Our vision is a world inspired by Bhante Urgyen Sangharakshita’s presentation of the Dharma, as expressed through his teachings, friendships, and the Order he founded.
We believe Bhante provided the indefinable spirit that gives the Triratna Community its life and energy.
Our objectives are to increase the public profile of, understanding of, and confidence in, Urgyen Sangharakshita’s life and teachings.
Last year, we surveyed 646 people on their relation to Sangharakshita. Our aim was to ascertain how our work of helping people deepen their relationship with Sangharakshita is going, and how we might build on it.
Many of the data collected are self-reported subjective measures which become much more useful when compared over time. In this way, this initial survey was a ‘baseline’ of how people felt in 2022, and in a few years we hope to do a similar survey and compare the results. That being said, there are some interesting insights already.
72% of respondents were Order Members. 13% were GFR mitras. 10% were mitras. The remaining 5% were a spread of newcomers and long-term regulars.
We asked people questions such as “How do you feel about him as a person on a scale of 1 to 7?” then similar for his teachings, and also various places to find information about him.
The overall average score of feelings about him and his teachings was 5.7 out of 7. His teachings was slightly higher at (6) and as a person slightly lower (5.4).
Mitras and newcomers average feelings about him as a person were 4.2 and 4 respectively. For teachings, it was a higher disparity: 5.5 and 3.6. So mitras feel positively about his teachings, but on average neutral about him as a person. GFR Mitras feel much more positively, which suggests that feelings about him as a person could be a block for some people asking for ordination (and/or after they ask for ordination they start feeling more positively about him). This gap is reflected in how well people feel they know him; i.e. the better people feel they know him, the more positively they feel about him – and the more comfortable they feel talking about him to newcomers.
We have more interesting insights to share on this survey – but this report isn't the place. If you'd like to see our full survey report, please do get in touch.
These days, if someone wants to find out more about a Buddhist teacher, they’re likely to search their name on Google. It’s important that what they find reflects Sangharakshita’s character and achievements.
So we’re very happy that 2022 saw the launch of the new Sangharakshita.org, a website to showcase Bhante’s life and work.
After the site's initial release, we updated the site with an exciting new multimedia telling of his life story, which reached thousands around the world as released each chapter periodically.
We’ve also started the process of cataloguing all of Bhante’s work on the site, linking to the audio and books available on our partner’s sites – FreeBuddhistAudio and Windhorse Publications – and providing more access to works previously unreleased, so that Bhante’s huge oeuvre is more accessible than ever to those looking for the Dharma online.
In his will, Bhante left his collection of thousands of photographs to our Trust, some of which were given to him by friends such as Dhardo Rimpoche and Terry Delamare.
In 2021, with support from FutureDharma Fund, we launched the Triratna Picture Library – a rich resource of high quality photographs from Triratna’s history. Mokshapriya continues to upload more and more beautiful images, and there are now over 4,500 available.
This is a resource for Triratna – high quality images are vital for creating good marketing material for our Dharma activities. Fifteen centres and groups are currently supporting this project through licenses to use the images, including Padmaloka, London Buddhist Centre, York, and even Tokyo.
All the images in this report are from the Triratna Picture Library.
“The Complete Works give us something we’ve never had before: a full and coordinated collection of Sangharakshita’s writings and teachings, organised in an accessible way. It will come into its own when it’s finished, with the final volume being a kind of index that will tie the whole collection together.”
Progress on the Complete Works continues – we’re now two thirds complete with 24 of 27 now released. The newest volumes to be released are:
Volume 8: Beating the Dharma Drum: India Writings II
A collection of writings about Anagarika Dharmapala, articles written for the Maha Bodhi Journal, and book reviews written for various magazines.
Volume 15: Pali Canon Teachings and Translations
Sangharakshita's translation of the Dhammapada, plus his commentaries on Pali texts, including Living With Awareness and Living With Kindness.
Volume 17: Wisdom Teachings of the Mahayana
Based on seminars conducted in 1976 and 1978, each offers a lesson in how to think critically about Mahayana Buddhist teachings, and how to apply them to day-to-day life.
