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Friday, February 05, 2010

First Mitra ceremonies for East Kent Buddhist Group

Danapriya writes from the FWBO’s ‘East Kent Buddhist Group’ with news of their first Mitra Ceremonies - perhaps, he says, even the first in the Triratna Buddhist Order! He says -

“The East Kent Buddhist Group has just had Mitra Ceremonies for Hannah Youngs and Sally Birch. Hannah is 18yrs old and is daughter of Karunajala - and has been going on retreat since she was 4 yrs old! Sally has been on the LBC's winter retreat the last 2 yrs and hardly misses a class.

“27 people attended - we just about packed them into our shrineroom which is only 11 x 13 feet! It was a wonderful evening and Sally and Hannah may even be the first Mitras of the Triratna Buddhist Order! We had three visiting Order Members Subhadramati, Karunajala and Vajrashraddha among the guests.

“Love from Danapriya

Founded in Deal, Kent, in 2007, the group found it attracted people from all over East Kent, and changed its name to suit. For more information check their website.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Launch of new FWBO Dharma Training Course for Mitras

In the FWBO and TBMSG, the first formal commitment people make to practice as a Buddhist is likely to be expressed in the Mitra Ceremony. Mitra is a Sanskrit word meaning 'friend', and in the ceremony the person declares their connection with the Three Jewels of Buddhism - their wish to become like the Buddha, to practice the Dharma, and to build friendships with the Sangha. In response, members of the Order do what they can to offer facilities to mitras across the FWBO, who now number several thousand.

For the past two years Saccanama, an Order Member living in Bristol, UK, has been working on a new Dharma Training Course for Mitras, and we are delighted to report that this has now been launched, to critical acclaim - indeed, its been described as "totally fantastic" by one delighted study leader.

The Course, which runs over four years including a Foundation Year, is a major re-presentation of the FWBO and Sangharakshita's approach to the Dharma, and for the first time has been professionally produced with source material, further reading, and teachers' notes.

The course is designed for weekly study in groups, but all the material is freely available for those not able to attend FWBO groups or centres.

It has its own permanent web address online,, though the files themselves are currently held on the FWBO's FreeBuddhistAudio site – click on the link above and it will take you straight there.

Saccanama introduced the course with a talk entitled " Giving the Gift of the Dharma", given at Padmaloka retreat centre, and available for anyone to listen to. He has also written ‘A Guide to the FWBO Dharma Training Course for Mitras’ which is now available to download from the website.

The guide includes a preface by Sangharakshita, who writes -

"Since the earliest days of the FWBO I have been concerned that men and women who attend our centres should be able to gain a proper understanding of the Dharma. I am therefore delighted that the new Dharma Training Course for Mitras is now available.

"The aim of the Course is to provide Mitras – those wishing to practise the Dharma within the context of the FWBO – with what amounts to a basic education in Buddhism. The four-year course (the first year of which is a foundation year) includes modules on the principle Buddhist teachings, both practical and theoretical, as well as on some of the more important scriptures and philosophical schools. There are modules on the Bodhisattva Ideal; on the nature of the Sangha or spiritual community; on faith, symbols, and the imagination; on ethics and the environment; on Buddhist psychology; and on the history of the FWBO. Though the new Dharma Training Course draws on the old Mitra Study Course, there is also much that is new, some of it specially written for the course. Moreover, there is a greater emphasis on the importance of putting what one learns into practice.

"A great deal of thought has gone into the preparation of the new Dharma Training Course, and a great deal of work, and I congratulate all those who were involved in its production. The course should be available at every FWBO centre, and I hope that all Mitras who wish to extend and deepen their knowledge of the Dharma will take full advantage of it.


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Monday, March 09, 2009

New FWBO Dharma Training Course for Mitras launched

Saccanama, creator of the FWBO's new Dharma Training Course for MitrasThe new FWBO Dharma Training Course for Mitras was launched on a recent Order Weekend at Padmaloka. This is an important new development for Dharma teaching within the FWBO.

The full course is four years long and comprises a Foundation Year followed by a three-year study program. The Foundation Year is based around the three declarations people make on becoming a Mitra: being a Buddhist; practising the Dharma; and participating in the FWBO. Each section contains material extracted from the Buddhist texts, Sangharakshita’s writings, and writings by other contemporary Buddhist teachers, backed up with reference material and teacher’s notes.

The course has its own dedicated website at, where the Foundation Year and part of Year 2 are now available. Subsequent modules will be rolled out over the next few months, and the whole course should be on-line by the summer.

Saccanama, the course’s creator, has been working on it for the past 18 months; it's a major new 'synthesis of the FWBO's approach to the dharma.  He launched it at Padmaloka with a talk entitled ‘Giving the Gift of the Dharma’, which you can listen on FreeBuddhistAudio here: 

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Friday, September 26, 2008

FWBO Dharma Training Course for Mitras

Free Buddhist Audio
This is just a wee note to let you know about the launch of the first all new sections of the Dharma Training Course. Modules on 'The Sangha', 'The Buddha's Eightfold Path', and 'The Bodhisattva Ideal' are now live...

In case you're not familiar with it, the new course is designed primarily for Mitras ('friends') involved with the FWBO Buddhist community. It aims to give people in the FWBO a thorough grounding in Dharma study and practice. It also makes an excellent general course for anyone interested in putting Buddhist teaching into practice in their life.

The first parts of Year Two are now available online, with full references embedded in the study files themselves. We've formatted these files to print out for use in a study group, and also to make them easy to read, navigate and search on-screen.

The rest of the course is currently being developed by a number of members of the Western Buddhist Order. New modules will be made available as they become ready through 2008 and the beginning of 2009. Check out each year's page for an advance preview of what's in store, and to sign up for regular updates on new sections as they become available.

At present, the course is being hosted on Free Buddhist Audio, and you can access it easily from there too via the 'Study' section.

Happy faring...

with best wishes,

The Free Buddhist Audio Team

ps. The new site has been developed to enable a free service to be kept in place for all users. To help us keep the service free, please think about making a donation. Many thanks!

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