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Contents of First Order Convention 1974

by Sangharakshita




2 First session: 'The spiritual development of the Individual Order member'

3 Can one develop without meditating?

4 Confused 'Definitions' of "Meditation". Signs for measuring growth - constant awareness

4 Success and growth in meditation

5-16 Work, labour and employment

6 Are there less alienating forms of work than others? The scattered energy of young children

6-7 Earning more money than one needs

8-11 'Alternatives' to earning money

9-11 Vocations and jobs

13-14 Pooling of financial resources and communal living

14-15 Parasitism and symbiosis in relation to the society

16-17 Dealing with scattered energy

17-20 Too much self doubt of the wrong kind

19 Most organizations and groups are kept going by neurotic energy

19-23 Speaking out and not remaining silent or complaining afterwards

21 People often more afraid of their own feelings than others' reactions. Disagreement means you belong to a different group

23 'Creative listening' Extra facilities that those present wanted to see to assist the spiritual development of Order members

23-24 Definition of terms - 'Retreat', 'Sesshin', 'Seminar' 25 The possibility of retreats for Order members only. Solitary retreats 26 Places for solitary retreats at the time of the session (1974)

27 Solitary retreats in the city?

28 The danger of stagnating in the country and the city being much better for spiritual life

29 The ideal length for a solitary retreat

29-34 The arts as a way of promoting spiritual development?

35 Distinguishing between momentary enthusiasm and solid interest and determination

36-38 Sharing one's personal interests with the Order - is it necessary?

38-40 Bhante's feeling even more connected with Order members when being physically separated from them

38 Next Session - 'Communication within the Order'

40-41 Being in communication with everybody in the Order?

41 'Friendliness', 'closeness', 'fellowship' and 'chumminess'

42 Being brought closer through being part of the Sangha

43 Ten minutes is often enough for meaningful communication - more time doesn't necessarily mean more communication

43-45 Knowing people as opposed to knowing about them

45 Bhante's spiritual contact with Order members

46-49 Bhante's first suggestion of practising the Order Metta Bhavana and trying to organize when it could be done regularly - full and new moon significance - once a month ...

49-51 Ways of doing the Order Metta Bhavana

52 Factual telepathy

53-54 The Order news-sheet and its function

55-56 Giving the Order News-sheet a name - vacana, ghosha, antaravani, vak - Shabda!

57 Should Order members write to Bhante?

58-59 Correspondence and visiting Order members outside London

59-61 The newly introduced Kalyana Mitra system - Preparing people for ordination who do not know Bhante

62 Having at least one of the two Kalyana Mitras of the same sex

63-65 Not judging just by personality when 'assessing' potential Order members. Having people of different types in the Order.

66-67 Getting to know people who are similar rather than dissimilar

68 Every talent is to be appreciated in the Order

69 Contacting 'lapsed' Order members. When to remove Order members from the Order List

69-70 What constitutes resignation from the Order? When people resign from the Order the spiritual connection persists

71-74 Keeping in touch with specific out of contact Order members

75 'Active' and 'inactive' order members - nonsense expressions

76-77 Payment towards the potential retreat centre mortgage £ 7.00 per week!

78 Next Session - 'The Order and the World'

78-82 Prison visiting by Buddhists

80 Visiting psychiatric hospitals

82-84 Carrying Buddhist/Order identity cards Informing officialdom of the existence of Buddhists

85 The 'Seal' of the Order - The Nalanda Seal

85-87 The need to go out more to spread the Dharma - not preaching to the converted

88-91 Trade Unions, the working class and the Dharma. Getting more involved in working class activities

89-96 Getting the Dharma into schools

92-93 Warnings against inter-faith meetings

97-102 Teaching at adult education institutes and universities

101 Courses being prepared by Order members for use by other Order members

102-104 Feeling overwhelmed (and inspired) by all the possible things to do as a result of these convention sessions

104 Next Session - 'The Functioning of the Order'

105 Creating new 'Office-bearers' - Order registre - Order convenor - librarian/archivist - Master/Mistress of ceremonies - editor/compiler of Shabda

105-107The compiler/'editor' of Shabda and the Order Registrar

108 The Order Convenor (responsible for meetings, retreats and conventions)

109 The Librarian and Archivist

110 The Master of Ceremonies

111 The status of the Order

112 Legally changing one's name and use of order or secular names

111 Concessions for 'ministers' Conscription, Jury Service. Acknowledging Buddhist festivals as holidays by the wider society

114 Using Order names

115-116 Traditional Buddhist Festivals and their dates

117 Links with Padmasambhava and with Chinese Buddhism for the WBO

118 The fat 'laughing Buddha' - Maitreya

119 [break in recording] - what do bhikkhus wear under their robes?!

120-128Wearing robes - An Order robe - them and us?

121 Over importance given to external things such as dress

122 Why Bhante didn't always wear his robes when first in the UK

123 Different approaches within the FWBO - ritual, meditation, talks with different emphases at different times - the religious and the non-religious approaches

125 The history of the kesa in the WBO

126 People being wary of ritual, pujas, robes etc.

129 The history of the Buddha image and the vajra

131 Peoples reactions to robes, clergymen, religiosity etc.

132 Ritual that has to be explained is not ritual. Defining ritual

133 Uniform and public respect for the Salvation Army

134-135 Why the robe discussion was the most emotive!

136 Planning of specific study groups at that time

137-138 Systematic study and the use of these seminars rather than just miscellaneous reading.

Recommended texts by Bhante. Bhante's plans for his seminars - filling a gap in the total life of the Order??


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