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Sunday, September 23, 2007

An account of the recent Public Preceptors’ College meeting

The Western Buddhist Order’s College of Public Preceptors met for 10 days at the end of August, this time at Padmaloka. They are the group of senior Order Members, men and women, with collective responsibility for ordinations into the Order. 22 of the 31 Public Preceptors who make up the College were present for some or all of the meeting. A full account of the meeting can be found on their blog. This hosts accounts of their meetings and a selection of articles, essays, and reflections by members of the College.

The latest meeting was particularly fruitful in terms of clarifying the College’s immediate priorities, with three areas in particular identified where they want to move things forward. These were:

1. Ordination training
2. Training private preceptors
3. The relationship between the College and the Order and Movement.

The meeting also saw a number of discussions around training people for ordination and the role of private and public preceptors. They began by looking at some basic assumptions in these areas - our order is built upon Bhante’s understanding of the Dharma and so they especially looked at the importance of private and public preceptors having confidence in Bhante's understanding and in his teaching. This is, of course, an important area for all order members, but because of their responsibility for ordinations it is particularly so for those who act as preceptors.

They also gave some time to exploring gender issues, with people sharing their individual experience of them in the order and movement. Strong appreciation of the practice of single-sex activities was expressed. At the same time it seemed clear that, particularly in the early days of single-sex activities, some people had found them at times painful and confusing, as well as supportive. They particularly wanted to talk about gender so as to clarify to what extent issues of gender influenced the dynamic in our mixed college meetings.

More details of all the above can be found on the College’s blog – plus Dhammarati’s reflections on the recent 4-month Guhyaloka ordination course, Moksananda on activities in Mexico, 'Revolution and Authority', being Buddhadasa’s recollections of Bhante’s ‘style’ of leadership in the early days of the Order, the College's 'Constitution' and working arrangements, and more.

Thanks to Moksananda for sending us the material for this article.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Dhammacharini Ordinations in India

FWBO News is happy to announce the latest in a long series of ordinations this year - of men and women in the UK, America, Spain, New Zealand, and India. We believe this brings the total size of the Order to just over 1,500, with approximately 340 living in India. We also believe this marks the first time in our Order - and perhaps the first time ever in India - that Indian women have acted as Preceptors, witnessing the Going for Refuge of other women.

On 16th July 2007 the following women were ordained at the Hsuan-Tsang retreat centre, Bor Dharan, India.

Karunamaya was the public preceptor.

>From Nagpur
1 Kamalasr
Ex Pratibha Moon . She who has the beauty, grace, splendour and radiance of a lotus. Private Preceptor Srimala.

2 Jayaloka
Ex Sitabai Dhavle. She whose light is victory. Private Preceptor Karunamaya

3 Saddhaja
Ex Jamgade Bai. She who is born of faith. Private Preceptor Karunamaya.

4 Sumegha.
Ex Usha Kamble. She who has a good cloud of qualities. Private Preceptor Jnanasuri.

5 Suprabha
Ex Kamal Nagrale. She who is very bright/splendid/glorious. Private Preceptor Jnanasuri

>From Wardha

6 Gunachandra
Ex Chitra Javale. She who is a moon of virtue. Private Preceptor Karunamaya.

>From Amaravati

7 Sujaya
Ex Maya Sukhdeve. She who has a good victory. Private Preceptor Jnanasuri.

8 Suruci (pronounced Suruchi)
Ex Karuna Sonule. She who has great delight (in the Dhamma). Private Preceptor Jnanasuri.

>From Goa

9 Yasomati (pronounced Yashomati)
Ex Archna Sherlekar she who has a beautiful, glorious, renowned mind. Private Preceptor Jnanasuri.

With metta Karunamaya
21 July 2007


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Tuesday, May 29, 2007


At the Public Ordinations held at 3pm on Friday May 25th at Shambhala in Golden Bay, New Zealand, the following Dharmacharinis were born -


Robyn Blackman becomes KAMALADEVI - pali and skt. "(She who is a) lotus goddess" (long final i) so Kamaladevii

Serena Ann becomes GAMBHIRAJA - skt. "(She who is) born of the depths" (long i and long final a) so Gambhiirajaa

Alison Mann becomes HRDAYAJA - skt "(She who is) heart born" ( dot under r and long final a) so Hrdayajaa


Sue Johnson becomes VIRYADANA - skt "(She who) gives energy in pursuit of the good" (long i and long second a and final a ) so Viiryadaanaa.

Victoria Bel becomes BUDDHANKAPALI - skt "(She who is) embraced by the Buddha" (long first a, long final a and dot over the n) so Buddhaankapaali.

Anita Hirshhorn becomes VIDYATARA - skt "(She who is) a protector of spiritual knowledge ( long first, second and final a) so Vidyaataaraa

Jane Beck becomes PADMADASI (She who is a) "Servant of the Lotus" (long final i) so Padmadasii

Maureen Nicholls becomes SARADARSHINI "She who sees/understands/knows the pith or substance or heart (of things) (long first a and long final i) so Saaradarshinii.


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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

New Private Preceptor

In April we over-looked noting that Viryabodhi had completed his consultation process and has been appointed as a private preceptor. Sadhu!

Some of Viryabodhi's talks in Swedish are available on Free Buddhist Audio, and he has a blog, also in Swedish.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

New Private Preceptors

Following consultation with the order three new private preceptors have been appointed. They are: Dayapakshini, Viradhamma, and Bodhimitra. Sadhu!

Don't forget that the public preceptors now have a
blog - very 21st century!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

FWBO College of Public Preceptors

The College of Public Preceptors met again recently in Birmingham and Moksananda posted a report of their meeting on the Public Preceptors blog. The meeting looked at the individual and shared values and vision of the preceptors, and also featured doing study with Sangharakshita - read more...

From the website you can learn the names of all 31 of the WBO's Public Preceptors, and find information about their activities.


Monday, April 02, 2007

FWBO College of Public Preceptors

Last November, 19 members of the FWBO's College of Public Preceptors met at Tiratanaloka for 10 days. For those who are interested Parami has written up a detailed 'informal record' (as opposed to 'minutes') of the meeting which are posted on the Madhyamavani website. She says "I have recorded in some detail things that I think might be of general interest. The College wanted to do more to keep other Order Members and mitras informed about our meetings, which happen twice a year".

Topics covered in her notes include the consultation process for Order Members becoming private preceptors; new Order Members and their chapters; Sangharakshita's comments on the need for personal individual spiritual life and collective spiritual life to be held in balance; celebrants for Kalyana mitra ceremonies; notes from a morning where they just "brainstormed" their vision for the College; and finally a discussion of Sangharakshita's system of meditation.

See also the new Public Preceptors blog.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

New Private Preceptor

Dharmacari Smritiratna has been appointed as a Private Preceptor. Sadhu!

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