21st century bodhisattva
Parami - Parami has been a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order since 1980. In that time she has led retreats and workshops in many parts of the world. Her particular interest in the Bodhisattva Ideal has shown itself in many ways, most recently in her exploration of socially engaged Buddhism, on retreat and in training with Joanna Macy.
Currently she lives at Adhistana in Herefordshire and the rest of the time visits Triratna Centres in the UK and elsewhere. She is involved with Triratna activities around the world, especially in Spanish-speaking Centres. She has been a private preceptor for some years and became a public preceptor in 2005.
Khemasuri tried teaching herself meditation for a couple of years and found Taraloka after realising she need to ask the question ‘what do you do with an itch?’. He love of meditation lead her to the Dharma and she was ordained in 2005. Khemasuri has experience of rural, urban and Buddhafield Sanghas. She lives in Sheffield and has been co-ordinator for the team that supports the International Order Convenors for some while.
Khemasuri has a strong ‘lay’ interest in science and in particular how we can use ‘systems thinking’ as a way of understanding the Dharma and conditionality in particular.
Ratnadeva has been working full-time with Buddhafield since 2009, mainly on the retreats side of the programme. He lives in a small community of Triratna Order members in mid-Devon. He moved to Devon after living in the men’s community above the Nottingham Buddhist Centre for five years, while working at the British Geological Survey as a contaminant hydrogeologist. He was ordained into the Trirata Order in 2013.
Ratnadeva has a long standing passion for engagement with the natural world and the cycle of the seasons through myth and ritual. This has led him to explore the complementarity of Dharma and the pagan Druidic tradition. He is mad for walking pilgrimage. He accepts all challenges on the chess board.
Regulars - Triratna
These retreats are for people who are already practising within the context of the Triratna Buddhist Community. Previous experience of the Mindfulness of Breathing and Metta Bhavana meditations and of the Sevenfold Puja will be assumed.
This retreat combines talks and workshops, inspired by meditations and devotional practice, to take us on a path of transformation. This is Bodhisattva Training for the 21st Century. It resources us to rise together and face up to the challenges and stark choice of this planet time. This was the stark choice Sangharakshita presented in his famous 1971 lecture ‘Evolution or Extinction - a Buddhist View of Current World Problems’. Half a century later this choice stands out even more clearly. To avoid collective self-destruction we need to spiritually evolve, raising our level of consciousness in order to overcome the dangers we face. Together we can find ways to draw back from extinction and choose the path of spiritual evolution for the benefit of all. This retreat offers resources and opportunities to train.
We’ll be following a tried and trusted workshop sequence honed over four decades by American Buddhist Joanna Macy, her ‘Spiral of the Work That Reconnects’. Engaging with the suffering of the world can be distressing and we can turn away to avoid feeling powerless and despairing. Drawing on the Dharma, living systems theory, and deep ecology, The Work That Reconnects strengthens our capacity to give our best response to the global challenges confronting us. It involves a transformative journey around a spiral of four successive stages:-
i) When we come from gratitude and appreciation we become more present to the life around us and to the many gifts we receive. This calms the mind and opens the heart in preparation for wise and compassionate responses to suffering. Then we can ...
ii) honour our pain for the world, by making space to hear our feelings in response to what is happening in our world. As we do so, profound caring and interconnectedness with all life are revealed. So then we begin to ...
iii) see with new eyes, with a deepening recognition of our mutual belonging in the living Earth. We also learn to understand the new kind of power this gives and the many ways we can apply this to a life-sustaining society. We can now get ready to ...
iv) go forth into the world with a fresh vision and practical steps.
What can I expect from this retreat?
We will have a varied and engaging programme, beginning each day with meditation. Later in the day there’ll be talks, discussions or workshop time. After lunch each day there’ll be time for resting or walking. In the evenings we’ll have time for a more mythic and devotional approach with talks and rituals. Weather permitting we can have outdoor events too.