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Saturday, January 09, 2010

Google Alerts lead to three little-known FWBO bloggers

Thanks to Google Alerts, we’re able to bring you a couple of little-known references to the FWBO from across the wide world of the Internet.

The Holistic Knitter, somewhere in Wales, posts photos of her retreat at Taraloka - the teardrop-shaped pond and the beautiful Prajna-Paramita, among many others.  You'll find her (we're guessing it's a her) at

Up in Scotland, the mysterious ‘m0ok’, who lives with "a cat who struggles to take me seriously", writes of his first puja in his blog “Adventures of a Dharma n00b”.

Meanwhile the blogger known only as ‘Fireworks with Sound Effects‘ writes “I lost my center somewhere. I've looked everywhere. In my closet. Under the bed...” - and decided to pick up a written Dharma talk entitled "The Taste Of Freedom" by Sangharakshita. Which seemed to do the trick, at least to help matters.  More at

Thanks to our three contributors.  We’ll bring you more as and when we discover them!

Meanwhile you might like to check FWBO People for over 200 personal sites by people associated with the FWBO.  Just go to

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

FWBO People gets a makeover

FWBO People is a website listing over 200 personal websites of Order Members, Mitras, and Friends up and down the FWBO - and the AOBO, VWBO, BBBD, and TBMSG - as the Movement is known in various countries worldwide.

It was created some three years ago by Jayarava and during 20009 has been managed by Lokabandhu of the FWBO Development Team.

Now, thanks to the technical expertise of Dridhamati, it’s had a makeover, and we’re proud to present the new improved version. There’s more people, fewer screens to scroll through, and - most importantly - a ‘snap’ function that lets you preview each site before clicking on it...

You’ll find it at

If you’re an Order Member, Mitra, or Friend, have a personal website, and would like it to be included, please write to us at It doesn’t have to be a ‘Buddhist’ site - blogs, photo collections, YouTube videos - all are welcome...

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Two new blogs from FWBO artists

Today, for its Saturday 'personal profile', FWBO News features four Order Members making their living in the world of the arts. There's many many more besides these, of course, working and teaching in many different media - but these are the ones we've become aware of recently!

Vajradaka, an Order Member of 37 years standing, who was for some 20 years chairman of Vajraloka, the FWBO’s meditation centre in north Wales, asks -

“Could you please put something in the news on a new livelihood project called CREATIVE ENTERPRISE? This a new and practical approach to living a creative life and creating a business or livelihood which expresses that. Between now and the end of the year there’s a number of workshops on offer for creative people in all forms of expression, including entrepreneurs.

Also I have started a Blog called CREATIVE EXCHANGE which is an opportunity to contribute and read about the personal joys and difficulties of Creativity. It's at

Best wishes, Vajradaka
(writing from London).

Up in Birmingham, Alokavira, a professional photographer originally from Germany, writes to say -

'I would be very happy if you could add my photoblog to the list on FWBO News.  I started it earlier this year as an addition to my already existing website. I use it to regularly upload and showcase more journalistic photographs often with a social or even political content plus images from different FWBO/WBO events.

The address is:  Many thanks. With Metta, Alokavira'.

On his site at the moment are photographs of residents from Ladywood, one of the many council estates around north-west Birmingham and - presumably for contrast - portraits of some of Alokavira’s companions on a recent retreat at Guhyaloka, the FWBO's retreat centre high in the Spanish mountains.

And finally, from Bristol, there's an open invitation from Ananda and Manjusvara, long-established leaders of the 'Wolf at the Door' Buddhist-inspired writing workshops and retreats. They say -

'Dear Friend,

'We are presently considering our programme for next year, and wonder if you might like to host a 'Wolf at the Door' weekend writing workshop between March and mid-December 2010. Wolf at the Door was created to bring the wildness of imagination into our everyday lives. This synthesis can heal and energise us. It can renew our love of life, transform our communication with others, give us the insight into our lives and relationships that can bring about further renewal.

'Without exception we have had extremely positive responses to our programmes wherever we have been. The factors usually appreciated most are the friendly atmosphere, freedom from judgement, and bringing together creativity with an ethical dimension - people revealing themselves in new ways make very good sangha-building events!

