free counters

Monday, February 23, 2009

Money Matters

This week FWBO News publishes three major articles about money by Siddhisambhava.

Although the Buddha certainly had things to say about money, money matters far more now than in the Buddha’s time. It has the potential to do more harm – or good – than ever before. Given the current financial crisis it’s all the more urgent that our understanding about this crucial area of our lives is relevant to what is happening, shows kindness and can help people.

First, published today, is a long and thoughtful article called ‘Understanding money, understanding ourselves, and bringing money into our practice’. Tomorrow there’s an interview with Sangharakshita on his financial life-story. An article on dana economies in the FWBO follows later in the week.

Siddhisambhava works as a fundraiser in the FWBO Development Team. She acts as a consultant to FWBO centres and projects and runs movement-wide fundraising campaigns

Today, in ‘Understanding money, understanding ourselves and bringing money into our practice’, Siddhisambhava encourages us to talk about money more and suggests reasons why we often find that so hard to do. She outlines the Buddha’s approach to money and encourages us become clearer and more confident in that. She also touches on how the economy of the FWBO is changing and how we too may need to change to ensure the survival and growth of the FWBO.

The emphasis of the article though is on our individual relationship with money. It looks at what money is and what it can symbolise for us. What do we truly value? And are we able to fund those things? While the practice for all of us is skilful mental states whatever our circumstances, she emphasises that there is no one way ‘to be’ with money and shares some tips and tools on how we can become more money mature.

We will simply feel better when we are financially wise, assertive and generous, rather than financially stupid, victimised and selfish. Siddhisambhava ends by saying “Each of us has the opportunity in our own lives to steward the flow of money; whatever level comes our way. I hope this article helps you do that. May you fully enjoy all the benefits that brings to yourself and others.”

Click here: to read her article on the Features section of FWBO News.

Siddhisambhava gave a version of this article as a talk at Manchester Buddhist Centre on 16 February which you can (soon) listen to at

Labels: , ,

Friday, August 15, 2008

New talk - Spiritual practice, efficiency, and productivity in the work-place

A view of the windhorse warehouse, and the giant stupa at its heartFWBO News is pleased to reproduce a talk recently given by Ratnaghosa to the warehouse workers at Windhorse:Evolution, the FWBO’s largest and most successful business.

Entitled "Spiritual practice, efficiency, and productivity in the work place", it’s reproduced here to give readers of FWBO News some insight into Windhorse’s ongoing exploration of the principles of Right Livelihood and the ways they seek to combine business success with spiritual development.

To take a quote almost at random from the middle of the talk –

“Efficiency, on the other hand, is conducive to good mental states and positive mental states are conducive to efficiency. This is a virtuous circle. Higher mental states are more creative and are likely to lead to elegant solutions and this is what we really want to achieve at Windhorse. We want to encourage the development of higher states of consciousness and see those higher states of consciousness manifesting in creativity, co-operation and satisfying relationships and results. And if we can achieve elegant creativity in our systems and teams that will encourage higher states of consciousness. It is like a Zen garden. The garden is created out of a tranquil state of consciousness and the garden in turn produces tranquillity in those who use it…”

You can read the talk via FWBO Features or by clicking here.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New Feature article on FWBO News: NVC in the FWBO

A new article has been posted to FWBO News’ Features. Entitled ‘NVC in the FWBO: Heart-to-Heart Communication’, it explores Shantigarbha’s discovery of NVC, or ‘Nonviolent Communication’, and the many parallels he found between NVC and the Dharma. As he puts it himself, “for me this is the deepest connection with the Dharma – this compassionate intention to connect, with a view to enriching the lives of all beings”. And he goes on to say “I’ve found that when people are connected at this heart level, whether they live in a Buddhist community in the UK, the slums of India, war-torn Sri Lanka, or a US prison, they are only a short distance from finding a solution that honours the needs on both sides, where no-one gives in or gives up.”

A growing number of Order Members and others involved in the FWBO have trained in NVC, and Shantigarbha’s article concludes with a directory of those currently offering it in Britain, India, and elsewhere. Click here to read it on FWBO Features.

