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?
- 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