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Contents of Unity and Diversity - Third Order Convention 1976

by Sangharakshita

The Third Order Convention, 1976:

“Unity and Diversity in the Spiritual Life”
CONTENTS
1Opening Remarks and remembering those not present
36Where to house the library
1-2The number of active Order members from 1971-197639Report from the Seminar Recorder
2Outlining the programme for the Convention and its plenary sessions
40An outline of the transcription process
The symbolism of sitting in a circle
45Report from the Yoga Convenor
3Report from Khema, Convenor of the Order
46Why is Iyengar Yoga practised in the FWBO?
Having a person working full-time totally for the Order
48Report from the Treasurer
4Keeping the Order registrar informed of changes of address
49The FWBO supports the Order
The possible duties of an Order Convenor
Order ‘fees’ and ‘Mitrata’ subscriptions for 19765The Order Registrar - Keeping in touch with outlying Order members
57The appointment of office bearers:
Continuing Kalyana Mitra relationships after ordination
Order Convenor
7Report from the editor of ‘Shabda’
58Registrar
8-17 ‘Shabda’ and its purpose
59Editor of ‘Shabda’
8The history of ‘Shabda’
60Master of Ceremonies
9Shabda’s lack of censorship
61Archivist and Librarian
12Using ‘Shabda’ to inform Order members of retreats etc
Seminar Recorder
17Report from the Order Master of Ceremonies
62Yoga Convenor
19Working out festival dates according to the full moon
63The Order as the guardian of the FWBO
Standardised shrines for retreats?
The FWBO in Cornwall
Types of shrines appropriate to particular retreats
65Being free to practise the Dharma
22The new (‘Basic’) Threefold Puja
Tying more knots after coming into contact with the Dharma
The suggestion of having an English translation of the Five Precepts
69The FWBO in Cornwall
23Where to place the Padmasambhava mantra in the puja?
Glasgow
Puja before meditation or meditation before Puja?
70Surrey, Helsinki, New Zealand, Holland,
26Sitting on after Puja
Having representatives where there are no Order members in Europe
Puja in the morning or the evening?
78Scotland - Glasgow, Dundee, Edinburgh, Aberdeen
27When to use the new Threefold Puja
79Class and Nationality
28Correct pronunciation in chanting
Class conditioning
30The marriage ceremony
80Idealising the Working Class or Middle Class
32The Librarian’s Report
84Does the FWBO put off, or not attract, people from other (non White
34Storage of Thangkas
‘European’) races?
85The English way of doing things is not the only way!
The four main functions (or four great Tantric rites) of Buddhahood: To
One mustn’t underestimate the basic intelligence of people
pacify; to fascinate; to mature; to destroy
91The ‘bogey’ of professionalism
93Nationality
129The dedication of Sukhavati
94Bhante’s impressions of the UK after his return from the USA in 1970Placing mantras and sacred texts and verses inside the Buddha image
Differences between the UK and the rest of the continent of Europe
132Qualifications for Upasaka/Upasika ordination and Mitraship
96Political change and personal/spiritual change
What makes somebody ready for ordination?
97English compromise
137The difference between devotion and commitment
100Recommendation to spend some time outside ones home country
Is it harder for women to commit themselves than men?
working on Dharma activities
138Bhaktas - devotees
What is English-ness?
Sishas - pupils or disciples
102Language as an aspect of national conditioning
139Can ‘young’ people be really committed? The seven year old Arahants
104‘Segregation’ of the sexes within the Order?
The difficulties of commitment when ‘older’
106Having separate retreats for men and women Order members?
Meeting on a common basis of commitment, rather than of age etc., etc.
107Bhante’s original assumption that the Order would be a mixed (men and
143The phrase of Bhante’s, “If someone’s nearly ready for ordination then
women) Order and that all activities would be mixed
they’re ready”!
Are ‘the women’ missing something if they’re not where ‘the men’ are?
145It is not an ideal to have the majority of Order members involved with
111“The women are going to feel that they’re being put to one side for
organisational work of Centres
some time”
Qualifications for Mitraship
112Avoiding sexual games
148Are Mitras a ‘servant class’?! A wonderful opportunity to serve
Practical difficulties of this Convention - not enough space for all to
149The teacher looking after the pupil if the pupil is sick
meet/eat/meditate together, separate accommodation, the women feeling
150Do all Mitras wish to become Order Members? Should they?
‘dumped’
Many people are now contacting the Dharma without any knowledge of
118Visualisation and mantra recitation practice in the Order
the possibility of the attainment of Enlightenment.
121How important is it to practise one’s visualisation and mantra recitation
153Not dampening enthusiasm
daily?
What is a Buddhist Centre?
122When on retreat should Order members necessarily do the same
Qualifications for being a Kalyana Mitra
meditation practice as others are doing?
Does the Kalyana Mitra relationship finish with ordination?
The Order Metta Bhavana
How long after ordination, ideally, can an Order member become a
Being together in the Order in spirit when physically separated
Kalyana Mitra?
124What is the karmic level?
159Report from the Convenor of Men Mitras
126Ensuring certain Order members are very well versed in each
Seventy Seven Mitras worldwide in 1976 visualisation practice so that it can be passed on when Bhante is gone
163Avoiding the phrase ‘it has been decided’. Say who decided instead
Developing our own iconography
Report from the acting Convenor of Women Mitras
127Trying to introduce the eleven headed, thousand armed Avalokiteshvara
165Trying to have Kalyana Mitras of the same sex
more into the Movement. As a symbol of the Order itself
General Mitras
166Can people who are not Mitras be ordained?
203The need for some people to look after themselves better
Honorary Mitras
Arrangements for producing the Convention report
172The importance of having two Kalyana Mitras
Plans for the tenth anniversary of the FWBO
Bhante’s comments on points raised in ‘Shabda’
206The possibility of extending Order Days to become Order Weekends!
173The importance of remembering what it is like to be a beginner:
“Beginner’s Mind”
174Leading communication classes
178Taking responsibility for what one thinks and not hiding behind a
group.
Using Bhante’s name to make something more acceptable
180Keeping to the point and not discussing/disputing someone’s motive
Clear reporting of Order events in Shabda
182Authority and authoritarianism
183All Order members are equal in an Order meeting, irrespective of their
position in any body outside the meeting, i.e. Chairman etc.; their
degree of articulateness
185Speaking one’s mind is not necessarily being authoritarian.
186It’s impossible for one Order member to bully another
Power and authority
187Overuse of the word ‘role’
188“Your power should be the function of your being”
191Bhante is the person to inform anybody that they are to be ordained
192Vows for Order members
193No vow is taken forever
194Bodhisattva vows as very specific forms of the Bodhicitta
Having others witness the taking of a vow
197‘Degrees of ordination’ are degrees of vow - the Maha Upasaka/Upasika
The uniqueness of the original Going for Refuge
198Mitras taking vows
Give things up ‘in innocence’, not out of guilt
199Marriage within the context of the Order as a particular kind of vow
The Bengali ceremony to give up one’s child at the age of sixteen
Having a divorce ceremony
200Monogamy, polygamy, polyandry, in Buddhism
201A ceremony to reaffirm one’s Going for Refuge/ordination
The Buddha permitted re-ordination up to seven times
...

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