Triratna International Order Office Team - Annual Report 2018

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International Order Office Team Annual Report 2018

This report was compiled before Bhante’s death. Rather than rewrite as appropriate, we have left it as it is. One thing that his death has made clear is the value of his emphasis on communication and friendship. The period leading up to and around his death has shown how valuable it is for us to be so well connected as an Order. This can only become more important in the absence of Bhante, and as the Order grows. our Sangha. I am aware of 8 Sangha situations where the process has been completed, and several that are ongoing.

Summary of 2018 by

Vajrapriya, Co-ordinator, International Order Office Team

“We help the Order talk to itself”. This is how Achara, (one of the trustees) describes the work of the International Order Office Team. It is the only overall co-ordinating body the Order has, and it is funded solely by your Order dana. One of its main functions is to support the work of the International Order Convenors (IOCs). And this year we saw Parami stepping down and handing over the Aryajaya, with the final hand-over ritual occurring at Adhisthana at a combined Area Order weekend in August. Parami has served in the role for 10 years, and is one of those people who just seems to embody the Order. Between them, Aryajaya and Lokeshvara feel like they represent the next generation stepping up into positions of significant Order responsibility. One stand-out feature for the team this year was the International Order Convention at Bodhgaya, led by Parami, Lokeshvara and Aryajaya together. As before, the Indian Order Office team made a magnificent job of organising the practicalities, and we had possibly the largest convention

yet, with over 600 OMs attending, 180 from outside India. th

2018 was of course also the 50 anniversary of the founding of the Order. This was celebrated on the Convention, but also throughout the world at the local level, linked up through thebuddhistcentre online (TBCO). It was also marked by the 50 Years 50 Voices project undertaken by Satyalila, and funded by the Order Office and Adhisthana. A diverse group of OMs were invited to reflect on the often messy, vibrant reality of living a Dharma-life and co-creating a new Buddhist tradition. The results can be heard online. The work of learning and healing from past mistakes continues. We have been recommending, training and using the restorative process as a way of doing this, both for individuals and groups. So far 131 OMs have attended a one day introduction, and 34 have completed the full 3 day training, with more courses still in the pipeline. There have been trainings for Presidents, Chairs, Order Convenors as well as OMs without “hats”. We have a network of 28 OMs who are trained and willing to undertake restorative processes within

All this work can happen only due to the generosity of Order members' giving: we have no other source of income. In the Order Dana report you can see the interesting patterns of giving across the Order. A summary of how your dana is spent, and our finances in general, can be seen our 2017 financial report. The work of the Order Office is varied and detailed, but revolves around connecting the Order: sending out Order Information Service emails, maintaining the Order register and distributing the Order Address List, and, of course, producing Shabda. We have noticed a slight downturn in the number of e-Shabda downloads, and as always, wish for the effective connection of OMs. So, if you find that electronic Shabda doesn’t work for you, we encourage you to request a paper copy, which is now digitally printed and much crisper-looking! While having to attend to the minutiae of the work, all the team have a strong desire to serve the Order and help it thrive, each in our own sphere of work. As the Order grows, the need to connect it all together becomes ever more important, and that is the task of the International Order Office Team.



From the International Order Office Team Farewell to Parami During the August AOWE at Adhisthana I participated in a simple but moving ritual to hand on the function of International Order Convenor to Dharmacharini Aryajaya. This consisted in Bhante joining us in the shrine marquee and ritually giving a beautiful small 4 armed Avalokitesvara rupa each to Lokeshvara and myself. Bhante had blessed these rupas and had them with him for a month or so before the Order weekend. Lokeshvara took his to his seat but I placed mine on the shrine in front of the magnificent Padmasambhava rupa. The rupa remained there for the rest of the hand over ceremony at the end of which Aryajaya took it off while we chanted the Avalokitesvara mantra. It is now sitting on the desk in Aryajaya’s office. During the ceremony I spoke a bit about my 10 years as International Order convenor. I will share a bit of what I said.

