The “Worldly Winds” (video)

October 7, 2011

In this 20-minute talk, prepared for Day 1 of Triratna’s 2011 International Urban Retreat, Vajragupta introduces the eight Worldly Winds.

Known in traditional Buddhism as the Lokadhammas, they are eight ways in which the world can ‘blow us around’ – gain and loss, pleasure and pain, fame and infamy, and praise and blame.

The Urban Retreat runs worldwide from Saturday October 8th – 15th, for more details see Over 50 buddhist centres around the world are taking part, and many more individuals via the internet. All are welcome.

Pleasure and pain: the worldly winds

October 5, 2011

Vidyamala talks about the worldly winds of pleasure and pain as part of the Triratna Buddhist Community’s International Urban Retreat, where for one week (8 – 15 October, 2011) people around the world at Triratna centers intensify their practice while staying their your home situation. The Urban Retreat is about learning to make Buddhist practice real and effective in daily life.

You can see more Triratna videos at from

Why I call myself a Buddhist

May 27, 2011

When I became a Mitra (friend) of the Triratna Buddhist Community earlier this year, I was surprised by the surprise of my non-Buddhist friends. They seemed aggrieved.

This was the general message:

‘We know you’ve benefited from meditation, and going on silent retreats. Although that’s not our idea of a holiday, we’re pleased for you. But why spoil everything by espousing a weird Eastern religion? Can’t you keep it secular? And if you have to be religious (though God knows why) can’t you stick to your own? OK, maybe not the Church. But what’s wrong with the Quakers? They sit in silence and meditate, don’t they?’

Fair enough questions. And I tried to answer them. … Read more »

Bodhipaksa interviewed on television program

March 11, 2011

Click here to view video on YouTube.

This piece about Aryaloka Buddhist Center, where I teach, was on New Hampshire’s WMUR two weeks ago. The did a great job, I thought, of showing what Aryaloka’s like. The only unfortunate thing was that they couldn’t film a “real” gathering of the Sangha — at the Tuesday Sangha Night there are usually 40 to 50 people in attendance — and so we had to round up a few strays in order to stage a meditation and discussion group.

“The Yogi’s Joy,” by Sangharakshita

June 11, 2010

"The Yogi's Joy," by SangharakshitaHow would you feel if your teacher burned your book collection? A new book by Sangharakshita highlights a challenging friendship between a Tibetan guru and his disciple.

A good dharma book is humbling. It is like a spiritual friend who isn’t afraid of cutting through our defenses in the service of positive change. Sangharakshita’s new book, exploring three songs of Milarepa, challenged me in this way. The material is compiled from edited transcripts of seminars Sangharakshita gave to members of the Triratna Buddhist Order (formerly the Western Buddhist Order) in the late 70’s, about Milarepa, his songs and the spiritual life. The songs chosen are about spiritual friendship and its challenges. We get to see … Read more »

Meditation, the Buddhist way, attracts many

Sandeep Survade, a student at the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics found it difficult to manage his outbursts and his temper ended up driving people away from him. This was five years ago. But now after practicing meditation, the Buddhist way, he has been able to keep the negative energy at bay and focus better at studies.

“A lot of people from all walks of life come to us as the fundamentals of Buddhist teachings are beyond caste and creed and focus on human beings. The Buddha said that meditation was important to keep the mind calm and lead a good, disciplined life. In today’s times of excessive stress this is relevant, ” said … Read more »

Can meditation stop me getting angry?

April 10, 2010

A few months ago, I tore up a copy of Grazia and spat on it because I had decided my byline was too small. So a friend, who witnessed the assault, suggested I try meditation. “It might help you with your anger,” she said, observing the drool dribbling over my chin and on to the magazine. “But I like living my life in homage to An American Werewolf in London,” I replied. “No, you don’t,” she said. “And I have seen you shouting at buses.”

It seems that meditation does have health benefits, particularly for neurotics with anger and anxiety issues such as myself. This week American academics published the results of their research into … Read more »

Buddhism goes home

October 6, 2009

Sangharakshita, 1967Sangharakshita, an English Buddhist, lived for 20 years in the East before returning to Britain in the 1960s. Sangharakshita made a return visit to India in 1984, reconnecting with former-untouchables who had been led to Buddhism by Dr. Ambedkar, himself a former untouchable who had become the country’s law minister. Nagabodhi describes one evening of that tour.

Each night Sangharakshita introduces a fresh range of teachings, and explains aspects of Buddhist practice, basing his commentaries on a host of traditional formulations: the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, the Threefold Way, the Seven Limbs of Enlightenment, the Five Spiritual Faculties…. His discourses are peppered with stories, jokes, anecdotes, and examples from the life of the … Read more »

9/11: Meditate to Liberate

September 11, 2009

Twin Towers, 9/11On the anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center, we bring the story of how one Buddhist chose to respond by challenging the consciences of those whose business is to promote the sale of weapons war.

9/11 changed everything. We all knew that — the only question was, how? The US government’s “war on terrorism” was swiftly launched and a deep conviction arose in me that this was not the way to go. In their fervor our leaders, especially America’s, seemed utterly oblivious of the simple truth that violence breeds violence. Their response seemed opportunistic and vindictive, Bush’s rhetoric duplicitous and deeply worrying, our leaders seemed uninterested in peacemaking. To me, and perhaps … Read more »

Inside Story

May 6, 2009

The Great EscapeWhat makes a prisoner? Sarvananda, a prison Buddhist chaplain, has an inside view of life in jail; and he reflects that we are all prisoners of our mental states

Twice a week for the past seven years I have visited Norwich Prison in eastern England, in my capacity as a Buddhist chaplain. Recently I have been wondering why I am drawn to this work. Apart from the desire to spread the Dharma and the fact that my teacher Sangharakshita has encouraged his disciples to undertake such work, a certain fascination has drawn me to prison visiting — a fascination with prison life itself and with the people I meet.

I was brought up in an … Read more »