Translations! The world needs the Dharma and it is reading or hearing it in your mother-tongue that most surely reaches the heart. I sit on the International Triratna Translations Board (ITTB), advocating for the translation of Bhante Sangharakshita’s works. We want to see that they are translated to as high a standard as possible into as many languages as possible.
In 2022 we allocated funding – granted by the European Chairs Assembly and FutureDharma Fund– for translation projects, including a translation of Sangharakshita’s memoir Facing Mount Kanchenjunga into Polish, his translation of the Dhammapada into Swedish, Living Wisely into Spanish, and a Sangharakshita trilogy into Estonian. Recognising how much more needs to be done for translation work in Triratna, I strongly advocated for the ITTB to have its own part-time supported Coordinator and we were fortunate in obtaining grant money from FutureDharma Fund.
In June 2022 the inspired and experienced Swedish translator Viryabodhi took up the post as ITTB Coordinator, with whom I have the pleasure of working closely.
“I never met Bhante in this life, so this work is a way of coming into close contact with my teacher and activating my ordination. In a certain way it feels like practising the Guru Yoga is my day job!”
“Helping create the conditions that support a personal engagement with Bhante is a privilege. Working within the Trust helps me honour my commitment to Bhante and has been a delight.”
“After working closely with Bhante for many years on his literary output, I am very pleased to help support and promote his legacy in whatever way I can and appreciate the opportunity to liaise with the many generous supporters of this project.”
In 2022, we said goodbye and thank you to Sarvapala for many years of service looking after our Trust’s accounts.
In 2023 we welcome Visarada to fulfil the accounting role.
Set up in 1974 to publish Sangharakshita’s writing, Windhorse is one of our key partners as the publisher of the Complete Works. We’ve also been collaborating this year to promote Nagabodhi’s fantastic new book Sangharakshita: The Boy, The Monk, The Man.
FreeBuddhistAudio and TheBuddhistCentre.com are fantastic jewels in the Triratna world. We’ve been delighted to see the new FBA, with Bhante having more prominence, and continue to work strategically together with regular conversations about our future plans. Dharmachakra also built the Triratna Picture Library with us.
Triratna’s main fundraising body has part-funded the Triratna Picture and Video Libraries, and the Complete Works, and has also provided us with invaluable support on our own fundraising.
Bhante’s final home and resting place holds an indispensable role in Triratna’s future. In addition to Urgyen House and the burial mound, Adhisthana have begun their Teaching Community project to help people more deeply understand Bhante's teaching. This project has our involvement and full support.
In August, Prajnaketu made an appeal as part of the event “Going Beyond: The Future of the Dharma”, a special part of the UK & Ireland Order Convention, along with four other Triratna charities. We asked for people to support us ongoingly with £25 per month and received an extra £3,072 per year.
In November, Suryanaga and Prajnaketu got on the phone to our donors to talk to them about our work and in some cases ask if they’d like to increase their donation. We thoroughly enjoyed more direct contact with our donors, who helped us to raise an extra £3,640 per year.
Urgyen House, Sangharakshita.org, and the media library websites are all routes for people to give one-off donations if they are so moved. In 2022 we received £3,615 in one-off donations.
We’re working to create a complete and searchable archive of Sangharakshita's work across all media – an invaluable tool for scholars, students, and practitioners alike. It will provide easy access to his teachings, enabling them to be studied, analyzed, and applied in various contexts. This archive will preserve his legacy, making it available to future generations seeking spiritual guidance and inspiration.
After the success of 'Precious Teachers' in our beautiful exhibition space, we invite you to explore our brand new exhibition 'Foundations', which explores the crucial six-year period including Sangharakshita's return to the UK and the founding of 'a new Buddhist movement'. Visit in person at Adhisthana, and online.
As mentioned in the finance section, we’ve worked hard to bring more funds into our Trust over the last year, but there are still some areas of work which we haven’t had the resources to address yet.
We hope to turn our efforts towards these projects, among others, in due course, when we have the available resources:
We’d love to hear your thoughts on our work.
Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
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