The Sangha (Photo credit: Big Mind Zen Center)
Update… Update… Update!
Planning for the Manchester Buddhist Convention is now well enough underway for us to say to you that it is indeed being planned, but not enough underway for us to not be biting our nails a bit!
Will we have enough participants? Will we have enough food? Will be able to cook it in time? Have we got enough cushions (even)! Will we have enough volunteers before? After? During? Will be able to create the right ethos? What do we need – Flowers? Incense? Music? Pictures? Who/where are we going to get all this from anyway?
This is partly all par for the course, I think (I hope) and partly because we have not organised a conference without the huge support of a Sangha before – food, venue, ethos.
However, we have had some really interesting offers and suggestions for the presentations/workshops already. It looks set to be an eclectic mix of Buddhist themed sessions, sessions exploring how Buddhism works in the world- eg – the interface between monastic and lay practice, the Buddhist approach to compassion and how it works in the world, precious human existence (possibly) and workshops on creativity. There will be practice/meditation sessions from the different paths. This year we will also have a ‘drop in’ space for personal meditation and a space for chanting. We hope these will be will be clear and interesting enough for people new to Buddhism or ‘fellow travelers’ as well as deep enough to appeal to the seasoned practitioner. One of the precious things, I’ve found about Buddhism is that there is always something new to learn from a session even for the presenter!
As we said before, the Convention is going to be at St. Peter’s Chaplaincy this year, which was very kindly offered to us. It has a capacity for 300 people and 7 presentation spaces.
Of course whether we can make full use of the space and the success or otherwise of the Convention is partly up to you so please could you help us in some of these ways:
Could you see if there are people who will offer us help on the day itself or on the evening before. We will have to prepare the venue before the 11th and will only get access to it in the evening.
Could you publicise this through your centres and also through individuals. Not everyone practices at a centre.
Could you fill in the online form that will find on the website so that we can have an idea of numbers for catering.
In due course we will put a form that will inform you what workshops we are offering. Would you will this in so that we have some idea of numbers for each workshop and how to allocate rooms.
And most of all – please come and help us make the day a success! Tell us what went well and what was not so good. Tell us what you’d like to see happen in the future. Tell us if and how you’d like to become involved.
Watch this space for further information as time goes on…
Your in the Dharma,
Jaya Graves (For the organising team)