Updated: Mar 15
On February 16, people on the introductory course joined regulars in a Seven Fold Puja marking the death of the Buddha. A puja is a Buddhist ritual that includes chanting mantras and prostrating amongst other things. Some watched and learned and others joined in wholeheartedly. Comments afterwards were that it was "interesting", "enjoyable" and "a bit weird - but in a good way!". The nice thing is that those who came for the first time have since joined our regulars' classes at the centre.
A section of the evening was devoted to mitra ceremonies for Samantha Bodie and Alison Law who became mitras. Mitra is the Sanskrit word for friend. In the Triratna tradition if a person feels that, for the foreseeable future, they want to commit to practicing as a Buddhist within the Triratna community, the mitra ceremony is a way of publicly celebrating that. To become a mitra a person symbolically makes three declarations - "I feel that I am a Buddhist", "I am trying to practice the five Buddhist ethical precepts" and "I feel Triratna is the main context in which I want to practice".
Worcester Buddhist Centre Sangha retreat
At the begining of March a group of us went on retreat at Tirylan House retreat centre in the Brecon Beacons. It was a wonderfully relaxed weekend led by Nibbhaya in the rural surroundings of a retreat centre that's run by Viryanaya who is a former trustee of Worcester Buddhist Centre.