Friday, November 03, 2006

Vajradarshini on Ordination Training

Autumn is here and I’m thinking back to summer and the chairman’s meeting where I tried to sum up what training for ordination we are doing at Tiratanaloka, what’s changed and what’s the same. Padmavajra was doing the same thing on behalf of the team at Padmaloka.

So what was all that Talk of ‘Decentralisation’?
Have you noticed there’s been a lot of talk about ‘decentralisation’? As if there really was a ‘centralised’ process and that overnight the whole process would be ‘decentralised’.

Ordination training has never been completely centralised, whatever someone is doing to deepen their practice and understanding of the order, that is training, its happened wherever people have been practicing.

But something has changed.

Has Tiratanaloka’s Role Changed?
Training here had two aspects: One was the retreats we offered; they are specifically ‘training for ordination’ retreats. The other was that the ordination team here was the ‘recommending body’ the people who, having gathered all the information, would recommend someone for ordination to the public preceptors.

It is the second of these that have changed, the ordination team here are no longer ‘the recommending body’, so who is?

Where is my ‘Centre of Gravity’?
Each woman wanting to join the order will have their own ‘centre of gravity’; this is where and with whom their practice takes place and manifests. This can take as many different forms as there are women. It is from this ‘centre of gravity’, i.e. the woman herself, her friends in the order, her prospective private preceptor, where the recommendation will come. Of course someone’s ‘centre of gravity’ may be at Tiratanaloka, but that is often no longer the case.

So are all the Centres Running their Own Going for Refuge Retreats?
Some centres may be, particularly outside of the UK, but most UK centres won’t have the resources to do this, or won’t want to provide something that we are already able to provide. Most women will still be doing that aspect of their training with us. Though there are more and more valuable retreats being run throughout the movement and these too are an essential part of a broader part of training for ordination.

Why Come to Tiratanaloka?
We Exist

I’ve been feeling that there is something about the existence of Tiratanaloka that seems to have value, before we actually ‘do’ anything. We exist as a community of Dharmacharinis living, working, and practising together. We are here because we feel these are conducive conditions for us to practice in and we want to create those conditions for other women.
We Specialise
There are three aspects to what we do:
1. Run retreats which will help women to deepen their Going for Refuge.
2. All our retreats aim to bring about a deeper understanding of the Order.
3. We offer a personal ongoing connection and guidance for those who want it.

We have a New Framework of Retreats
We continue to cover all the essential themes while keeping our own creative edge with the freedom to explore them in ways that we consider current and appropriate. See our new programme and website for details.