Category Archives: Buddhism in the world

August 2014 Update by Jaya

This is a further update on the convention.

As you know the title has been shortened to:


Buddhism Today: Renewal and relevance

Responding to the challenges of our times.


By now you should have had Oxana’s poster and hopefully, you have forwarded it onto you various networks, centre members and other people who may be interested in the Convention. It will also be helpful if you can make a few copies and ask people to hand them out or put them in shops, centres, community groups who may be interested in this event.  This Convention needs to be seen as a shared project that we can all promote otherwise it will disappear. It’s quite a big undertaken for a group of six, some of whom are still working full-time and others of whom have multiple identities with various duties attached!


You will find a registration form on the website so please begin to register. Please note that there is a field that asks if you require food. This is important so as not to waste food – not a sustainable practice nor sensible for an event that runs on a shoestring and voluntary contributions in terms of time, food and other resources. We would like to see it remain that way.

In our last update we explained the reason for our choice of topic. If we stop to consider what is happening to our world, will see that we are beset with problems.


This is apparent in the world outside ourselves where we may think we have little control, in our own neighbourhoods as well as within ourselves.  This is the scenario. 


AvalokiteshvaraHowever the aim of the Convention is not to brood on the negativities that surround us and affect us – how can they not? – but to examine them; examine some of the actions that people are taking in response; and come up with ideas that people can take forward. We cannot change our environment entirely but we are not helpless and what we do together can magnify what we do individually or even as different centres..


The Convention will examine some examples of work that is taking place. Through discussion we will try and develop ideas that we can take forward to create healing in different contexts. There are already some ‘new shoots’ that are being examined; people working in different contexts with Buddhist/spiritual ideas. They will be presented at the Convention and participants may have ideas of how to take them forward.  There will also be themed discussion spaces for people to explore specific ideas that have come up over the years, or to suggest their own.


It is interesting to see how many people are interested in Buddhism and are happy to talk about it. On the other hand it is discouraging how many practices are being detached from their ethical and spiritual mooring and presented as mere activities to increase the ‘feel-good’ factor of our lives. This has happened to yoga, meditation and seems to be happening to ‘mindfulness’. (Perhaps some of you read Suzanne Moore’s article in the Guardian. If not – it might be interesting to check.)


There are, of course different notions of ‘doing’ among Buddhists. Some think that we have to ‘work on ourselves first’. There are others who believe that we have to do both together; that time is precious and the situation demands it.


These are some thoughts from a Buddhist (myself) from the other side of the globe. In countries where Buddhism is embedded in the community, there is no separation. In SE Asia, monks and nuns still go out to beg for food. They are entirely dependent on the community to survive. In return they teach, maybe run hospitals, schools and serve the old. There is a symbiotic relationship between them and the community in which they live. In India where there is a revival of Buddhism, it was considered a duty to give alms bhikkus and saddhus – not just those who belonged to one’s own spiritual system (sasana*) but to any mendicant. People would look out to give at least once a day. (A custom that is, unfortunately, receding with modernisation but it is still practiced to some extent.)


Sasana is the Sanskrit and Pali term for teaching, spiritual path or practice. I am choosing to use it because the term ‘tradition’ in English is redolent with something that belongs to the past and will not change. 


There will be one or two more updates in the weeks leading up to the Convention. Please also feel free to post your own material or ideas on the Website – it’s for discussion – but it’s a monologue at the moment.


Jaya – co-ordinator MBC





Manchester Buddhist Convention One Root Many Branches


Poster: Manchester Buddhist Convention 2014



 Download the poster McrBuddhistConv2014

Buddhist Action Resources

For Your Information:
We’ve been asked to forward this to people or groups who may be interested:

Buddhist Action Month

Network of Buddhist Organisations UK

Choji Akong Rinpoche

It is a week since the murder of Choji Akong Rinpoche in Chengdu, Tibet, shuddered through the Buddhist community and further. But a week ago, we hadn’t quite got there.


It is 6.30 am on Wed 16th Oct, and a grey dawn breaks grudgingly, bringing neither light nor warmth.  It settles into a dismal drizzle and the news that first shocked and then settled just below the surface of the mind re-emerges – implacable and inexplicable.

Continue reading

Maitreya Heart Shrine Relic Tour in Manchester 5,6,7 October 2012

Heart Shrine Relic Tour

Heart Shrine Relic Tour (Photo credit: StigAlbansson)

“A precious collection of sacred relics of the Buddha and many other Buddhist masters is touring the world. The relics were found from among the cremation ashes of Buddhist masters. They resemble beautiful, pearl-like crystals. The relics embody the master’s spiritual qualities of compassion and wisdom.”

“The purpose of the Relic Tour is to inspire people of all spiritual traditions and paths to come together to experience the blessings of the relics.”

