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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

FWBO International Retreat - update; special offerings needed

The first FWBO International Retreat is coming up at the end of May. Vajragupta, the main organiser, sent FWBO News this update – and a couple of requests –

“The bookings are coming in steadily and it looks like it will be a big event. We’ve got groups coming from FWBO Centres in Germany, Belgium, Eire, Holland, France, Spain, and two people from New York, even we hope, some from India - so it’s looking sure to live up to its name as an “International FWBO Retreat”. Groups from Berlin and Essen are hiring a bus that will travel across Europe, picking up people from Amsterdam and Gent on the way, and meeting up with the Parisians on the ferry! They will then drive the last leg of their journey up to Taraloka. Bookings are coming in fast with only a few dormitory places left - book soon! - though still plenty of room for campers.

“On the retreat we’re going to be exploring some of the themes and stories of the Buddha in the period immediately after his Enlightenment. This will culminate on the last evening with a puja, on the theme of compassion / responding to the cries of the world / beating the drum of the Dharma, which will be lead by

The photo shows the Western Buddhist Order stupa on a WBO day in London, courtesy of Silabhadra,“One element that we'd like to have in this puja is offerings from as many FWBO projects (Centres, businesses, communities, family groups, outreach groups etc. etc.) as possible. The offerings would symbolise how each offers the Dharma to the world in some way, in the puja they'd build up all together into a inspiring evocation of the work and vision of the FWBO. We're envisaging that perhaps most of the offerings will be "physical" offerings that can be placed on the shrine, but we are also open to other suggestions and ideas - e.g. musical offerings, dramatic offerings... let people's imaginations fly!! Please talk about this at your centre or community and promote and co-ordinate the making of offerings. If you could let me know if and how you’d like to participate this would also be appreciated.

“Lastly, just a reminder of the post on FWBO Jobs about volunteers for the event. If you know anyone who might be interested in being on the team for 10 days, and having a free place on the retreat, do encourage them to contact me.

And if you’ve not already done so, please think about arranging collective transport to the event, so that a group from your sangha can travel together. To make it easier for lifts offered and needed to find each other, we’ve created a special page on the Freewheelers international lift-sharing site.

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