In February 2018, Triratna Buddhist Order held its annual Convention in Bodhgaya, India. The Convention marked the 50th anniversary of the Order’s founding, and took place at the traditional spot where the Buddha is said to have attained liberation. Local Order members Viveka and Viradhamma attended.
“It felt like an important and encouraging meeting for the future of our community, and engaging with recent complexities and conflicts in a way that allows a deeper wisdom to emerge about how to be a thriving and diverse sangha together," Viveka said. A bright spot for her was witnessing developments in conflict resolution practices and training drawing from restorative justice practices.
Another highlight she often heard at the meeting was people noting how mature the meeting was -- both in the quality of the people, and the meeting itself. Similarly, Viradhamma said that he was "struck by the sense of solidarity and community between Order Members from all over the world... and a common purpose in spreading the Dhamma." He was heartened and encouraged to see new generations of teachers and leaders taking responsibility for the Order and Movement.
Reflecting on the location, Viradhamma commented on the inspiration provided by being in Bodhgaya as well as the deep poverty of the local people, a constant reminder that the purpose of the Dhamma is to alleviate suffering. "I am always happy to hear about how many Indian Order Members are involved in social work, education and healthcare," he said.
The convention had an impact on more personal levels as well. "A special benefit for me was getting to meet six of the Indian men that I was ordained with in 1994," Viradhamma said. "We each shared our experiences and we all felt a deep bond of friendship."
Most of the Convention was public, and talks, mantras, podcasts, pictures, videos, livestreams are available on The Buddhist Centre Online.