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Western Buddhist Order

edited February 2008 in Sanghas
Hey guys.

So, i'm looking for buddhist centres in my locality and found a couple, one of which is the Western Buddhist Order. I haven't actually been yet, but plan to when my shifts allow. With what has been said about dodgy teachers though, i thought it best to ask some questions.

Apparently there exists some contoversy, something about 'technically valid ordination' - which they don't subscribe to. You can see their side of the story here:

Also it mentions the founder having sexual relations with students. A sexually active monk? That doesn't sound right to me.

They also say they are a very liberal branch of buddhism, but i'm not sure what this means - guess i'll find out when i go as i'm interested to find out myself.

Anyway, i'd appreciate any input on this one, thank guys.


  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran
    edited January 2007
    Dear Florin,

    If you want to read an opponent's view of Sangharakshita:
  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran
    edited January 2007
    Sangharakshita reminds me strongly of one Jeffrey Archer, Lord Perjure of Whopping.
  • PalzangPalzang Veteran
    edited January 2007
    Once again, I would urge the importance of lineage in considering whether to go to a particular center or temple. It is clear from the link Simon provided that Sangrakshita has no lineage or training to speak of, and his "religion" is self-invented. That to me is a great big red warning flag. I'd recommend sticking with the tried and true, lineages that have produced countless enlightened beings in their history and continue to do so today. How many have the FWBO produced?

  • not1not2not1not2 Veteran
    edited January 2007
    That article you provided, Simon, seems to be very solid & straightforward (not to mention well annotated). I would consider it wise for all here to be hesitant to join FWBO & do a lot of research & asking around first, if they choose to do so. As the saying goes, "don't take any wooden nickels." And these are more important matters than finances.

    Thanks for bringing this issue to my attention.

  • edited January 2007

    I started out at the FWBO. They have a very nice centre just five minutes from where I work, with what I think is a particularly beautiful shrine. The people there were friendly, quiet, and did not attempt to change or challenge my sexuality (though I guess the link Simon posted - thank you Simon - wasn't suggesting this happened as soon as one walked through the door!).

    I didn't stay there for a number of reasons, the main one being I found myself more at home somewhere else. But I don't think my time there harmed me. I wouldn't be put off from having a look and making up your own mind - but I would certainly look elsewhere as well. Being in London you won't be short of places to look!

  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran
    edited January 2007
    There's nothing like religion to bring out the worst in people!
  • MagwangMagwang Veteran
    edited February 2008
    hmmm...I had a cuppa with some nice people here last Tuesday. I sneaked away from meetings while on business in Glasgow last week to sit for a while...also went to the Bar Budda across the street for a pint.

    GBC.jpg 83.3K
  • edited February 2008
    I've had no personal experience at all with FWBO (AFAIK, the aren't active in Canada). But I have heard a bit of the controversy around them. It appears that the organisation has been trying to come to grips with its difficult past, and made a number of structural changes to avoid similar abuses in future. Read more here:

    I'd still be cautious of getting involved with that group, and the lack of ordination lineage/ dharma transmission makes it sound more like a kind of meditation club than a traditional dharma assembly. It depends on what you're looking for - as a peer group to support your practice it seems probably OK. If you're looking for a 'good knowing advisor,' I'd suggest trying somewhere else instead.
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