Triratna

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Stephen18
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Triratna

Post by Stephen18 »

I have so far visited two Theravada centres/temples in Manchester -- the Samatha Trust (lay organization) and Saraniya Dhamma Meditation Centre (Burmese). On Tuesday, I am visiting a Thai temple called Wat Sriratanaram.

There is also a Triratna (FWBO) centre in central Manchester. I've actually visited it two or three times, but only briefly so. I bought a Buddharupa from there. They told me they are neither Theravada nor Mahayana. What do people on here think about them?
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Keith
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Re: Triratna

Post by Keith »

I quite liked the MBC. Two large shrine rooms open to the public and a well stocked library. Nice atmosphere there too.

The Triratna quasi-ordination system is weird though, as is their ego-growing 'mitra' label.
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waterchan
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Re: Triratna

Post by waterchan »

There's this thread about the Triratna Buddhist Order.

And according to Wikipedia they had a few controversies, though none in recent years.

Sounds a bit cultish to me.
Bakmoon
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Re: Triratna

Post by Bakmoon »

They call themselves an Ecumenical Buddhist group as opposed to an electric group, meaning that they draw on multiple traditions, but they see them as having an underlying unity rather than just taking a little from here and a bit from there in a haphazard way, and they see the very essence of this core of Buddhism as refuge and the five spiritual faculties.

Mostly, the group focuses on a mixture of Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist teachings.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.
Stephen18
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Re: Triratna

Post by Stephen18 »

Thanks, all. So is it worth visiting them on a regular basis?
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Keith
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Re: Triratna

Post by Keith »

I would/I did. They're welcoming and open minded. Maybe not your first choice of sangha, but a well-meaning community of like-minded friends is invaluable.

Say hello to Ratnaguna when you meet him :)
Stephen18
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Re: Triratna

Post by Stephen18 »

Keith wrote:I would/I did. They're welcoming and open minded. Maybe not your first choice of sangha, but a well-meaning community of like-minded friends is invaluable.

Say hello to Ratnaguna when you meet him :)
I'll try them out.

Is Ratnaguna the chief?
Bakmoon
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Re: Triratna

Post by Bakmoon »

Upasaka Sumana wrote:Thanks, all. So is it worth visiting them on a regular basis?
The only way to find out is to spend time with them and see if you like them. Personally I have listened to some talks by their founder Sangharakshita at http://www.freebuddhistaudio.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and I thought he did a good job of integrating the teachings together. I don't think the Triratna community would be a good fit for me personally because my study style is a bit different than theirs, but I think on the whole they sound pretty good, particularly with the emphasis they have on building friendship and community within the movement. It sounds like a great place to make Buddhist friends.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.
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Keith
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Re: Triratna

Post by Keith »

Upasaka Sumana wrote:Is Ratnaguna the chief?
I think so. He was my first contact there years ago. I remember him being a very warm fellow. I do miss the fellowship that I found in the MBC now I'm in Southend-on-Sea.
Spiny Norman
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Re: Triratna

Post by Spiny Norman »

Upasaka Sumana wrote:Thanks, all. So is it worth visiting them on a regular basis?
There is a strong sense of sangha which is of value. However you might feel forever on the outside unless you're willing to follow the Triratna career path of mitraship and ordination.
Buddha save me from new-agers!
Spiny Norman
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Re: Triratna

Post by Spiny Norman »

Bakmoon wrote:Mostly, the group focuses on a mixture of Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist teachings.
When I was involved in Triratna in the 1980s there was a strong emphasis on the Mahayana, but there seems to have been a shift towards Theravada, for example with the introduction of walking meditation and retreats based on the 4 tetrads of anapanasati. I always found their mix-and-match approach somewhat confusing though.
Buddha save me from new-agers!
mal4mac
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Re: Triratna

Post by mal4mac »