5, 6 & 7 October 2012

Manchester, England, UK

Friday: 5pm to 7pm Opening Ceremony
Saturday: 10am to 7pm
Sunday: 10am to 5pm

Shree Radha Krishna Mandir
Hindu Religious Society
Gandhi Hall
Brunswick Road
M20 4QB

Contact: Dr Kim Gandhi
Telephone: (+44) 07801 708878
Contact: Mr. Krishan Kumar
Telephone: (+44) 0161 445 8355

More information on the official website Maitreya Hearth Shrine Relic Tour



1995 BEP Buddhist Embroidery Project

Anne Wynn-Wilson the late founder of the Quaker Tapestry made the wonderful suggestion that a Buddhist Embroidery project would be beneficial. The BEP Buddhist Embroidery Project was started by attendees of the London Buddhist Vihara (Monastery) in 1994. The BEP decided to teach embroidery to people who had not learnt it in childhood.

The late Venerable Apparakke Jinaratana, a Theravada Buddhist Bhikkhu (monk), who lived in a cave in Sri Lanka , near a very poor village, was using very old newspapers (supplied by villagers) as tablecloths. The BEP decided to embroider tablecloths, wall hangings and sitting cloths for his use. Although items are given to one monk they actually belong to the whole of the Bhikkhu Sangha (Order of Buddhist Monks) according to the Vinaya (Buddhist Monastic Discipline). In Asian villages, washing is done in streams and waterfalls, and hung to dry in the hot sun, so items do not last as long as they do in the west.

Anne Wynn-Wilson commented in 1994, “Sharing the making of such a gift enriches both the giver and receiver.”

Cave Sri Lanka 1995 presentation of BEP embroideries

Materials were donated by Buddhists and Quakers after requests for donations were made in The Friend: The Quaker Weekly, The Devon Vihara [Buddhist Monastery] Newsletter, and The Middle Way: Journal of The Buddhist Society.

A photograph of the monk receiving the embroideries appeared in The Friend: The Quaker Weekly on 28 June 1996, and the August 1996 issue of The Middle Way: Journal of The Buddhist Society.

Isigilikanda Ven Jinaratana 1992 Dec

Bodhicarini Upasika Jayasili Jacquetta Gomes Secretary BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada)

Kendal Unitarian Chapel/Transition Town Embroidery 

Flower embroidery Unitarian Chapel Tranition Town Service

Bodhicarini Upasika Jayasili Jacquetta Gomes (Secretary BGKT) is a member of the Kendal Unitarian Chapel’s Craft Circle . She embroidered a picture of flowers for the Unitarian Chapel’s Transition Town service on 8th May 2011. This embroidery now hangs in the Unitarian Chapel’s vestry.

Photo of the embroidery on display at the serivce in the Chapel

Ketumati Tapestry of the Buddhapresented by BGKT 

Ketumati Vesak presentation of Tapestry of Buddha by BGKT 2006

  Vesak celebrations were held at Ketumati Buddhist Vihara Oldham on 14th May 2006. BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) presented a tapestry of the Buddha (designed and sewn by Fiona Walker of BGKT) to Venerable Piyatissa. This now hangs in the main hall of Ketumati Buddhist Vihara.

The plaque reads “Designed and stitched by Fiona Walker Presented to Ketumati Buddhist Vihara by The Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) Vesak May 2006”






Ketumati Tapestry presented by BGKT of Buddha 2006


Venerable Pidiville Piyatissa Head of Ketumati Buddhist Vihara Oldham and Jacquetta Gomes Bodhicarini Upasika Jayasili Secretary BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) will lead a session at the Convention about their work in Kendal.

Retreat at Kendal Fire Station Community Room led by Venerable Pidiville

Piyatissa for BGKT.Venerable Pidiville Piyatissa led a retreat for BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) at Kendal Fire Station community room in 2011. As far as we are aware, this the first retreat led by a Buddhist Monk to take place in a Fire Station in the UK . BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service are developing a pilot project at Kendal Fire Station with Cumbria Fire and Rescue. This is led by Steve Healey, Will Richardson and Gloria Warwick from the Fire Service and Jacquetta Gomes from BGKT.

Chief Constable Stuart Hyde is working with local Buddhists and interfaith forums. He hopes that the Police will develop closer links with all faiths and religious organisations present in Cumbria . There is an urgent need for Buddhist Chaplaincy provision for major emergencies. Keith Munnings from Kalyana Mitra Buddhist Chaplains is offering his experience in Buddhist and multifaith Chaplaincy to CC Hyde.

Mayors Parlour Kendal Town Hall 15 September 2009 after meeting for agencies and faith representatives at Kendal Fire Station.
Mayor of Kendal Councillor John Bateson, Islamic Sufi Nuh Nazir, Venerable Pidiville Piyatissa.

Mayor Councillor John Willshaw, Gloria Warwick Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service BME & Migrant Workers Advocate, Jacquetta Gomes Secretary BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) at Mayors Parlour Kendal Town Hall 31st May 2012

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