I feel a sense of positive pride. Other developments that have been important and to which I feel I have contributed in my function as International Order convenor have been: the formation of the International council; the finding and establishment of Adhisthana and the International Order Conventions in Bodh Gaya. So, I am now being asked what I shall do with my retirement! I don’t have any immediate plans to retire. At the moment I plan to move back to Scotland and base myself in Glasgow. I will continue to serve the Order and Triratna community in whatever way I can. I wish to do all I can to help the flame of the Dharma burn brightly and to honour Bhante’s legacy. I am very happy to hand on this responsibility. This is an important part of the life of any spiritual community, to bring along the next generation. I will leave this with part of a poem by Wendell Berry which I find very moving. Thank you for allowing me to be your International Order convenor for these last 10 years. we clasp the hands of those who go before us, and the hands of those who come after us; we enter the little circle of each other’s arms, and the larger circle of lovers whose hands are joined in a dance, and the larger circle of all creatures, passing in and out of life,

It has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve the Order in this way over the last 10 years. I have worked with great people - alongside first Mahamati and then Lokeshvara as the other International convenors. I have loved working with both of them and they have become very dear and valued friends. I do think working alongside people is a great way to really get to know them. I have also loved working with the Order Office team over those years as well as with the Trustees and the Order convenors around the world. I have also met wonderful Order members across the continents. In those ten years, we have seen many changes. The Order has gone from around 1,400 to over 2,200. With the help of others, most recently Vimalamati, we have built an international network of Order convenors. That is something in which

I have yet to fully realise this vision. Though the fact I keep it in mind helps a lot. Recently I went back to the Karuniya Metta sutta. I had forgotten just how important this sutta had been to me in my early days of leading a Dharma life. I kept the text on my shrine for months, years even, and frequently read it through.

who move also in a dance, to a music so subtle and vast that no ear hears it except in fragments. I give my thanks to those who went before me and wish well to those who come after.

Lokeshvara I have a vision for being order convenor. It goes something like; how to hold a significant responsibility within the order, which requires operating at a certain level of complexity, attending numerous meetings, helping to clarify principles and deal with difficulties and disharmony . . . whilst at the same time retaining a sense of ease and spaciousness, connected to my deeper sources of inspiration, and always prepared to turn towards discomfort using the framework of the Dharma.

Noting the frustration that sometimes rises up in my life, I realise now how deeply I had longed to live the life described in the sutta: "Contented, easily supported, with few duties, of light livelihood, with senses calmed, discreet, not impudent, not greedily attached to families". Having gone back to this text, I renew my aspiration to live like this: willing to take on significant responsibility within the community I chose to be part of, and at the same time hoping to exemplify doing it ways that honour this description in the metta sutta. One success this year has been to attend and participate in more order retreats. This is a great way of meeting the order and it means I get on retreat regularly. I plan to do more next year. Though, for Aryajaya and myself, our calendars revolve around our hope to attend all five area conventions that are happening right across Triratna in 2019. This does not feel like a burden though. Area conventions are a great innovation and a mark of how the order is growing internationally.



Aryajaya On the 22nd December 2017 I was officially appointed as the new International Order Convenor after having put myself forward in August. I felt the process was clear and thorough. I appreciated Parami and Lokeshvara over seeing that process. Having the backing of the Area Order Convenors and blessings from the College and Order is significant in being able to take the role on. Then on 6th January I moved to Adhisthana and joined the community here.

Internationality of our community on these two event. They were also a great way for me to meet Order Convenors and College members from around the world. On returning to the UK I prepared to be part of the team for the 3 month Akasavana ordination retreat. I witnessed 21 new Dharmacharini’s into the Order. It was a very intensive time. It gave me immense confidence in the ordination process to see how well prepared the women were and how ready they were to join the Order. It was another International event with 7 women from North American, 3 from Eurpoe, 1 from Ireland and 10 from the UK. With all their Preceptors there too I again met many people from our International community. The next significant event was the August UK & Ireland Area Order weekend with the theme of Padmasambhava in the World. The spectacular shrine and rupa really lent a heart to the weekend and the giving of gifts created a sense of fun, appreciation and friendship. The ritual hand-over of the IOC role from Parami to me, witnessed by Bhante, was a highlight for me. The sense of lineage in that ritual felt very strong.