“If you'd like to reply, please e-mail us at Or check our website'.

Manjusvara is author of 'Writing Your Way', endorsed by the award-winning poet Robert Gray with the generous words "Contains more good advice about writing than any other book I have read." It's available from Windhorse Publications, the FWBO's publishing house.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

FWBO News celebrates 5th anniversary

Jayarava, the creator of FWBO News, has written to say -

"Hi. FWBO News will be 5 years old on the 30th of May! Keep up the good work!"

FWBO News is the main international news channel for the FWBO, carrying a steady stream of news, comment, Right Livelihood and volunteering opportunities from across the world, plus links to some of the many other FWBO sites.

For the first two years Jayarava worked on the new FWBO News 'blog' entirely in his spare time. After he retired due to ill-health it was taken over by Lokabandhu, who works in the small 'FWBO Development Team' coordinating the news reports from all over the world from his bedroom in Glastonbury, Somerset UK.

During the past 5 years it's carried nearly 1,000 stories, which are assembled each month into an 'anthology' for FWBO Centres to print out and make available. Contributions are always welcome - to submit an item simply email your story plus photograph (if possible) to

Over the 40 years of the FWBO's life many magazines have come and gone: we show here the covers of some of them…

Besides FWBO News, we recommend VideoSangha and Facebook as two excellent ways to stay in touch with the FWBO as an international Buddhist community.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Archive photos from early days of FWBO now on-line

For the past two years Padmakara, an Order Member from Manchester UK, has been occupying himself in his spare time scanning hundreds and even thousands of historic photographs from the FWBO Archives, held by ClearVision.

Four collections of these have now been uploaded to the FWBO Photos website, covering-



and Team-Based Right Livelihood

We hope a further collection, covering the early days of TBMSG in India, will be added soon.  Further contributions are very welcome - please email FWBO News.

Any statisticians among FWBO News’ readership might be interested to know FWBO Photos
( currently contains 3,767 photos related to the FWBO, which have been viewed 70,002 times.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

FWBO People: Dhivan the poet

Picking up FWBO News’ occasional Saturday series on ‘FWBO People’, today we feature Dhivan, aka Thomas Jones. Dhivan’s an Order Member, a poet, an author and critic, a lover of the Pali Canon, and a bird-watcher. He lives in Cambridge UK, and has recently updated his website,, where he says -

“What’s writing really about? It’s about trying to take fuller possession of the reality of your life” – Ted Hughes

“For some time I've wanted a way to make a good selection of my writing and other productions easily available, for the sake of sharing, and the web is a great way to make this possible.

“I've arranged some of my work in different categories, which you can explore using the links on the right. New to the site is my review of the best Pali Canon anthologies (published in the Western Buddhist Review 5), a talk on 'The Myth of Tristan and Iseult', and information about my first novel 'Green Eros'.

“So please sample, enjoy, and let me know what you think. Here's a sample poem:”

Situation Report
for Padmakara

The path leads to a vast plain, and then ends,
petering into the expanse of grass.
We are lonely as stars out here. Sometimes
I remember the road through the forest,
its smells and colours and the beating drums,
but I don’t wish for that kind of travel,
with its prophecies and wonders.

You’ll also find Dhivan on FWBO People, where he’s posted a short biography.

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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Featured website: FWBO People

FWBO People - websites of over 150 members of the FWBO Sangha worldwideToday’s featured FWBO website is FWBO People – a one-stop-shop displaying the websites of over 150 members of the FWBO and Order.

New to the site is a number of ‘profiles’ giving short biographical sketches of a number of Order Members, generally in their own words and generally describing their spiritual journeys towards ordination into the Western Buddhist Order.

They are moving and authentic testimonials to the power of the Dharma to change people’s lives, and provide glimpses into the many different lifestyles lived by members of the Order.

You'll find FWBO People at

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

FWBO People: introducing Vajradarshini

This Saturday’s ‘FWBO People’ post features Vajradarshini. 

