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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sangharakshita in Paris

Sangharakshita recently spent three days in Paris, on the occasion of a visit to the Paris FWBO Buddhist Centre (locally known as the “Centre Bouddhiste de l’Île-de-France - AOBO”). It wasn’t his first visit to Paris, but it was his first visit to the Centre, which was founded nearly 10 years ago by Varadakini.

During his visit he met several groups of people: mitras, mitras who have asked for ordination, the council of the Centre, and Vassika and Suvannavira, the local Order Members. The highlight of his visit, however, was a well attended two-hour question & answer session on Saturday afternoon, with questions on subjects as diverse as emptiness, the sevenfold puja, Sangharashita’s own Going for Refuge, the teaching of conditioned co-production (pratitya-samutpada), or the language spoken by the Buddha, to mention just a few. Two mitras, Barbara and Christian interpreted for the session which was appreciated by all participants.

Some of the people who met Bhante Sangharakshita commented afterwards:

I had the privilege of meeting Bhante twice, in a sangha-wide Q&A session and then as a small group of mitras having asked for ordination. Bhante was very sharp, he truly shone with his clarity and pointedness. We are fortunate to have met a man of his stature in our lifetime.

I was struck by the youthfulness of his words, his clarity, his liveliness, his humour… I was also moved by this different, foreign voice chanting the refuges and precepts; it was no meaningless litany but something already recited… elsewhere, and repeated many times, since long ago. I was very interested by the way he described the development of Buddhism in the West and its re-appearance in India as part of its evolution.

Meeting Sangharakshita in Paris was for us a deep and unique experience: a warm and unique encounter with the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha as well as a personal encounter. There are three things we remember specially about Sangharakshita’s visit to Paris:
• The depth in his chanting of the salutation, refuges and precepts; there was no difference between the words and their meaning, and no difference between the message and the one who was chanting.
• The clarity and precision of his answers and teachings; the simplicity of the language and of his choice of examples from daily life; and the self-evidence of the Dharma – Sangharakshita makes no distinction between the Dharma and common sense, friendship, calm; humour, determination…
• The real interest that Sangharakshita takes in each person and what preoccupies them, and his encouragement to us to continue along the path with calm, joy and determination
. BEGGA, IOANA & JAN, who came from Ghent for the occasion

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Sangharakshita makes no distinction between the Dharma and common sense, friendship, calm; humour, determination…'

- how true...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i m also waiting for sangharakshita's visit to india.
as indian dhammabandhu are waiting for there teacher from a long time. VIPLOVE +919970137161 NAGPUR,MAHARASHTRA,INDIA. JAIBHIM.


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