I was very pleased to have time to cross over with Parami officially for 3 months. It has been very supportive and has given me time to bed in to the community and the role. Three weeks after arriving at Adhisthana, Lokeshvara and I took off to the International Order Convention in Bodhgaya. It was a marvellous event and I appreciated getting to know Lokeshvara and the Indian Order Convening team. We had a week to prepare for the convention whilst Subhuti’s retreat was on. We spent some time exploring Bodhgaya, especially the Mahabodhi Temple, and hanging out (as well as planning!) with the Indian Order Convening team. I appreciated seeing the co-operation and care the team took to make the convention smooth for all. They exemplified Triratna team work and were very receptive to everyones needs. Being at the place of the Buddha’s Enlightenment was extremely significant. I enjoyed the chaotic atmosphere of worship at the Maha Bodhi Temple and felt proud that our blue clad Order was represented significantly there. After the convention I attended the International Council at Bhaja and was part of the Steering Group. It was a very impressive group of people representing the 3 Strands from across the world. I got a great sense of the

It was significant then to attend Subhuti’s retreat at Adhisthana on The Principles of the Order. At the end of that retreat I went to India for an 18 day programme. The main purpose was to attend the Regional Order Convenors retreat held at Kondapur for 4 days. Aryaketu, Karmavajra and Ratnashree created a programme for me around this event. The programme consisted of Dhamramcharini Order days in Amravati, Nagpur and Pune, as well as mixed Order Days in Nagpur, Ulhasnagar and Modinagar. I met with Chapter Convenors in Pune and all the Dharmacharini Chapters in Nagpur. I visited Nagaloka, Aryaloka, girls and boys hostels in various cities. And I, of course, made many visits to Order Members homes I mainly talked to the Order about the role of Order Convenors, the Thousand Armed Avalokiteshvara as a unifying force for our Order, the importance of Chapters and Sadhana. I learnt a lot about Order Convening and the Indian Order. However, I mainly enjoyed working again with the Indian Order Convening team and connecting with them. I admire their work to connect Order Members in many different ways across a huge geographical area.

Vimalamati This last year in the International Order Office has felt like one of significant changes with three people leaving and three new team members joining. Each keen to serve the order in whatever way they can. I am particularly sad to see Parami go as we have been working together in some project related to convening in the order for several years – I will miss her. It is good to see an aspect of our work, the regional convening for the UK and Ireland is going from strength to strength and this was reflected in a particularly effective combined convenors meeting.

A significant part of my work is the large gatherings. A new experience and highlight for me early in the year was the convention in Bodhgaya. It was great to be working with the Indian team. Many of the convenors I already knew from the 2016 convention and I felt very fortunate to be strengthening friendships and making new ones at such a special venue. The summer gathering for the UK and Ireland at Adhisthana was a delight, although each year is unique and has its own challenges the organising has become increasingly straight forward as we build up our team experience and expertise. I look forward to the next challenge of our convention at Wymondham with our new team members on board.

Vajrapriya In 2018 I had my first taste of helping to organise an International Convention, in Bodhgaya. I greatly enjoyed smoothing the way for so many OMs from outside India to attend (182), and having more “public facing” work than usual. And it was a privilege to work closely with Karmavajra and Aryaketu in India, who displayed exemplary resourcefulness. They even persuaded me to attend it myself! I have started planning for the 2019 UK & Ireland Area convention –the full scary Wymondham College experience – and



may be lending support to other Area conventions next year.

The main point of my role is to support the hard working International Order Office which, in turn, serves the Order to create practical methods of communication.

Shantavira I continue to enjoy hearing from Order members from around the world, and facilitating the thoughtful and often quite moving communication between us. I've heard no complaints for a while, and received much appreciation, which suggests people are happy with Shabda. However, I have heard many people say they no longer read it if they have to download it, and with that in mind we The Restorative Process pilot started up this year, and I joined the coordinating team to help organise trainings and support the main facilitators; this important work has brought a steadilyincreasing workload. Another project that is almost coming to fruition is a computer system to record Order dana more easily and effectively. I hope this will mean we can provide more responsive service when people enquire about their dana, and less work for Prashrabdhi. It is becoming important as we have now expanded our ways of giving (to 8!) This makes giving easier for people in the Eurozone, USA & Australia. As always, it is a privilege to serve the Order, and to feel plugged in by the work of the International Order Convenors.

