Order Members

This page of the site provides material that may be of interest to Order Members. It includes background material on the Triratna Buddhist Community’s system of meditation and spiritual practice generally. The page is in several sections, arranged like this:

– Triratna ‘System of Meditation’
– Tips for teaching and practice
– Other resources

Each section consists of a long page containing a variety of material; it is arranged with the most-fully-developed and easiest to use at the top; leading down to simple outlines or notes for possible courses at the bottom. In this way once the page has loaded, you can scroll up and down to see the range available.

The material at the top of each page should be ‘ready to use’; it generally consists of well-prepared courses often including attractive handouts.

The Triratna system of meditation

Triratna ‘System of Meditation’

A System of Meditation (Sangharakshita)

This is a link to Sangharakshita’s 1978 classic talk introducing the FWBO’s system of meditation.

http://www.freebuddhistaudio.com/texts/read?num=135&at=text

A System of Meditation – Revisited (Cittapala)

This material, compiled by Cittapala, contains essential teachings by Sangharakshita on meditation. Besides the original lecture ‘A System of Meditation’ it includes a rich selection of seminar extracts and other teachings by Sangharakshita.

There are four files to download:

one,

two,

three,

four.

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Other resources

This section contains a variety of other Dharma material which has been contributed by Order Members.

Other Pujas and ceremonies

  • The following Pujas and invocations are in pdf format
  • Akshobya Puja written by Saccanama akshobya-puja.pdf
  • Amitabha Puja, based on verses from Shinran’s Collected works, compiled by Dhammaloka.
  • Another Puja to Amitabha, provided by Amoghavajra.
  • Dhammapada Puja
  • Prajnaparamita Puja by Vishvapani
  • A version of the same Puja in German, translated by Nagadakini – Prajnaparamita Puja Deutsch
  • Vairocana Puja compiled from the Avatamsaka Sutra by Sobhanandi vairocana-puja.pdf
  • Invocations of the Five Buddhas of the Mandala written by Saccanama: invocations-of-the-five-buddhas.pdf
  • Bodhicitta Puja compiled by Maitreyi
  • Gandavyuha Puja, compiled by Dhammaloka
  • Triskandhasutrapuja.doc
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    Buddhism – other topics

    Cultivating Insight (Sudarshini and Maitreyabandhu, 9 weeks)

    This material-provided by Sudarshini and Maitreyabandhu from the LBC-consists in 9 letters to course participants. These letters were sent out by Email a day or two after the class.

    Undoubtedly, you will have to adapt the letters to your own circumstances.

    Mail 1: Review of class (3 lakshanas/qualities to develop/gateways of liberation); suggestions for daily reflection and meditation practice.

    Mail 2: Clarity and impermanence, the gateway to the signless Samadhi.

    Mail 3: Animitta Samadhi; integrating the mind-heart; exploring clarity, sensitivity, and openness.

    Mail 4: Dukkha and the importance of how we respond to it; opening the heart in meditation and daily life.

    Mail 5: Dukkha and the Apranihita Samadhi; suggestions for daily life reflection and meditation.

    Mail 6: Dukkha and Saddha; reflecting on values in life; meditating on gratitude, appreciation, contentment.

    Mail 7: How to think of ‘path’ and ‘goal’; the lakshana of insubstantiality (Anatman); reflecting on interconnectedness; letting go of identifications; watching out for signs of alienation, appropriation, and self-dislike.

    Mail 8: More on openness and loving others; suggestions for daily life reflection and meditation.

    Mail 9: Reviewing the course and exhortation to continue practising.

    Evaluation Form to the course.

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    Anapanasati Sutta (Viveka, retreat handouts)

    Handout 1a: Intro to Sutta and Mindfulness Handout.

    Handout 1b and 2: First and Second Instructions-Duration Quality Handout

    Handout 3 and 4: Third and Fourth Instructions Handout

    Handout 5 and 6: Fifth and Sixth Instructions Handout

    Handout 7 and 8: Seventh and Eighth Instructions Handout

    Handout 9: Ninth Instruction Handout

    Thirteenth-Fifteenth Instructions Handout

    Focus: unspecified

    Brief: Handouts I give out on retreat that accompany teachings on the Anapanasati Sutta.

