Human Revolution Orchestra performs in Manchester 17 November

Copyright HRO

Copyright HRO

Check out this multi-faith ensemble called Human Revolution Orchestra.

They are performing in Manchester soon:

17.11.2015 Live In concert at Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester  featuring Robin Eubanks

On their website they say:

Based on a Buddhist concept of Itai Doshin (many in body, one in spirit) the ensemble seeks to create the type of unity which is not a mechanical uniformity. Rather, it is a unity that has at its heart respect for the diverse and unique qualities of each individual. We treasure, and work to bring the best out of each other.



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


 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


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

Programme for Manchester Buddhist Convention

Please click on the link below to open up, view and download a PDF of our 2015 event programme:

MBC 2015 Programme final



Lojong – Second MBC Event at Dechen Centre 12th July 2015

This year (2015) the Manchester Buddhist Convention has organised two smaller events apart from the large event we organise in October. These events have two basic aims:

  1. To bring together Buddhists from different lineages
  2. To learn something about a practice or examine a theme in the context of Dharma.

This is the second of these events and offered a Tibetan practice known as Lojong; a practice that aims to transform mundane mind into one of loving kindness and compassion for all sentient beings – a basic concern to all schools of Buddhism.  This term is sometimes translated as ‘Mind-training’ which in my view does not convey the depth, power and efficacy it has to do so. This is how it is described by John Rowan. ‘Lojong, is a comprehensive practice; suitable for all types of students. It contains the entire path and does not depend on a person’s background. It nourishes and cultivates Buddha Nature that is at the very heart of all beings and has the power to transform even self clinging into selflessness.’

The event was hosted by the Kagyu/Dechen Centre on Manor Road.  It was a delight to be in this beautiful garden with elegantly set tables, flowers and food. We also had a chance to visit the Shrine room with an exquisite Buddha Rupa from Nepal.

Venerable Chueh Ru from the Fo Guang Chan Centre started the session with an inspiring meditation ‘workout’. I suspect that many of us will be going to the FGS to experience her approach to loosening the ‘chi’ prior to sitting. Thanks also to Simon who led us through the Lojong.

After the ‘workout, there was a ritual creation of a Mandala or sacred space. After this Simon explained the basic practice.

To generate compassion, the practice traditionally focuses on our mother of this life. It reminds us that she has been our mother in many lives; talks us through the care she has given us and the sacrifices she has made to help us grow and bring us to maturity.  It encourages us to extend the love we feel for her to all beings thereby broadening the extent of our compassion.  A guided meditation led us through the process. He suggested that we take as our focus anyone for whom we felt great love.  

The second part of the practice is called Tonglen in Tibetan (roughly translated as taking and giving). Through this we, symbolically, take on the suffering of the world in exchange for our well-being. We breathe in the suffering represented by black smoke and send out fine bright light.. This can seem challenging but in reality we can’t, in actuality, take on everyone’s suffering. I think what we/I do is acknowledge interconnectedness and the vow to be of service to all beings. We didn’t do the actual practice as one person was uncomfortable with the idea. However, many of us do Tonglen on a regular basis. (My personal experience is that the practice does deepen compassion. However, it is indeed effective in dealing with actual distress. It does not necessarily relieve grief but it has helped me deal with it better; connects me with the source of external pain -I used it regularly during the nightmare earthquakes in Nepal and I ceased to be a bystander.  I believe it has consolidated my personal commitment to action, embedded in Dharma, in the environment in which I now live. At least two other practitioners have made a similar observation.)

The day ended with some but, to my mind, insufficient discussion.  One observation was that the event did not connect sufficiently with the next step – ie- social action. This was indeed the case as it hadn’t been planned in. Several notions were raised in relation to this:

  • Animals in the scope of our concern for, ‘all sentient beings’.  For this reason, many people are beginning to move from vegetarian to vegan diets.  The MBC, in its October event offers Vegan, ethically-sourced and bought food. (As best we can.)
  • Social action – we mentioned some of the work MBC has been involved in, including contact with the camps for homeless people. A newly emerging social action group that was due to meet the next day. This has now happened and there is likely to be a short report on the Website in the next few weeks.
  • Buddhist Action Month was mentioned.  
  • The work of Tzu Chi is an example if Compassion on Action. They are deeply involved in working in the community.
  • Problematic relations with mothers were raised in email feedback. This is a reason for the suggestion to use any loved person. I’ve read one account of a woman who focused on her new-born baby and learnt understanding and love for her mother with whom she had a conflicted relationship.
  • Secular mindfulness was mentioned and the possibility of developing this in the future. This also figured in personal conversations.
  • The idea of looking at compassion and metta from different perspectives, and aligning Venerable Chueh Ru’s breathing methodology to therapeutic work was suggested.