Prashrabdhi This is the end of my first year in the role of bookkeeper for The Triratna Trust. It has been challenging to get to grips with all of the systems which are new to me. We’re still in the middle of creating an automated system to track Order Dana which can be donated in different currencies through a number of online payment systems as well as cash and cheques. Lots of work has been done behind the scenes to bring us to this point and it won’t be long before it is up and running.

Sadayasihi At the beginning of October I began working with the Order Office team as Rijupatha finished up after three years in this role. Just to introduce myself a bit – I was ordained in Akashavana on the three month long course in 2016. Since ordination I have experienced a desire to work with other Buddhists and, happily, at the beginning of the year my wish was granted! I've been working part-time for Dharmachakra (which is responsible for The Buddhist Centre Online and Free Buddhist Audio) since January and now am fulltime - with part of my job being with the Order Office. I'm delighted to be able to work in a job that allows me to continue to live in Dublin and contribute to our local Sangha, as well as now being more plugged into the wider Order. It is still very early days but I have enjoyed sending out my first few 'Order Information Service' emails – the Order equivalent of 'owl post' – helping keep everyone in the loop as the Order grows.

have been reminding people they can still get the paper version sent to them at no extra cost. We have now been getting Shabda printed by Birmingham University for just over a year, and they are experienced with handling material of a confidential nature. This had proved very successful, and has not only saved us money (and hard physical work for me), but we have ended up with a better product. The University people are very easy to work with, and Shabdas can usually be mailed out earlier than in the past. The number of paper Shabdas has remained steady for the past year at 350 copies. About 1300 copies are downloaded from the website every month, about the same as last year, the PDF version being the most popular, closely followed by the epub version.

The team and Trustees (left to right, back to front): Lokeshvara, Vajrapriya, Sucimani, Shantigarbha, Aryajaya, Shantavira, Achara, Vimalamati, Prashrabdhi.

Financial Report 2017 Simplified figures for year ending 31 Dec 2017


Order Dana Gift Aid Misc

£105,451 £10,131 £862 £116,444

How your Order Dana is spent


Order Convenors Support Staff Dharmachakra partnership Shabda Indian Order Office Miscellaneous Restorative fund Office Expenses


£35,416 £32,972 £10,000 £8,857 £3,000 £9,640 £2,500 £1,687 £104,072

9% 3%

As usual, the main expenses are supporting the IOCs and the support staff. This is to be expected, as the function of the Order Office is to provide services to the Order. Our partnership with Dharmachakra is also a significant expense, which funds the Order services offered through, as well as “back office” services such as the Order database and Order Information Service. For 2019 we are budgeting to break even: this is ambitious, as the IOCs have a full year of travelling ahead of them, visiting all the Area Conventions. If you wish to see more detailed accounts, contact

Dharmachakra partnership Shabda Indian Order Office


Miscellaneous Restorative fund


The vast majority of income is from Order dana, and reclaimed Gift Aid on UK dana .

Support Staff




In 2017 we made a modest profit of £12,372. This was significant to build reserves for 2018, when we expected to make a loss due to supporting three International Order Convenors, while Parami was handing over to Aryajaya.

Order Convenors

2% 2%

Office Expenses



Order Dana Figures for the year to end of November 2018 Note that no Order dana is collected in India, as they have their own Order Office and sources of funding. The International Order office contributed £3000 to the Indian Order Office in 2017 and 2018. This is due to be reduced over time.


Not Giving


100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%

89% 71% 71%

62% 55% 54% 52% 48% 46% 45%

38% 35% 33%

22% 22%



% OMs giving by Country

So far this year, 55% of OMs have given Order dana, amounting to £101,000. If the remaining 45% gave, we could almost double our budget, or halve the Order dana request!

OMs giving by Gender

Maybe most remarkable is the variation in giving between countries, ranging from 22% (Finland and USA) to 89% (France). (Countries with fewer than 6 OMs were excluded). It would be very interesting to understand the different “cultures” around contributing to the Order’s finances. The UK & Ireland area is by far the biggest contributor to Order dana, due to the number of OMs in the area. Here is a breakdown by region and gender.