    Viveka, San Francisco Buddhist Center

    The Sutta

    Condensed Method Instruction

    Maintaining Engagement

    Anapanasati Puja

    Focus: unspecified

    Brief: More anapanasati teaching materials that I’ve used on retreats.

    Viveka, San Francisco Buddhist Center

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    Pure Awareness (Viveka, 5 week course)

    Pure Awareness Course Outline

    Pure Awareness Course (2005): Talk One

    Pure Awareness Course (2005): Talk Two

    Pure Awareness Course (2005): Talk Three

    Pure Awareness Course (2005): Talk Four Pure Awareness Course (2005): Talk Five

    Bahiya Sutta

    Focus: unspecified

    Brief: A five week course on Pure Awareness Meditation Practice explored from the viewpoint of each of the 3 yanas.

    Viveka, San Francisco Buddhist Center

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    Stilling and Seeing Through (Smrtiratna)

    An article by Smritiratna, originally published in Shabda May 2008.

    The article was written to

    • explain how Smritiratna has been introducing insight contemplations at Friends level, over the last three years, especially on “Stilling and Seeing Through” retreats,
    • describe what happens on these retreats,
    • outline their doctrinal background,
    • explain how all this contributes to our work and
    • invite you to attend and invite your comments and suggestions.

    Please download the article here.

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    Avalokitesvara (Dhammaloka)

    Giving Avalokitesvara a Hand”

    An exploration in imagination and Sangha-building. Taking images of the 42 ‘major’ hands or emblems of Avalokitesvara/Kuan Yin participants explore both the great variety of Bodhisattva activity and how they might themselves contribute to it.

    Possible objectives:

    • Exploring the variety of enlightened activities
    • Introducing GuanYin / Avalokitesvara
    • Sangha-building, getting to know each others’ personal interests and strengths
    • Playful exploration and gaining of commitment to contribute to the mandala
    • Contextualize Avalokitesvara / GuanYin in the White Lotus Sutra
    • Introduce Avalokitesvara as a symbol of the WBO

    The material for download:

    • Images of the 42 emblems/hands.
    • Instruction and explanation of the activity.
    • 40 images of Avalokitesvara(2.5MB zip-file! To do the activity as described, it is not essential that you download these images).

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    Verses on Nature and the Environment

    Verses from the Buddhist tradition on love & concern for our natural environment

    “It was a beautiful, harmonious, peaceful-looking planet, blue with white clouds, and one that gave you a deep sense…of home, of being, of identity. It is what I prefer to call instant global consciousness.”

    Edgar Mitchell, Apollo X11 astronaut

    Nothing whatever is hidden;

    From of old, all is clear as daylight.

    The old pine tree speaks divine wisdom;

    The secret bird manifests eternal truth.

    Sitting quietly, doing nothing,

    Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.

    Falling mist flies together with the wild ducks;

    The waters of autumn are of one colour with the sky.

    If you don’t believe, just look at September, look at October!

    The yellow leaves falling, falling, to fill both mountain and river.

    Mountains and rivers, the whole earth, –

    All manifest forth the essence of being.

    The voice of the mountain torrent is from one great tongue;

    The lines of the hills, are they not the Pure Body of Buddha?

    Taking up one blade of grass,

    Use it as a sixteen-foot golden Buddha.

    (from The Zenrin)

    You ask

    why I perch

    on a jade green mountain?

    I laugh

    but say nothing

    my heart

    free

    like a peach blossom

    in the flowing stream

    going by

    in the depths

    in another world

    not among men.

    (Li Po)

    Just as the earth and other elements

    Are serviceable in many ways

    To the infinite number of beings

    Inhabiting limitless space;

    So may I become

    That which maintains all beings

    Situated throughout space,

    So long as all have not attained

    To peace.

    (from the ‘Transference of Merit & Self-Surrender’ in the FWBO Sevenfold Puja )

    the spring flowers, the autumn moon,

    summer breeze, winter snow.

    if useless things do not clutter your mind

    you have the best days of your life

    “The value of an inaccessible mountain peak, or of a serenely floating cloud, consists in its very valuelessness. It has no relevance to our material needs. … Only too readily do we stop to pluck the flowers of the world’s beauty, instead of wondering and passing on.”