Labels: ,

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Rijumati's travels

FWBO News is pleased to present these excerpts from the travel diaries of Rijumati, an Order Member who for many years was one of the pillars of Windhorse:Evolution, the FWBO’s large Right Livelihood business in Cambridge, UK. The Western Buddhist Order has always contained great diversity of people, who have always been able to move freely between a wide variety of different lifestyles, based on their spiritual needs and Sangharakshita’s dictum “commitment is primary, the observance of the Ten Precepts secondary, and life-style tertiary, by which one would mean that although all three are of importance, the second is important as an expression of the first, and the third important as an expression of the second.”.

Rijumati’s diary is living proof of this. The letters were originally published in Shabda, the Order’s monthly journal.


Setting out

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

By the time you read this I will be somewhere in the Arabian Sea on a freight ship bound to Sri Lanka.

This is the start of a period travelling around the world which will last a year or more and marks the end of an era of living in Cambridge. I've decided to travel without using any aeroplanes, hence the freight ship travelling to Colombo. This is partly because I want to avoid the carbon emissions implied in long haul air travel, and partly because I dislike the mode of travelling that ties one into airline deadlines and schedules.

As I got on the train from Cambridge it really felt like I was leaving - after 24 years of living there. Of course many of my friends, people I love, and my possessions are still there, but somehow leaving for an open period with no definite commitment to return felt like a parting. I leave behind a lovely girlfriend, a great community, dear friends and a meaningful job - and yet in the end I felt caged by the nice life that I had in Cambridge. It's crazy to give all that up, and yet I know in my guts that I'm doing the right thing, although I can't explain why. It's as if some part of me was pining away, despite all the wonderful things in my life. So I am cut adrift, wandering in the open sea of possibility.

Click here to read more…

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, February 23, 2008

New article on FWBO News Features – Kamalashila on community

Following on from Akasati's article on Climate Change, “Community, Nature and Buddha Nature” is a new and thought-provoking article on the Features section of FWBO News. It's by Kamalashila, and looks at possible – and necessary - new patterns and paradigms for Buddhist communities in the light of insights gained during his 18-month-long solitary retreat at Tipi Valley in Wales.

It is also a call for people to come forwards and join him in establishing a new, large, ecological, practice-based Buddhist community in the West of England that would be large enough and spacious enough to include a wide diversity of practitioners – men and women, celibates and couples, children and elders, mechanics and musicians…

Kamalashila is currently on a four-month retreat at Guhyapati's mountain retreat centre in Spain, but is returning in March. You can contact him via FWBO News, who will be pleased to forward messages to him for his return.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

New feature article - "Climate Change: towards a Buddhist Response"

FWBO News is pleased to present another article in its occasional series of Feature Articles. ‘Climate Change: towards a Buddhist Response’ is by Akasati, a long-standing member of the Buddhafield team. Her long and thoughtful piece includes – among other things – the following sections

• climate change: causes, evidence and impacts
• some objections & arguments
• offsetting?
• sustainability: ‘the third revolution’
• the great turning
• climate change in the context of traditional buddhist teachings (a detailed look at ethics, the notion of ‘hidden dukkha’, the teaching of ‘no separate self’, emptiness and compassion, and finally, revisiting the simple life)
• levels of action
• further reading
• other resources

Highly recommended!

Labels: ,

Monday, January 14, 2008

Feature article - the new Buddhist parents

FWBO News is happy to present another in its occasional series of feature articles, this time looking at the intriguing topic of the new wave of Buddhist Parents. Karmabandhu, a new parent himself, looks at the whole area both from the point of view of the Buddha’s own advice to avoid the ‘dusty sphere’ of the household life, and, more pertinently, at the real-life experience of a number of new parents, all members of the Western Buddhist Order living around the London Buddhist Centre, as they struggle to take their practice into their new circumstances.

here to read the article, or simply visit the ‘Features’ tab above.

By happy coincidence, Wildmind, in New Hampshire USA, have focussed their Febuary meditation newsletter on the theme of "Family Practice: Parenting with mindfulness"; it includes two in-depth articles on parenting and practice. In the first, Mindful Moms, Dharma Dads, Sunada asks "Is it possible to have children and a spiritual practice at the same time?" and talks with some friends who are managing to raise a family while staying committed to their spiritual lives. In Parenting and practice Steve Bell, Buddhist practitioner and social worker, speaks from his experience of meditating while parenting two young boys in answer to the questions "How do we maintain an active practice while being immersed in the world of parenting and work? Are children a hindrance to spiritual practice? Or can parenting also be a path?"

Labels: , , ,