Until recently she was Chair of Tiratanaloka – the FWBO’s retreat centre dedicated to helping women prepare for ordination – and now – she’s an itinerant Dharma teacher, moving between Spain, the UK – and anywhere!

She says – “as of this year i am spending my time as a dharma teacher on the move, communicating sangharakshita's teachings in different venues around the FWBO. i'll be doing retreats, urban retreats, weekends and talks in various places around the uk and europe concentrating on some of my favorite dharma themes.  when not on the road i'll be living in a very simple life in spain where my cost of living will be low and i hope that this will enable me to have some quiet time to do my own study and reflection.


Vajradarshini has always been a bit of a techno-whizz, and she runs her own website, blog, and on-line photo archive to help people get to know her in her new incarnation. 

The website is full of gems, reflecting Vajradarshini’s many interests, especially wabi sabi, and the yogacara – plus, of course, her upcoming retreat schedule for 2009.

In a bold step into the unknown, she’s decided to rely wholly on dana, or generosity, to support herself – you can read her dana statement on her website.  To make this easier for would-be patrons, she has a page on the popular ‘JustGiving’  fundraising website – check  All contributions gratefully received!

She describes her blog as a “diary of ordinary life, of things close to home, close to the heart”.  Most recently she’s been covering her move from the busy life of a retreat centre to a new country and a far more solitary life in the mountains.  She writes –

 I do feel rather that I have disappeared, temporarily, into the mountains. I haven’t felt all that communicative and am rather more out of touch than I used to be with what is going on in the world. I am making the most of this opportunity as I will be emerging, all being well, in March and from then until the end of October I have a pretty full schedule of retreats, weekends and events all around Europe. Feels like a slightly scary thought given that these days I hardly see a soul, oh well I’ve always enjoyed extremes”.

 She continues – “Another project that I have on the go is learning CSS, which is the ‘language’ that you design websites in. I seem to have got that hang of html enough to have made my very simple website, I enjoyed it so much that I thought I would like to learn a bit more so I am in the process of learning CSS and of redesigning my website with it. It is like a rollercoaster of despair and euphoria!

 A little, perhaps, like life itself…

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

FWBO People II: Aniruddha

This week’s profile in our new series of ‘FWBO People’ features Aniruddha, an Indian Order Member working in the field of ‘NVC’ (Non-Violent Communication).

His professional training in this and other areas has allowed him to make a crucial contribution to TBMSG’s work in India, especially in the areas of ‘capacity building’ and change management. He’s now moving away from this training work to focus on his NVC work – and we’re delighted to be able to celebrate him as he makes this move.

Aniruddha’s website is called ‘Connect to Life, you’ll find it at

His final report, detailing some of the successes (and challenges) in his work with TBMSG and other movement trusts can be found on FWBO Features here. The report focuses especially on what he calls ‘Social Change through Mind Change’, an area where Buddhism and NVC find themselves in especial harmony, able to offer something of great value to the world. He leaves behind a well-established ‘Capacity-Building Team’ to take his work with TBMSG forwards. The team is called ‘Sekho’, a Pali term meaning “One who facilitates learning”.

Coming next for Aniruddha is a major seminar in January up in the Himalayan foothills at Rishikesh. It’s for a wide spectrum of Indian NGOs and will explore ‘NVC and Social Change’. The conference flyer is also on FWBO Features, more details are on the NVC India website, also run by Aniruddha.

Aniruddha is especially keen to be able to offer bursaries to workers for grassroots and less-well-off NGOs, and we’ve set up a donations page to assist in this. He writes –

“I was going to make this request to you some time back but was feeling bit hesitant, may be now I have the courage to do so, as you might be aware that we are inviting NGO’s working for social change from all over india for this seminar at Rishikesh. There will be some NGO’s who cannot afford to pay the seminar fees which is around £30 GBP for 5 days, I would really like to see these NGO’s coming and benefiting from this conference; if you could help me do that, that will be such a great support for me, so that I can put more of my energy in making this conference a success..

£30 will allow someone to attend this conference, which, as Aniruddha says, may bring “about extraordinary transformation in thinking, speaking and acting around the world” If you’d like to donate please visit

We wish Aniruddha all the best in his future plans and work.

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