    (Sangharakshita, ‘The Religion of Art’)

    “Mindfulness must be engaged.

    Once there is seeing, there must be acting…

    We must become aware of the real problems of the world.

    Then, with mindfulness, we will know what to do, and what not to do, to be of help.”

    (Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen master, poet, activist and author. Peace is every Step, p91)

    “As Buddhists we are meant, we are urged to direct metta towards all living beings. That doesn’t just mean all human beings, it means all animals, insects, plants, birds, beasts of every kind. So this is the basis, we may say, of our ecological concern as Buddhists: we wish well towards all living beings.”

    (Sangharakshita, talk: ‘The Next Twenty Years’)

    “It is not that you just sit on your meditation mat radiating metta towards the world but keeping well out of the way of the world. It is that metta enters into your action and expresses itself in terms of non-violent action for the benefit of others.”

    (Sangharakshita)

    “I like to walk alone on country paths, rice plants and wild grasses on both sides, putting each foot down on the earth in mindfulness, knowing that I walk on the wondrous earth. In such moments, existence is a miraculous and mysterious reality. People usually consider walking on water or thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child – our own two eyes.”

    (Thich Nhat Hanh)

    “We are destined to share this planet together and as the world grows smaller, we need each other more than in the past. But, whether we are trying to reduce the nuclear threat, defend human rights or preserve the natural environment, it is difficult to achieve a spirit of genuine co-operation as long as people remain indifferent to the feelings and happiness of others. What is required is a kind heart and a sense of community, which I call universal responsibility.”

    (His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In an address to ‘Seeking the True Meaning of Peace’, San Jose, Costa Rica. June 25-30 1989)

    “Let him not destroy, or cause to be destroyed, any life at all, nor sanction the acts of those who do so. Let him refrain from even hurting any creature, both those that are strong and those that tremble in the world.”

    (Sutta-Nipata.)

    “He who, seeking his own happiness, punishes or kills beings who also long for happiness, will not find happiness after death.”

    (Dhammapada)

    “The whole planet groans under a massive disregard of ahimsa by the highly organised societies and corporate economies of the world.”

    (Beat poet and Zen practitioner, Gary Snyder, A Place in Space p73)

    “The rain has stopped, the clouds have drifted away,

    and the weather is clear again.

    If your heart is pure, then all things in your world are pure.

    Abandon this fleeting world, abandon yourself,

    Then the moon and flowers will guide you along the Way”

    (Ryokan)

    “Buddha Law

    shining

    in leaf dew”

    (Issa)

    “The man whose mind is rounded out to perfection

    Knows full well

    Truth is not cut in half

    And things do not exist apart from the mind.

    In the great Assembly of the Lotus all are present

    Without divisions.

    Grass, trees, the soil on which these grow

    All have the same kinds of atoms.

    Some are barely in motion

    While others make haste along the path, but they will all in time

    Reach the Precious Island of Nirvana.

    Who can really maintain

    That things inanimate lack Buddhahood?”

    (Chan-Jan)

    When Samavati, the queen-consort of King Udena, offered Ananda 500 garments, Ananda received them with great satisfaction. The king, hearing of it, suspected Ananda of dishonesty and asked what he would do with the garments.

    Ananda replied, “Many of the brothers are in rags, I am going to distribute the garments among them.”

    “What will you do with the old garments?”

    “We will make bed-covers out of them.”

    “What will you do with the old bed-covers?”

    “We will make pillow-cases.”

    “What will you do with the old pillow-cases?”

    “We will make floor-covers out of them.”

    “What will you do with the old floor-covers?”

    “We will make foot-towels out of them.”

    “What will you do with the old foot-towels?”

    “We will use them for floor-mops.”

    “What will you do with the old mops?”

    “Your highness, we will tear them into pieces, mix them with mud, and use the mud to plaster the house walls.”

    From Dhammapada Attakatha 1 (commentary to the Dhammapada)

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