Final Update – Manchester Buddhist Convention 2015

Final Update

Greetings to all. I hope you are well and found spots of sunshine in the summer…

This is the final update for the MBC Convention 2015. You should have seen the

Programme on the Website, or you will see it soon!

This is the 10th anniversary of the Manchester Buddhist Convention so I hope people

from earlier years will be encouraged to attend. There will be some looking back and

some looking forward!

As you know, the theme this year is:

From Stillness to action:

Peace in the Heart

Peace in the world.

We identified the theme early in the year and recognise it as an aspiration and need

following on from the painful events that occurred last year and which continue. (The

first anniversary of the killing of David Haines took place recently.)

All of us who have our eyes open and our ears attuned will be aware of the lack of

peace that continues to haunt our world. Alongside that is the courage with which

people encounter and deal with what they are dealt, globally as well as on our own

doorstep. I don’t aim to catalogue these but this is always a humbling experience for

me. Some images have galvanised ordinary citizens worldwide into action. One of

these must be the picture of the young Turkish soldier and the tenderness of his

demeanour as he carried a drowned child to a place of rest. Acts of compassion are

being replaced by border clampdowns across Europe as crisis deepens.

We can aim to be aware of this and hold it in our hearts as we meet on October 10th.

For instance, seekers already here often need a place to stay if their appeal fails. We

can also remember people in our practice and may be able to identify ways to offer

practical assistance.

One thing where we may find consensus is the belief that the path we practice,

whatever the lineage, offers positive alternatives to deal with conflict. The MBC

planning group acknowledges that we need to begin with ourselves so, to some

extent, this has begun among the group. For myself, I ask how we can put this to

practical use. It was with this in mind that we have taken two initiatives.

 We have organised two ‘mini-events’ attended by some of you. There have

been short reports on the Website. The aim of these is to bring Buddhists

together in a smaller context than the large event in October and to set up a

process.

 Recently we established Sangha in Action (SIA) – again from different

Buddhist lineages. SIA will work in tandem with the MBC. (More information

will be available on the 10th.)

With regard to the Programme, we have tried to present one that looks back on the

last decade and are happy that Joy Bose – one of the MBC’s Founder members will

be visiting. He will do a short reflection on the MBC’s early years. I will look as some

of the things that have happened in the last few years. ore importantly, I think we

need to look a little bit ahead at where we want the MBC to go and what we can do to

make it happen. Some of us on the MBC are approaching our ‘sell by’ date so this is

important.

The programme will, as usual, have a range of speakers and presentations from

different lineages. Some of these will be Practice sessions; some will be Dharma

themes and some will present social action underpinned by an ethical framework. If

you look at the Programme before the 10th it may help you make a choice. There will

be programmes posted on the walls. There will also be people to hand to help.

It has been pointed out that the acronym MBC is already in use by the Manchester

Buddhist Centre (Triratna) and in this tenth year it may be appropriate for the MBC to

think about another name. A couple that have been suggested are:

 The North-West Buddhist Forum (as increasingly the Convention is attracting

people and centres from outside Manchester).

 Manchester Maha-Sangha (it has been indicated that people won’t

understand what ‘Maha’ means but it could be a case of learning…)

Within this, the Manchester Buddhist Convention could still retain it’s name as one

event, just as SIA or the smaller events that are becoming part of what we do.

Please register if you haven’t already done so. It is useful to keep a record and

people will then get information of other events. It also helps to cater with minimal

waste. Please also de-register if you have registered and CANNOT make it.

Several individuals make up a dozen or more (!) This makes a difference when we

want to keep the event on a Dana basis. But don’t let non-registration prevent you

from coming if suddenly find you have a spare day. It may change your life and ours!

Now it just remains for me to say that I’m looking forward to seeing many of you from

earlier years as well as some new faces that will bring a fresh impetus to the MBC

process (and maybe help us think up a new name!)

May we come in trust to share ideas, thoughts, similarities and differences with

peace, and willingness to listen. Whether we agree or not may then become

peripheral to how we engage and live with each other and could increase the

possibility of ‘Peace in the World.

Blessings and Dharma/Dhamma greetings,

Jaya- Co-ordinator and Programme development.

One Root Many Branches

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