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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Three new websites: Canada, Germany, and Buddhist Artists

There’s a few proud owners of new FWBO websites out there just now, and we’re pleased to feature a couple of them.

Karuna Deutschland have a very beautiful site at with photos and links to the projects they support in India and Nepal.

Amoghamati says “We are proud to present our new website! Thanks to Dietmar Becker, Karuna Germany now has a colourful and modern website with many features, pictures etc. Check it out! It's in German though, they say “ Karuna Deutschland e.V. ist ein gemeinnütziger Verein, dessen Ziel es ist, die Lebenssituation von Menschen zu verbessern, die zu den benachteiligsten und ärmsten Bevölkerungsgruppen gehören”.

Over in Ontario, Canada, Harshaprabha rejoices in their new website which opens with the intriguing words “Welcome to the website of FWBO Ontario. This is a website of potential.”

It was designed for Harshaprabha by his friend Mike Cheal in Ipswich, and includes a couple of videos of Harshaprabha, one outlining his vision for what could happen in Canada, and one explaining the meaning of the name ‘Harshaprabha’.

Third is not strictly an FWBO website - it’s the new Dharma Arts Network site, which came out of the recent ‘Buddha Mind Creative Mind’ conference at Taplow Court, UK. It aims to to all Buddhist Artists You’ll find it on the NING network at

 Lokabandhu, who co-founded the site along with Guy Malkerson from the Network of Engaged Buddhists, says "All Buddhist artists (or their agents!) are invited to join and contribute profiles, music, videos, etc. There’s 25 members so far and counting, including around 9 from the F/WBO".

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Friday, August 28, 2009

The FWBO in Canada - an update from Ontario...

There’s two FWBO groups in the big wide country of Canada - one to the west, in Vancouver, and one to the east, near Toronto. Harshaprabha sends us this report from the eastern side, specifically the city of Guelph, in Ontario, near Toronto.

He’s a UK-based member of the Western Buddhist Order who has for many years been visiting Canada and working with locals to build up their group.

Harshaprabha writes -

“I made another visit to Guelph in June this year. It was a joy to meet old and new friends both at the weekend event I led and at other times.

“The weekend involved five sessions of two and half hours each, all based on Subhuti’s book ‘Buddhism for Today’. Each session had an introduction to either the Metta Bhavana or Mindfulness of Breathing, a tea break, and then a short talk followed by discussion. The themes were - The Buddha; Going Forth; Buddhism and Life- Ethics, Buddhism and Death; Sangharakshita, Founder of the FWBO; and finally Ritual and Devotion in Buddhism. The most attending a session was 14 and the least 4 including myself.

“Guelph was blessed with beautiful weather that weekend which meant many were enjoying the warmth of the sun after a long cold winter.

“The biggest piece of news is that a week after I returned to UK, my Canadian friend Cameron Clark (Cam) came over from Guelph to Britain for a two-week stay. Cam was encouraged to come when I offered to pay for his retreat and some of his UK travel.

“This I could do from the funds donated on the FWBO Ontario fundraising website :-

“During his stay Cam visited our Ipswich and Colchester Buddhist Centres, was given tours of Suffolk and London by Bodhivamsa and Chris Petts, and attended the Padmaloka Summer Retreat. The latter really had a profound effect on his spiritual understanding, practice, and appreciation of the Three Jewels. The night before he left for Canada Cam attended the latter part of Dharma Day at the new Ipswich Buddhist Centre, which he had helped to renovate during his first days in the town”.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

First FWBO retreat in Ontario, Canada

Harshaprabha and others on the first-ever residential weekend retreat in Ontario, CanadaHarshaprabha, an Order Member who has a long-standing connection with Canada, has contacted FWBO News to tell us -

"The FWBO held its first ever residential weekend retreat in Ontario, Canada from the 7th till 9th November. It was held at the Glen Tara Retreat Centre, Mount Forest.

"There were 12 of us on the retreat, most coming from in or around Guelph but some from as far away as Goderich and Toronto.

"It was great having two Mitras on the retreat to support me - Joe Kosofsky from Toronto and Chris Petts from Colchester. Chris is a good friend and had always wanted to come to visit Canada and meet my friends who he had seen in photos and heard so much about.

"The theme of the retreat was Kindness and like many FWBO retreats, kindness was felt by all who came. I really appreciated being in the company of friends old and new. Their willingness to engage in meditation, study and puja, as well as their openness and humor was fantastic to be around.

"The reporting out at the end was very heartfelt and moving. I hope that this is the first of many retreats in a Province of Canada that is over twice the size of Great Britain.

"If you would like to support my activities there please visit my fundraising page This is a simple, secure, and tax-efficient way to contribute to spreading the Dharma in Canada.

Funds will be used to supply books, CDs, DVDs, meditation cushions and shrine gear. Monies would also assist in setting up a FWBO Ontario website and help those interested go on FWBO retreats in Canada and America.

There is also a small FWBO Center in Vancouver.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Day retreat in Guelph, Canada

For some years Harshaprabha, an Order Member from Ipswich, UK, has been regularly visiting Guelph, in Ontario, Canada, to pursue his dream of establishing an FWBO centre there.

Harshaprabha has sent this report to FWBO News -

“I made another visit to Ontario, Canada from 31 January till 7th February. The weather was real winter, with a big snowstorm which brought 300 mm of snow to Toronto and 250 mm to Guelph where I was staying. This was the third time it had snowed in the week I was there – but even though temperatures dropped to minus 16 with the wind-chill factor I never felt the cold there as much as I do in England!

“I led a day retreat on Sunday 3rd at a Yoga Studio in downtown Guelph. There were 16 of us for the first half of the day, slightly fewer after lunch. I was pleased to see that there were 3 new faces there including a woman who’d come because she met a friend who used to attend the FWBO's Colchester Centre at a conference near Vancouver. She teaches history at the University of Guelph.

“Duncan, Sue, Kerry and I worked out after the day that we could have had 26 people there if everyone who had an interest in the day and/or the FWBO turned up.

"The potential for a Sangha in Southern Ontario including Toronto is a real one. If you feel for this and / or would like to support my 7 monthly visits then do get in touch - email me, Harshaprabha. At present I fund it from my wages and savings. It would also be lovely to fund some of the friends to go on FWBO retreats as many have very little money.

"I keep in touch with my friends there by e-mail and the occasional phone call. Quite a few know each other from AA, therapy groups or Laugher Yoga! We’re a great little Sangha.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tentative FWBO sprouts in Toronto, Canada

FWBO News is pleased to report on the existence of a small but enthusiastic FWBO group in Toronto, Canada - and the heroic efforts of Harshaprabha to join them. He told FWBO News -

"I first visited the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in 1998 to attend a wedding - my father having moved there in 1993 to remarry at the age of 73!

"Since 1998 I've visited Ontario on a yearly basis. In 2004 I actually moved to Guelph, Ontario with the view of emigrating to Canada, however my job only lasted 7 months and without any other means of support I was forced to return to Britain and my work as an architect. Whilst in Guelph I developed a good and loyal friendship with a number of people who attended my weekly meditation and Buddhism group.

"These friendships with people from in and around Guelph, Wasaga Beach and Toronto continue to blossom, and I'd like to spend a large part of my year in Ontario working full time to spread the Dharma. The rest of the time I'd be back in Britain or elsewhere in the world with other Buddhist friends.

"I don't know how this can be achieved but I'd very much like it to - it would give a second opportunity for people in Canada to have a regular face-to-face contact with an Order member. The other place is Vancouver some 4,000 miles away!

"If you have any ideas or wish to support me then please do get in touch.

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