61% of Dharmacharinis are giving compared to 51% of Dharmacharis: this is a consistent pattern.

% OMs giving by UK & Ireland Region

For 2019 we are asking for the same as 2018: GBP 120 per year, or EUR 135 per year, or the equivalent in USD or AUD to the appropriate currency account.

M id la nd s No rth er n Sc ot la nd So ut he rn So ut hW es t Av er ag e

Lo nd on

nd Ire la


Ea st er n

100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%



Note that the Irish women fall within the South West region. Also the Midlands Dharmacharini region is called “Mid West”. In general, mens and women’s regions aren’t necessarily identical.

GIVING ORDER DANA It is quick and easy to give online at: You will find options for all currencies (including paying directly into bank accounts in EUR, USD and AUD). You are encouraged to sign up for a regular giving method: direct debit if you are in UK or the Eurozone, or regular payments with Paypal.

Report from the Indian Order Office National Order Convening team, India By

Main highlights of the Order events and activities The main highlight of the order rd activities in the last year is the 3 Triratna International Order Convention Bodhgaya 2018 held at Triratna Centre, Bodhgaya. Where more than 600 order members were th coming together and celebrated 50 Anniversary of Triratna Buddhist Order. Meditating together in the morning having ritual in the evening under the Vajrasana was the most inspiring and enriching experience for most order members. There were series of Talks on The Lion’s roar by various

3RD TRIRATNA INTERNATIONAL ORDER CONVENTION BODHGAYA 2018 REGIONAL ORDER CONVENORS Meeting 3 times in a year in their region. Western region: Gujrat, Goa, Kokan, Mumbai, Pune, Marathwad:

1. Dhammacharini Ratnashri 2. Dhammachari Karmavajra 3. Dhammachari Achaladhamma 4. Dhammachari Manjucitta 5. Dhammacharini Maitriratna 6. Dhammachari Viveksheel 7. Dhammacharini Kushalprabha Order members from all over the world followed by group discussion. In general participants enjoyed group discussion as they got chance to connect with other order members those they don’t know personally. It’s opportunity for Indian order members those can’t travel to UK to experience the Triratna Internationally.

Order days and order weekends in India 1. Mainly in big cities like Mumbai, Pune, Kokan, Nagpur, Amravati, Wardha, Aurangabad, Modinagar (North India) where order members are living in a large number we encourage chapter convenors to organize order days first Sunday of every month. Chapter convenors love this because they get opportunity to work together and get opportunity for all order members in big cities to come together every month just as an order member which is most important relationship as a Sangha.

NATIONAL ORDER CONVENING TEAM 1. Dhammacharini Ratnashri (Order Convenor) 2. Dhammachari Karmavajra (Order Convenor TBC 3. Dhammacharini Sumegha 4. Dhammachari Mitroday

Central region : Vidharbha, North India, Chattisgarh, Orisa:

1. Dhammachari Kumarvajra 2. Dhammacharini Sumegha 3. Dhammacharini Amitsatya 4. Dhammachari Supadma 5. Dhammachari Nagabhadra



2. Order weekend organized twice in a year in two regions in western part of India and the Central part of India and in North India too. Order members in that regions gets opportunity to meet in a large number for practicing and sharing the Dhamma. Regional order convenors take initiative for organizing order weekends. 3. Chapter Convenors are meeting every month in big cities all region like Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Amravati and Wardha and Modinagar, North India where order members are living in big numbers more than 60. 4. Almost all the order members are meeting in Chapter once in a week. Approximately 15 percent of the order are not in Chapter because of old age and illness or living isolated but we encourage them at least participate in order weekend, order days, and order retreats.

Where we done the SWOT analysis for PP kula and order strand. It was useful feedback from whole order how to work together in future. We also ran the process for choosing next Indian order convenor (male) hopefully this will confirmed in December .

6. Aryajaya visited Nagpur, Pune, and Mumbai, Modinagar (North India) and tried to meet most order members of India. Her visit was specially more encouraging for order women in India. 7. We also had an effective and very fruitful all India chapter convenors meeting with Public Preceptors of India

SWOT Analysis As per the last SWOT analysis feedback we tried our best to work on following feedback as follows. • 1. Increase the spiritual standard of the Order.

