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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

More FWBO yatras in support of Burma

Since last Thursday’s post here, reporting the Cambridge Yatra in support of Burma, a number of other FWBO Centres and individuals have organised their own actions. In Brighton between 300 and 1,000 people joined a Dharma Yatra, walking silently between the Palace Pier and the Hove Peace Statue; Interestingly, the organisers estimated 300 and the local paper 1,000! In Glasgow the ‘Shambolic Warriors’ met to ‘Sit in Peace’ in George Square (see photo); and in San Francisco a women mitra organised her own ‘very quiet gesture of non-violence’ through San Francisco's financial district on Friday afternoon.

One of them, Ann, commented afterwards -

I felt deeply peaceful and connected in an unusual way with the suit-and-tie commuters, the dates on their way to supper, the bike messengers gathering for the Critical Mass ride, the prostitutes leading their johns into the public toilet, the German tourists riding the cable cars. We walked for two hours. People noticed. It felt good. Did it make a difference? Who knows. But I had to do it. May all beings be released from their suffering”.

There are plans for two more Brighton Yatras and a Birmingham Yatra through the city centre on October 14th and there will be an FWBO presence on the London march on October 7th.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007


Many around the FWBO have been following the unfolding events in Burma with great concern, and have wanted to demonstrate their concern by taking some sort of tangible action.

The Cambridge Buddhist Centre today organised a Yatra (meaning simply ‘walk’), followed by meditation, from the Buddhist Centre though the centre of town to the Guildhall. Some 70-100 people joined and the organisers expressed themselves as “delighted”. See a video clip on our Videosangha website.

Yatras have been used by Buddhists to help bring peace to several of the world’s most tense places, including Cambodia and Palestine.

Another Yatra is planned in Brighton for Sunday, and others are being organised in Birmingham and possibly London. Contact FWBO News for more information.

On Radio 4 Vishvapani presented today’s ‘Thought for the Day' on the Today programme, he spoke of how he’d returned from a retreat studying loving-kindness only to see words from the same ancient text emblazoned on the monks’ banners – and realised how loving-kindness leads naturally to action, even as a mother protects with her life her child, her only child… You can listen to his broadcast here.

Meanwhile a number of petitions have been circulating around the FWBO Sangha, one addressed to Burmese embassies around the world and one to the UK prime minister

In the words of the Buddha, please “do what you think it is the time for”.

Whatever living beings there may be;
whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
the great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
the seen and the unseen,
those living near and far away,
those born and to-be-born,
may all beings be at ease.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

‘pilgrimage’ for Buddhafield

At the end of July Eric Friar from Bristol will be undertaking a ‘pilgrimage’ to raise money for the Buddhafield land appeal. He intends to walk along the St Michael ley line between Cwm Les Boel (near Lands End in Cornwall, UK) and the ancient stone circle of Avebury.

He is hoping for sponsorship and invites supporters to contact him on erichafriar [at]

He says, “I will walk about 185 miles, on top of which I will do some legs by public transport, to arrive at Avebury in time for Lughnasad. I'm thinking of posting the route and inviting people to join me for as long or as short as they like. I will be travelling light and sleeping out, so people will need to bring their own food and

The Buddha and his followers walked everywhere, and were known as ‘yatrikas’, meaning simply ’walkers’. For several years Buddhafield led annual walks, known as Yatras, along the Ridgeway to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice celebrations. It’s therefore a pleasure to see this tradition being maintained.

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