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Tag Archives: Buddhist
MBC’s small steering group is working to create this year’s convention on the 12th October in Manchester.
Our theme this year is intelligent compassion and action in the world.
We are in the process of meeting venerables/monastics, considering the programme, setting themes for the day and guiding the practical arrangements.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET INVOLVED WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.
EMAIL us at manchesterbuddhistconvention @yahoo.co.uk (omitting the space before the @, spam protection measure …)
On the day, the earlier the better you could get there to help set up. But in the weeks and months before that we welcome input. On the day we will need hands on deck to help with serving food, setting stalls, registration. etc.
As always – all welcome.
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.”
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.
Bodhicarini Upasika Jayasili Jacquetta Gomes Secretary BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada)
Kendal Unitarian Chapel/Transition Town Embroidery
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
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”
- Buddhists, Fire and Rescue Service and Police Working Together in Cumbria (manchesterbuddhistconvention.wordpress.com)
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.
Buddhism in the World
Forty years ago, you could arguably, fit the number of Buddhists teachers, if not on the tip of a needle, then on the square platform of a Saxon church. All this has changed as the number of Buddhist centres grow exponentially. Two major causes are cited for this. One is the post-war occupation of Japan which brought Zen to the West. The other is the Chinese invasion of Tibet. Alongside the carnage, this created a huge exodus of Tibetan lamas to India from where they and the teachings spread across the world.
Buddhism is often defined as a religion. Books on the subject are tumbled into “religious” sections of libraries and bookshops. Occasionally, they appear on philosophy shelves. But how does it define itself? Buddhists refer to the “dharma” – the way. Buddhism is not a theistic “religion”. There is no creator god issuing commandments, judging or punishing. Nor is there anyone who promises salvation. Salvation is possible, even inevitable, but we will reach it through our own efforts. Neither is Buddhism a philosophy. It aims to go beyond concepts, the domain of Western philosophy. To do this it uses a thorough and rigorous investigation of inner and outer phenomena that include ideas, emotions, actions and interactions. Phenomena are unstable and impermanent – a dance of particles – an instability we are unable to control. We cannot create permanence.
Imagining we can control phenomena creates many of our current delusions and anxiety. And from this stems our conflicts with ourselves, with each other, between neighbourhoods and nations. Since the data of our human situation is subject to continual change it follows that our investigation must also be continuous and our conclusions must be adjusted. This personal investigation is central to Buddhist practice. There are no laboratories. No contrived replication. For this reason the process is sometimes dismissed as “subjective” and unscientific. It is not “evidence-based”. I am arguing that it is tested. It is evidence based but not necessarily within the Western framework of investigation. It is personalbut it is not subjective. We have the support of teachings and commentaries. Investigative practices have been explored and established. Skilled and wise researchers have “peer reviewed” these over millennia and continue to do so. But in the end it is our own inner tenacity, our passionate intention through which we must judge our path and progress.
This core practice is undertaken not only to create a degree of ease in ourselves but through a commitment to everything that lives. The development of compassion for all things is part of being human and cannot be conditional. It must include those with whom we agree, whose belief systems are congruent to our own as well as those we may traditionally see as “enemies” or who harm us, or whose belief systems challenge our own or whose interpretation of life is alien to ours. We need to be judicious but we cannot judge the person only the action. On this Buddhism takes no hostages. Our concern must include all living things (not only human).
Buddhism is moving from the fringes to centre stage. It offers strategies to deal with fraught lives. Meditative practices can be oases of calm at home or in centres. It is not a continuous assault to make choices, make judgements, accumulate information, juggle loyalties. It turns the attention inward.
The binary frameworks generally used to explain or explore our experience are flawed. By this I mean that there is an ideological split between spirit and matter; theism and atheism. (Buddhism is non theistic not atheistic.) The dichotomies of either/or, good/evil, black/white, lies/truth, for us or against us, need not coalesce into destructive factions within us and between us in which there is no accommodation and between which we must choose, sometimes on pain of death. Contradiction is is the stuff of our human condition. We are not asked to repress and destroy these. Instead it is suggested that they obscure our true nature. We are urged to investigate these obscurations and are offered methods to transform them. So anger can become energy. Afflictive desire can become compassion for all beings. (Not only for humans.) Pain can teach us sympathy and concern for all.
Buddhism recognises that suffering is our inheritance and will be our legacy. It makes demands in how we locate ourselves in the world. For me, in this context, it raises questions about the infliction of a model of infinite growth on a finite system; of our assumptions of entitlement to resources; our profligate use and treatment of land and water. It challenges the notion that our main concern is “the family”. It isn’t. There is a family beyond the family, beyond the neighbourhood, beyond the state, the country. Nuclear families are only a microcosm of this. Our care has to be embedded in the wider context. It is not a competition. It is reconfiguration.
Tried and tested methods of making an inner journey are offered. These enable us to change our own responses to a world in flux. It can harmonise relationships and enable us to maintain a degree of equanimity in personal adversity as well as in our engagement with the world. This exploration merges seamlessly into the metaphysical. Beyond worldly flux with which we must engage there is a timeless truth.
Jaya Graves: I was born in India and work with Southern Voices, a small educational organisation concerned with issues to do with the South or “developing world”. I am involved in activities involved with refugees and the movement of people and have been active in anti-racist activities, the womens’ movement and the peace movement.
- What is the difference between the three major Buddhism sects (wiki.answers.com)
Aryamati (Olga Kenyon) of Triratna Buddhist Community and Oxana Poberejnaia of Western Chan Fellowship are participating in an exciting Manchester-based creative initiative called Not Part Of Festival.
Both events will take place in Earth Cafe. Both events are free.
Oxana’s is on 7 July at 7 pm-9pm.
Aryamati’s is on 15 July at 7 pm-8.30pm.
Oxana’s event is called Sherlock Suite – a joint event with Daddies Girls. Oxana is going to read her poems inspired by the BBC drama Sherlock. Daddies’ Girls is a collection of short stories, for which nine women of different backgrounds contributed a story of their relationship with their Fathers. Oxana’s story is called Waking Up.
Aryamati’s event is called Eat Drink Poetry. ‘Two Thinking Mancunions share advenorous language. Olga Kenyon has published 8 books on women, launches her first poetry collection. Steve Waling is entertaining, versatile, aware of life’s aburdities, joys and slants. He’s author of 6 books, from ‘Calling Myself on the Phone’, ‘The Travelator’ Bring a poem.’