Saturday, April 24, 2010 way of Maine

Now to the Northeastern extremity of the United States...Maine, where in capital city Portland the Nagaloka Buddhist Center has rooted itself in a downtown space.

Nagaloka is affiliated with FWBO, Friends of the Western Buddhist Order. The FWBO has recently changed its name to The Triratna Buddhist Community. Founded in 1967 by England native Urgyen Sangharakshita, the movement has a global path, with FWBO/Triratna affiliated groups, dharma and retreat centers in many countries. The movement is non-sectarian, drawing from Theravada, Hinayana and Vajrayana teachings and practices. Triratna's blog is very active and dynamic, with updates from many regions of the globe.

What strikes me immediately with this community is precisely how international and vast its span is, but also the emphasis on relating practice to modern life. Their website covers the extensive activities of the community, including prison programs, publications, school programs, approaches to 'right livelihood' businesses and numerous other social programs and activities reflecting the deep social engagement of many of the centers.

The central philosophy informing all Triaratna Buddhist Community activities is
"Going for Refuge to the Three Jewels," the three jewels representing the Buddha (historical figure as well as our own potential for enlightenment), Dharma (teachings) and Sangha (community). The new name for the community, Triratna, itself means Three Jewels and will be celebrated in a collective name change ceremony this May

Image above of Nagoloka's space in Maine from FWBO's news site. Visit their blog here.

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