Taking stock

Shining the light of awareness on a changing Triratna
March 22, 23, 24More info below

take stock


to carefully think about something in order to
make a decision about what to do next


It is the pauses which make beautiful the music of our lives.  It is the empty spaces which give richness and significance to them.  And it is the stillness which makes them truly useful.                                                              Sangharakshita from his essay ‘Pauses and Empty Spaces in ‘Crossing The Stream‘ p96

In recent years Triratna has weathered some significant changes.  At the end of 2018 we experienced the death of our founder and teacher, Sangharakshita.  We are still coming to terms with this and working out how to move forwards as a Buddhist movement without him. Then, just over 12 months later, the Covid pandemic swept across the globe. During the following two years many of us were physically separated from our friends, Buddhist centres and sanghas.  In response to this so much of Triratna’s life and activity moved, and remains, online.

At this meeting we paused to take stock of these and other changes that are affecting Triratna in so many different ways.

The aim of this meeting was to raise our awareness and understanding of changes by:

1. sharing perspectives on the changes that we are noticing as Centre Chairs, Order Convenors and College members living and working in different parts of the world

2. identifying emerging themes or trends

3. considering the potential immediate and longer-term implications for us, our Areas, Strands, and Triratna more generally

We explored these questions:

a) what changes have impacted your Area, Strand and Triratna more widely over the past 5-10 years?

b) what current and emerging changes are having an impact on your Area, Strand and Triratna more widely?

c) what potential questions, opportunities, risks and threats might arise out of the changes?

d) how do you feel about these changes, and why?

Day One

The 'Three Wishes' from both sessions
  • many many more young people are joining the Order
  • we have sufficient resources to support people taking responsibility
  • the Order is much more diverse in every way
  • more and more people hear the dharma, join the Order and spread the dharma, especially in India
  • in India there be economic and social improvement to enable people to go for refuge
  • more community living, TBRL and projects so younger people can be supported to live a full dharma life
  • a total transformation of society in line with the vision of the Buddha, Dr Ambedkar and Bhante
  • a far greater number of young people involved in Triratna (without the Order getting progressively older)
  • people spending more time together around the Dharma – more collective living
  • the order taking more responsibility for the running of the movement
  • financial abundance (with funds flowing into FutureDharma) to enable more things
  • more institutions of intensity – with people living and working together – more three ‘Cs’
    (in India) reaching out again to the the lower castes and working classes
  • financial support for senior order members (so that they are not struggling
  • (in India) Dharmacharinis taking more lead and initiative
  • more emphasis / more enthusiasm for starting up new Centres – seeing it as a spiritual practice and resources for this
  • more examples of ‘monastic life’ in the sense of living a simple life and viharas
  • limiting the number of order members at any particular centre – send them off to somewhere else!
  • reviving the vision of the new society and changing the world
  • that we have a situation where mixed gender is the norm with single gender activities happening around that (he says this with regret)
  • that there are good channels of quality communication in the Order (fragmented present state of communications is challenging)
  • that there is energy for creativity and initiative in Triratna
  • something that could make us really really rich (boundless resources)
  • that everything structurally is clear i.e. who is taking which decisions about what and in which way
  • every Order member knowing how to navigate conflict / opposing views well
  • a massive increase in income
  • clear outcome about what we are doing about our single sex approach (not that workable with current generation)
  • a new alternative to living / ‘New Society reloaded’
  • everyone understands that GFR has an altruistic dimension and they express it (transformation of self as well as well as transformation of world)
  • take Bhante’s teaching more seriously
  • all Centres flourish like Aryaloka is at the moment
  • more mentoring culture
  • don’t want to lose the personal, individual emphasis, edge of challenging worldly views, situations of spiritual intensity; hold ideals alongside lived reality
  • wish we could be more respectful of each other in our disagreements
  • wish we had lots of money – relieve tension with too many institutions chasing too little money
  • OMs continue to have same level of enthusiasm as they did in ordination process
  • more OMs involved in Valencia
  • ordination process shorter
  • routes for non binary folk

Day Two

Day Three