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Forty Years On: The Six Distinctive Emphases of the FWBO

Forty Years On: The Six Distinctive Emphases of the FWBO

Sangharakshita gave this talk at the Manchester Buddhist Centre on the 40th Anniversary of the founding of the Western Buddhist Order. He has some reminisences about the early days of the movement and considers what were the uniting factors of this diverse group of people. He continues by describing the six emphases of the FWBO, namely that Going for Refuge is Primary; the openness to men and women equally; the inspiration from all Buddhist scriptures; the importance of Spiritual Friendship; Team-based Right Livelihood; and the importance of the Arts in the spiritual life.

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This illuminating collection of previously unpublished talks traces the development of Sangharakshita’s presentation of the Dharma in the West from 1965 to 2011.

Drawing on a wide range of sources, from the Pāli canon and The Tibetan Book of the Dead to Beowulf and William Wordsworth, there are many intriguing perspectives: an exploration of Buddhist psychology, the histories of great teachers like Padmasambhava and Atīśa, reflections on going forth, creativity, the demons around and within us, the role of the will in the spiritual life, and much more. The final talks in the volume, given towards the end of Sangharakshita’s life, are more personal, and they include reflections on dreams, old age and rebirth.

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