This will be the final update so will be mainly concerned with practical things.
However, one or two other things that may interest you;
As I wrote – next year – 2014 will be the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Manchester Buddhist Convention so I hope many of those founder member and groups will feel able to attend. Many of them find that the date clashes with one or other event in their own Centres but since we are giving everyone a years notice (as, indeed we have done for three years, maybe they will be able and willing to make some adjustments to their calendar. It will be a pity if we lose that energy as, of course, the MBC is a living thing. Therefore it evolves. It will evolve differently without them. Discussion sessions will explore ‘Buddhism in the West’. Prior to this Arthavadin from Triratna, will speak about Buddhism’s ‘radical edge’ so will this lead nicely into this topic. Dave Cook will run a session on MBC – A decade of work. Hopefully we will build up a picture of work of what has happened in the MBC in that time and where we want to take it or where it wants to go – which of course is a matter of our collective will. All the sessions will be embedded in Buddhist thinking but there will be common threads with other ‘faith’ traditions, as for example the importance of compassion.
I’m happy to say that the Gender strand is appearing strongly. We will take a historical perspective; explore some of the challenges that are occurring. This, of course is an issue for all genders! It’s also exploratory as none of us are ‘experts’ but have some knowledge and some experience and we want to learn from others. We want to think about what next… to do this we have to face up to certain things and ask the questions.
We will also hear from a group that is coming together to develop work with the emergency services and others that work to heal trauma. This is a very new initiative.
We will also have practice from various schools of Buddhism. I am sorry that we will be missing some of the monastic community as it is close to the Katina festival (the end of the rains), which is very important in the Theravada groups. However, there will be monks and nuns from other schools who will be presenting sessions that offer a mixture or practice and discussion.
Now some boring but essential requests:
- Please register, regardless of whether you are a presenter, volunteer or planning group member. This is easier than counting heads. It is purely for catering purposes as all our expenses have to be met by donations or out of our own pockets. We do not have any income apart from what is donated. This does not leave a cash surplus nor do we want to waste resources.
- The Programme for the day is on the website. Look at it for reference and to reflect on the workshops you may want to attend. There will be no printed programmes. This has proved to be very wasteful in the past. If you wish to have a copy it is there for you to print out.
- For your convenience there will be a hand-written Programme on a board as you enter
- Please can you donate (give Dana – a wonderful opportunity to practice generosity!) to cover the cost of venue, food and other overheads (publicity, decorations, etc). There is no charge for the event and we would like to keep it that way.
- If you are new can you leave your name and email address (clearly written!) so that we can contact you for future events.
- There is a multi-story car park behind the venue if you come by car. Buses are frequent from Piccadilly station, town centre, Chorlton, Whalley range etc.
- Lastly – pray, meditate, wish deeply for good weather!
Jaya Co-ordinator and programme manager, MBC