5. Last year in the month of September Dhammacharini Aryajaya, International Order Convenor visited India and had a wonderful, effective 4 days meeting with all regional order convenors of India. We discuss so many things and go through swot analysis and plan the things how to move forward in the future in India.

2. Safeguarding the order in India.

Order retreats are going on regular basis lead by Ven. Subhuti, Chandrashil, Aryaketu. Ven Subhuti leads several retreats every year for all order members of India. He is the main source of Inspiration in India. Chandrashil lead one month order retreat every year. Aryaketu lead one order retreat for 7 days every year. We also started Order workshops for order members in different parts of India. Aryaketu lead order workshops in Nagpur, Wardha and in North India. Amoghasiddhi, Chandrashil, Adityabodhi, Ratnashil also lead workshops for order members. Recently Dh. Vidyaruchi started 15 days’ order study retreat at Bhaje Centre hope in the future more order members will take interest in order studies. Recently we are encouraging order members to go on solitaries. Karmavajra set up a good example that he himself went of 3 months’ solitary retreat.

We have realized that some order members are not in contact with Triratna or they are not functioning as an order member or they have significant conflict with other order members we are exploring how to support them with the help of PP kula, private preceptors and Kalyanmitras. Recently we have been working on serious conflict in Triratna Amravati Centre modeled on previous work in India. A team of 3 senior order members from Order Strand, PP strand and Chairs strand will work together on such centers where there are conflicts and see how to help them through. This work may be long term possibly the team may work for 2 to 3 years in same centre to give positive result the best chance. May be we need to form a several teams of 3 people.

3. To respond to future need of the Triratna Order in India.

As Triratna order is getting old day by day so there is need of old age caring and intense practice centre for order members in India. Also Triratna is growing every year and to create a harmony and inspiration among them we need a space where all senior order member can stay together and we can have space for all three strands, and will get opportunity for intense practice like Adhisthana.

To fulfill above needs we are searching for a big piece of land about 50 acres to 100 acres. We are in the process of making that proposal.

Order Convenors International

Latin America


& Spain

Aryajaya Lokeshvara

Jnanadakini (W) Awaiting appointment (M)

Delegates to International Council Meeting

Pacific area




Dhiramani (W) Khemadhamma (M)

Karmavajra,(M) Ratnashri, (W) Sumegha, (W) Mitroday, (M)

Sridakini (W) Danasara (W) Vairocana (M)



Dhivasini (W) Dharmakirti M

Purna (M) Prajnalila (W)


Amala (W) Awaiting appointment (M) INDIA

Karmavajra, M Ratnashri, (W) EUROPE

Akasasuri, (W) Awaiting appointment (M) UK AND IRELAND

Prajnadevi (W) Shantigarbha M


Amitsatya (W) Sumegha, (W) Nagabhadra, (M) Supadma (M) Kumarvajra (M)

Jnanadakini (W) Awaiting appointment (M)


UK & Ireland Regional convenors and teams


Khemmadhamma (M) Dhiramani (W)



North America & Canada

Mainland Europe & Nordic Region

Amala (W) Awaiting appointent (M)


Akasasuri (W) Awaiting appointment (M)

Regional Team

Guhyageepti (W) Gunabhadri (W) NORDIC REGION

Awaiting appointments Regional/local team

Sweden Munisha (W) Viriyavasin M

Karmavajra, Maitriratna, Achaldhamma, Manjuchitta, Vivekasila, Ratnashri Kushalprabha

Aparajita (M) Saccacitta(M) Suvannagarbha (M) Jayadevi (W) Khemasuri (W) LONDON

Dhiraprabha (W) Prajnadevi (W) Mangala (M) SOUTH

Vidyakaya (M) Vajrasiddhi (M) Awaiting appointment (W) EAST

Aranyaka (M) Amoghavajra (M) Tejasiddhi (M) Dharmanartha Amaracandra (W) Tejasvini (W) Shubha (W) MIDWEST (W) MIDLANDS (M)

Karunavaca (W) Hridayagita (W) Alokavira (M) Yashodeva (M) IRELAND


Shantigarbha (M) Pramudita (M) Awaiting appointment(W)

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