Bright Ideas

Bright Ideas in postcard PDF formatListed down below you will find dozens of bright ideas collected from different European Triratna projects. As well as forming a kind of celebration of some of the things that are going well round the movement, you may well find ideas and information for your project too.

They have been collected by the Triratna Development Team and presented to the ECA in batches, most recently in January 2011. The 2011 ideas are available either as A5 coloured ‘postcards’ or a one-page list. Click on whichever link you choose to download the summary.

1 Open days 3 or 4 times per year on Saturdays. These are often feeders for the next introductory course that starts the week after.
2 Leave some places free on intro courses for people who book last minute (if they book at all)!
3 Run courses concurrently on different days, and synchronise… make it clear to people they can go on another night if they can’t make their usual night one week
4 Saturday morning classes
5 Daytime programme providing what people need to get fully involved (eg from drop-in intro classes to mitra study)
6 Mindfulness intro courses
7 Introduction to Buddhism courses done in a very practical way… i.e. with exercises,
short, led reflections, ways to practice in everyday life… introduce meditation later
8 New series: “Buddhism and the Big Questions”
9 Incredibly popular urban retreat this year – 326 people took part (60% were newcomers)!    “Mindful Moments” – practice tips sent by text message follow-ups after courses. x2/wk for a few months.

10 Teach the idea of building Sangha right from the start

11 When teaching, also mention determination, energy, confidence, etc whenever encouraging calm, peace, stillness, etc
12 In-house training & study for new OM’s who are starting to teach.
13 Focus on ‘flow’ (making deepening involvement smooth and easy). Signposting next steps, including Mitrahood.
14 Make a clear distinction between well-being and Dharma classes
15 Have lots of conversation cafes, hear people’s aspirations, then write out a mission statement for
the centre. (They experienced a big increase in standing orders after doing this.)
16 Community fanzine?!
17 Use of social networking sites, ie Facebook
18 Great website – sends out email updates automatically (designed by Upekshapriya).
19 Sit down with prospective volunteers & talks about their connection & aspirations. See where they might contribute. (Volunteers all work at same time, then meditate together at lunchtime class.)
Culture of dana. Don’t assume it’s EITHER volunteering OR a standing order
20 Young People’s group and the website they’ve produced, meditating in town etc.
21 Creating a way into TBRL that was attractive and accessible – i.e. a six month trial… then giving the young women both a lot of support and a lot of autonomy.
22 Aikido and meditation classes
23 Make a ‘wish-list’ of all the things the centre needs (from tea bags to a new air-conditioning system), then encourage giving a gift (whatever people can afford) to the centre on Sangha Day…
24 Retreat Centre lift-shares – see www.freewheelers.com/Buddhafield_Festival
25 “Celebrating Generosity” events – celebrate volunteers and donors and give a financial and appeal update
26 Mitra Noticeboard
27 Be aware what you’re asking people at the class to do. Is it sit still, sit still, & sit still! If so, it may not be great for promoting active engagement, especially for young people.
28 Day for partners of Friends/Mitras
29 Proposals for new council members to be seconded by existing council members.
30 Have only OMs active at the centre as members of the charity.
31 Dissolve any sense of there being separate sanghas on different nights of the week by putting effort into connecting up the various groups that use the centre
32 Regional chairs meetings
33 Photo board of teachers / OMs on council
34 People put a sign on the noticebaoard: “I’m going on this retreat” inviting others to join
35 Always teach Buddhism with meditation – don’t teach meditation on its own / out of a Dharmic context.
36 “Celebrating Generosity” events – celebrate volunteers and donors and give a financial and appeal update
37 Movement-wide “Going Further” / “Going Deeper” poster
38 Design a map of Triratna institutions

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