The Mitra Sangha
A Mitra Ceremony | Image © Satyadarshin 2012
Buddhafield is a part of the the Triratna Buddhist Community. Our sangha is open to all those who wish to practise Buddhism within Triratna. Most people encounter Triratna through a meditation class at an Triratna Centre. Everyone who has contact with Triratna is considered a Friend, however someone who wants to make a particular connection with the movement and develop friendships with Order members can ask to become a Mitra.
The Mitra Sangha
Mitra is a Sanskrit word meaning “friend”. In this context, a Mitra is someone who is actively involved in Triratna activities, and intends to continue practising the Dharma in this community.
Becoming a Mitra marks a deepening of commitment. And as far as possible Order members try to ensure that the spiritual needs of Mitras are met. There are special activities for Mitras, including specific retreats, and study groups which follow a three-year course; this covers the key aspects of the Buddha’s teaching and Sangharakshita’s approach to it.
People ask to become a Mitra when they themselves:
- consider that they are Buddhists
- want to live in accordance with the five ethical precepts
- believe that Triratna is the appropriate spiritual community for them.
The process is self-selecting and open to anyone. The only guideline is that people have been involved with Triratna for at least six months, and therefore have a reasonable sense of the movement they have chosen.
Once a person’s request to be a Mitra has been accepted, he or she takes part in a simple ceremony. This ritual is acknowledged by all Order members. Wherever they go throughout the world, at all Triratna centres, they will be acknowledged as a Mitra, and Mitra activities will be open to them.
Triratna is essentially a community of people who are practising the Dharma together, encouraging each other in whatever way they can, and co-operating to create conditions to support their collective spiritual growth.