Triratna Buddhist Community
The Triratna Buddhist Community (formerly the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO)) is an international fellowship of Buddhists, and others who aspire to its path of mindfulness, under the leadership of the Triratna Buddhist Order (formerly the Western Buddhist Order).
Practices and activities
(a) "The mindfulness of breathing" (anapanasati), in which practitioners focus on the rise and fall of the breath; and (b) "The metta bhavana", which approximately translates from the original Pali as "the cultivation of lovingkindness".
The first two according to his system ('integration' and 'positive emotion', can be correlated to the traditional category of "calming" "samatha" practices, and the last two (spiritual death and spiritual rebirth) can be correlated to "insight" or "vipassana" practices.
These phases are:
- 2.Positive emotion. The second aspect of samatha is developing positivity – an other-regarding, life-affirming ::attitude. The Brahmavihara meditations, especially the 'metta bhavana' or cultivation of loving kindness meditations, are ::the key practices intended to foster the development of positive emotion.
- 3.Spiritual death. The next stage is to develop insight into what is seen to be the emptiness of the self and reality. ::Meditations at this stage include considering the elements of which self and world are thought to be composed; contemplating ::impermance (particularly of the body); contemplating suffering; and contemplating sunyata.
- .4Spiritual rebirth. The WBO teaches that, with the development of insight and the death of the limited ego-self, a ::person is spiritually reborn. Practices which involve the visualization of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are among the main ::practices in this phase. At ordination, each dharmachari(ni) is given an advanced visualisation meditation on a particular ::figure.
Recently, community activities have begun to include outdoor festivals, online meditation courses, arts festivals, poetry and writing workshops, tai chi, karate, and pilgrimages to Buddhist holy sites in India. For many years, the community charity Karuna Trust (UK) has raised money for aid projects in India.
The first of these was formed after a retreat where some participants wanted to continue retreat-style living.
Since it was felt that the most stable communities tended to be single sex, this has become the paradigm for communities. Support from fellow practitioners in a community is seen to be effective in helping members make spiritual progress.
The largest TBC centre in the UK is the London Buddhist Centre in Bethnal Green, East London, which offers drop-in lunchtime meditation sessions each weekday, open to beginners, as well as courses and classes through the week.
The centre's courses for depression, based on the mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy methodology of Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, featured in the Financial Time