These are all good ideas. Some could be taken up by MBC. It is also possible for a centre to take the lead in organising an event with the MBC.

MBC Planning Group has said one of the spin-offs of working together is that the people involved have learnt more about each other and the different approaches to Buddhism and to let go of assumptions. Our home is that this will begin to permeate into the different centres and allow us to engage creatively with each other and be of greater service to the needs of the age.

I don’t know of another way of developing relationship and confidence other than by creating process so this is my approach rather than racking up a series of events so it was good to see so many familiar faces and a few new ones.  I would love to hear of other ideas and thoughts for the future especially as MBC moves into its second decade…

Our thanks to everyone for coming and being involved and enthusiastic

Jaya – Co-ordinator MBC.

Genius of the Ancient World

On Wednesday 5 August at 21.00 BBC 4 television are broadcasting an hour long TV programme entitled Genius of the Ancient World which may be of interest. Further details about episode 1:Buddha can be found at:

Jacquetta Gomes – World’s First Female Buddhist Fire Chaplain

Read this article from The West Morland Gazette:

A Buddhist teacher from Kendal has made history as her faith’s first ever female fire chaplain.

This is the news item about this by Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women

This is the link to BEWES website

Click here for the MBC Faith and Fire Page

Manchester Buddhist Convention 2015 – June Update

IndianBuddhismManchester Buddhist Convention 2015


The Manchester Buddhist Convention will take place as usual on the second Saturday of October at St. Peter’s Chaplaincy, Oxford Road, Manchester.

The theme for this years Convention is:

Buddhism in Action:
Peace in the Heart, Peace in the World.

This will be the tenth Convention held in Manchester. So we come to the end of a decade of meeting together as Buddhists from different lineages – a decade when we have gone some way in appreciating the richness of the path we share. We also hope that it has gone some way in increasing our understanding of the different paths, developing solidarity and intention to work together. This is also a decade that also seems to have been marked by an increase in tension and pain in the global context.

In response to this, some of us have been exploring ways in which we can work together to create links of service and giving to complement our inner practice. A group is coming together of explore this and I hope we will be able to present something at the convention.

Alongside this, we will of course, maintain our focus of practice and exploration of Dhamma/Dharma topics. More details of this will follow in the Update in August/September.

The PG also decided to organise smaller events between the large one in October so as not to lose the momentum of the Convention. We have run one event on ‘Mindfulness in the Secular Context’ at Triratna Buddhist Centre and one is planned for July 12th at the Dechen Centre in Chorlton. You should have received, or should be receiving, information about this very soon. These are in venues with smaller capacities, accommodating fewer people than the October Convention. Places are offered on the basis of those who apply first.

As you know the Convention is planned by a group of people on a voluntary basis. It is possible to present it as an event with no fixed charge because of the generosity of Chaplaincy. This year we have decided to offer them a nominal fee to the Chaplaincy but retain the basis of ‘Dana’ – free giving – for participants. The Convention cannot take place without this so you are asked to take this on board should you attend and give generously.

I know also that many Centres have undertaken expansion or are busy with their own lineages. I am therefore asking you to consider whether you, as individuals and as centres, wish to support the event and it’s work or whether you feel it has done it’s work and for the time being and can rest for the next few years or if there is another configuration you think would be more suitable. Do you think that an event or a process that enables us to meet together as Buddhists and Buddhism without ‘boundaries’ is a useful one for the future? If so is this a useful approach to the next few years?

For instance:

  • Should it just concentrate on smaller events?
  • Should it concentrate on bringing people together for shared practice?
  • For action?
  • For visits to different Centres?
  • Or any other types of meetings or activities?

It is likely that some of the activities outlined above will go on whether or not the Convention continues in its present for.

These are things you may have to consider at the Convention so please give it some thought. You should also give some thought to the logistics of it – ie- what can we; collectively do to make it happen?


One         root         Many       Branches

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