There is a need to make explicit the vision and aims of a Buddhist Centre. Being clear of what your intentions are enables you to review your activities to assess whether they are meeting those aims. It also lets you ensure that those intentions are informing every dimension of what you do.

Our overall aim to to present the Three Jewels of Buddhism as a living reality accessible to people in our society today – but we can be more particular than that.

Over the last year, order members and others involved with the cente have had a number of lively discussions aimed at drawing out those aspects of our centre’s purposes that we consider indispensible and that we wish to highlight and make explicit. From those discussions have emerged the three dimensions to our Threefold Vision presented here.

The Radical

Buddhist practice cuts to the root of the causes of human suffering: the self-cherishing that results in needless pain. The Buddha’s teaching challenges the materialism of our times, along with the self-centredness and moral mediocrity it encourages. At the same time it urges us to take full responsibility for our own lives, commiting ourselves ever more deeply to the truth and its discovery.

The Mythical

On the Buddhist path of self-transcendence reason and concepts are important, they are the language of the conscious mind. But we also have a part of us that is unconscious and non-rational. This part of us also needs a way of engaging with the Buddhist Path. This part of us doesn’t understand the language of reason, the language of the conscious mind. It knows the language of images, sounds, symbols, myths and legends, the language of the unconscious.

The Sangha as Community and Cooperation

Working to develop love for all beings creates a close harmony and communication with others, takes us beyond ourselves, yet paradoxically enables self-discovery. An energetic coincidence of wills, rather than a passive merging arises, which can be more bracing than comfortable, as strong spiritual friendships are developed. These friendships overlap and interact, forming a ‘sphere’ of friendship that emanates from the Buddha and encompasses all who are bold enough to enter.

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