Order and that cannot be changed simply by changing the name. In India, it was widely believed that Sangharakshita was a celibate monk. Sangharakshita wore robes in India after becoming sexually active with vulnerable, young male disciples, often during retreats, so their misunderstanding of his status was understandable. Information about Sangharakshita's sexual activity was deliberately concealed from the Order and community in India until the Guardian article prompted similar news in India.
The Order in India is based on the teachings of Dr Ambedka and Sangharakshita, this isn't true of the rest of the international Order. In my opinion, that isn't a problem if we simply accept cultural differences on the basis of respect. Having the same, or at least similar names, doesn't change anything in those terms.
As to being bored with criticism of the Order, part of the problem for us is the continued refusal to take those criticism and concerns seriously. What happened was extremely serious and continued attempts to keep discussion about these matters private, as Subhuti and others want us to, is not a good foundation for the spread of the dharma. I am writing openly on here because I am unwilling to have the collective I am committed to, misrepresented by a small number of people who are close to Sangharakshita and won't allow us to make a public statement reassuring the general public that we do not condone sex between teachers and those they teach, particularly in retreat centres.
I happen to think that the TBC has a great deal to offer. The vast majority of Order members wouldn't dream of doing what Sangharakshita did over an 18 year period. Of course people are going to fall in love and there are bound to be situations where adults who were teacher and student become lovers. That isn't what happened with Sangharakshita. The book Greek Love was widely given to young men to read, copies were placed in men's communities and those young men were lead to believe that sex between teacher and disciples, within Kalyana Mitrata, was in some way a good idea. That must never happen again.
Those OMs who believe that we should conceal what we know to be true are acting out of a personal love and affection for Sangharakshita. I believe that we have a duty to be honest with our founder and to open up to public debate. We are not a private, exclusive Order, we run classes for members of the public and during recent discussion a majority of OMs present expressed a desire for a statement to be made. Some even felt that this should take the form of a precept. The 'Conversation.' which Sangharakshita posted on his site makes this even more imperative because he leaves out the entire question of sex within the teacher disciple relationship. Anyone reading this could be forgiven for thinking that what they are reading is the whole truth. That, unfortunately, is not the case.
Some form of truthful communication about our history would also serves to allow a sense of completion for many of those young men who suffered for years, feeling that they were used. We have heard and read enough first hand accounts to make this apparent. As things stand, those who criticise are encouraged to resign, and they are seen as traitors. I am not a traitor.
I want the dharma to flourish for the welfare and happiness of the many.

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Re: The Western Buddhist Order is now Triratna Buddhist Order

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:32 am

I am not and have never been a member of the FWBO or its more recent incarnations.
I do think though with all its problematic past that a proportion of its members are facing those problems courageously and deserve our support.
I think furthermore that we withhold that support at our peril. The T.B.O and W.B.O are among only a handful of Buddhist communities that have anything to say to modern society that is not mired in scholasticism and/or an adoption of some kind of mimicking of one or another ethnic group.
Sangharakshita's greatest contribution perhaps, is the realisation that westerners have to fulfill their kammic inheritance as westerners rather than become pretend Asians
And that attempting to bypass one's cultural inheritances is a huge block to the kind of mental good health that is a necessary prerequisite to actualising Dhamma.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Re: The Western Buddhist Order is now Triratna Buddhist Order

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:01 pm

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Re: The Western Buddhist Order is now Triratna Buddhist Order

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:16 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: The Western Buddhist Order is now Triratna Buddhist Order

Postby darkestmatter » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:07 pm

Personally I have always had a great deal of suspicion and Dennis himself. I do think that someone who hasn't disrobed and continues to appear before the Sangha in robes whilst knowing he'd commited a parajika offence isn't a good start and in my eyes immediately demolishes any credability he has. I'm quite sure people will leap to their defense and I have no issue if people find the environment conducive to their practice but the cult like behaviour of FWBO or Triratna as they're called now is self-evident. I have seen many comments, forum posts, conversations and talks by people in the FWBO and the rebuttals of any issue raised or 'argumentative questioning' as very similar to Scientology. I know I don't mince my words but I don't wish any ill-will at all to those in the FWBO but I do feel there are more balanced and less warped places to call 'home'.
“You are your own teacher. Looking for teachers can’t solve your own doubts. Investigate yourself to find the truth - inside, not outside. Knowing yourself is most important.”

― Ajahn Chah

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