Buddhism

What’s it all about?

Buddhism is a non-theistic spiritual path that helps us cultivate more positive mental states, contact our sanity and emotional warmth, and live more meaningful and fulfilling lives. Its ultimate goal is “Enlightenment” — direct insight into the nature of reality. It gives us a tried and tested set of practices and teachings that help us move towards Enlightenment by a process of spiritual growth.

The role of community

Buddhism emphasises the need for a community of kindred spirits to help us along this path — without the support and inspiration of like-minded people, it is almost impossible to make much progress. So with the West Wales Buddhist Group, one of our aims is to create a spiritual community that helps us all fulfil our spiritual potential. In a world of increasing cynicism and individualism, many people feel a deep need for such contact.

Try it out!

For thousands of years people have found that the practices of Buddhism really do work, leading to better mental states, clearer vision, and more meaningful lives. But don’t take our word for it — try it for yourself. To find out about our introductory classes see the Events page.

Our style of Buddhism

The spiritual tradition we call Buddhism was started by The Buddha,  “The One Who Has Woken Up”, about 2500 years ago in Northern India. In the millennia since his death Buddhism has adapted to many different societies, finding ways to express the Buddha’s vision in different cultures and historical eras. So what we now call Buddhism consists of many different schools that developed to suit a particular time and place — we have Tibetan Buddhism, Southeast Asian Buddhism, the Zen and Pure Land traditions of Japan, and many others.

Now that Buddhism has arrived in the West it needs to find a form that suits this time and place. So members of the Triratna Buddhist Order aim to present a form of Buddhism that is grounded in the core teachings and practices that underlie all the different ethnic schools of Buddhism. We are not Tibetan Buddhists, Zen Buddhists, Theravada Buddhists, Nichiren Buddhists, or Pure Land Buddhists — we are simply Buddhists, basing ourselves on the core teachings, but open to the richness of the whole tradition.

Controversy intermittently arises about some aspects of Triratna’s history, including our founder Sangharakshita’s sexual activity in the 1970s and 1980’s.  As a movement we are trying to look at these areas with as much openness as possible.  If you would like more information about these controversial areas and Triratna’s current process, here’s a link to relevant pages on Triratna’s website, or feel free to open the subject with any Order member.

 Thanks to Sheffield Buddhist Centre for much of page content.

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