May Day holiday weekend: WLBC hosts Triratna mitra and Order member retreat
Our next retreat, ‘This being, that becomes’, coming up on 4-7 May, is for Order members and mitras of the Triratna Buddhist Community. What does that mean?
(Order members/mitras wanting to book: click here)
Creating community is centrally important to Buddhism. But community in Buddhism (or ‘sangha’) is not understood not just as a social group, whose members come together to enjoy each other’s company or give each other mutual support – though it does include those things. At its heart, it’s about a shared commitment to transforming oneself so that one becomes more aware, more positive, happier and more able to be genuinely of service to others.
At WLBC, anyone who feels they might benefit from our classes and activities is welcome, whether or not they’re interested in this kind of ‘sangha’ community. For those who are, it’s also possible to make a more formal, intentional commitment to Buddhism, and, as part of that, to co-creating sangha at WLBC, by becoming a ‘mitra’ (friend). Becoming a ‘mitra’ is not only a way of participating more deeply in WLBC, but also, more fundamentally, represents a commitment to the Buddhist tradition of which WLBC is part, the Triratna Buddhist Community. For anyone who wants to make a more far-reaching commitment to Buddhism and sangha, it’s also possible, after preparation and training, to be ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order.
As well as its extensive programme of open access activities, WLBC also offers contexts for mitras and/or Order members to come together and practise with others who have made a similar commitment, like study groups and retreats. We see this as an important aspect of effectively creating sangha, and of nurturing the personal friendships on which it depends.
Thus the May Day holiday weekend sees WLBC’s annual retreat of mitras and Order members, on the theme of what could be described as the teaching of Buddhism, conditionality. It’s not only a way for local WLBC mitras and Order members to get to know each other better and share their practice; it’s also an offering to the wider Triratna community, in that Order members and mitras from other Triratna Buddhist centres are particularly welcome to join us.