I'd concentrate on the Samatha Trust. I've never read any controversy about them, and they seem to be the "sangha of choice" for serious academics, like Peter Harvey & Rupert Gethin. Not a centre near me, unfortunately, or I'd go along. FWBO & NKT are the only ones near me, so I prefer being a rhinoceros.
- Mal
Spiny Norman
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Re: Triratna

Post by Spiny Norman »

mal4mac wrote:I'd concentrate on the Samatha Trust.
Yes, I've had some involvement with them, a good bunch of people. But there are no groups near where I live either, which means I don't get to their meetings very often.
Buddha save me from new-agers!
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Anagarika
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Re: Triratna

Post by Anagarika »

Upasaka Sumana wrote:Thanks, all. So is it worth visiting them on a regular basis?
Upasaka Sumana, I feel I'd be remiss to not at least mention some of the history with Sangharakshita and Triratna/FWBO. Sangharakshita's ordination claims are questionable, and his personal history in the organization is, well, criminal. This is not to say that the majority of people in Triratna aren't good people and proper practitioners. It's just that the history of the organizations' leader makes, in my view, its current circumstances questionable. I am sure there are solid Buddhist organizations in your region that can offer you a supportive sangha, without the risk of being involved in a sangha that might entail, well, risks. I offer this caution only as I would imagine there are some of Sangharakshita's enablers still in positions of leadership, and while S himself is elderly, there may be a less than ethical foundation with some of the leadership. Just as I'd not suggest you swim in a lagoon knowing crocodiles lived there, I feel I'll take the hit for mentioning Sangharakshita's sordid past. Caveat emptor, my friend.

" The FWBO founder told Mark Dunlop that his resistance to homosexuality was the result of 'conditioning'. Quoting Kinsey, he claimed that research had shown that a large number of men were actually bisexual but were unaware of it due to social and parental conditioning. Mark was told that his aversion to homosexuality actually showed how deeply conditioned he was and that the only way to progress spiritually and emotionally was to overcome his revulsion and accept that he was, in fact, bisexual. And so, in awe of his spiritual teacher and convinced by arguments supported by the wisdom of an ancient spiritual tradition and modern scientific research, Mark Dunlop, albeit reluctantly, succumbed.

The sexual relationship mainly consisted of Sangharakshita lying on top of Mark and m******ting himself against him to the point of orgasm. Mark would then remove the semen with a towel he kept under his bed for the purpose. Usually all this occurred on a twice weekly basis. As he became more wary of his intentions and began to realise that he had been duped, Mark would sometimes object to the advances. Sangharakshita would get his way by talking about the importance of trust and 'spiritual friendship.' On two occasions he clutched at his chest, saying "Oh, my heart" (clearly overwhelmed by the pain of rejection).

It was not until 1976 that Mark Dunlop managed to break away from Sangharakshita. Retrospectively he views the period as one wherein he was repeatedly raped by someone who had used spiritual and psychological violence, rather than plain old physical force, to subdue him. As a consequence of his experiences, Mark has, for the last 20 years, had to endure a succession of bouts of severe depression and, despite having received the help and advice of psychiatric health professionals, he remains severely emotionally damaged and unable to reintegrate into society. The consultant psychiatrist who treated Mark recognized the FWBO as a cult and declared his symptoms to be identical to those she had treated in numerous other ex-cult members [46]." http://www.ex-cult.org/fwbo/fwbofiles.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Spiny Norman
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Re: Triratna

Post by Spiny Norman »

Anagarika wrote:" The FWBO founder told Mark Dunlop that his resistance to homosexuality was the result of 'conditioning'. Quoting Kinsey, he claimed that research had shown that a large number of men were actually bisexual but were unaware of it due to social and parental conditioning. Mark was told that his aversion to homosexuality actually showed how deeply conditioned he was and that the only way to progress spiritually and emotionally was to overcome his revulsion and accept that he was, in fact, bisexual.
This view was widely held in the 1980s FWBO, and I was encouraged to "explore my sexuality" on more than one occasion.
Buddha save me from new-agers!
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