Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hearing The Cries Of The World

Coming up soon at Taraloka, the FWBO’s retreat centre in Shropshire, is a new retreat ‘Making A Difference’. It’s based on ‘The Work that Reconnects’ - a powerful set of exercises that enable us to look clearly at the state of world around us and our emotional responses to it. Doing this opens the way to us, in turn, taking our part in creating an ethical and sustainable future. It was developed by the American Buddhist Joanna Macy and has been taken up by a number of Order Members, several of whom have attended Joanna’s training retreats both in the US and Britain.
‘Making A Difference’ will be led by three of these: Parami, Akuppa and Maitrisara. It takes place on the 20th to 27th June and the following weekend, 27th to 29th June, will be specifically for people who may like to facilitate this work within the F/WBO, creating a working network within our movement.

Parami especially has had contact with Joanna Macy, and writes “What fires me and seems to be very inspiring to people is an increasing exploration and understanding of the links between the WTR and the Dharma and - perhaps especially - how the two can work together to form a community of people dedicated to working effectively in our troubled world but from a place of inner peace and meditative awareness. Applied Bodhisattva Ideal in other words. Conditionality in action”.

She goes on to say “In April I attended a weekend in Bath for people facilitating the WTR in the UK. Joanna and Fran Macy were there. Joanna had just been speaking in Findhorn and had asked a couple of the people that she has worked with for many years to organise a get-together of facilitators. I was able to go along and was able to catch up with Joanna and talk through a few things. She was, as always, very excited to hear about the developments of the WTR within the F/WBO. Although she is not coming on the retreat in June she wanted to reiterate her confidence in our working with the WTR and she wanted us to know that we have her "deepest blessings". She would love to hear from me how the retreat goes and also wants me to keep in touch with her more generally.

“On the topic of the retreat itself, I feel excited about what we might do and inspired to have the chance to go more deeply into the dharmic base of our working with the WTR as a community. I have a strong interest in using systems theory to explore how open a community our community is. I would greatly enjoy co-creating ways of being a more effective force for good.

“I think, as a community, we have such a lot going for us. Of course, there is much work to be done in the face of grave and dangerous challenges in the world today. I think forming community is a part of the creative response to those challenges and I hope this retreat can play a part in strengthening our community as a force for good in the world”.

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