Systems & Structures
To enable it to function effectively, the College needs to meet frequently and implement systems that support its work.
In this section, we look at the nuts and bolts of the College:
Adhisthana, the ‘home’ of the College; the Kula system, which is the organisational structure of the College; Finances; and two documents that explain in detail what the responsibilities of the College are, and its working arrangements.
Home of the College
Adhisthana is set in beautiful English countryside near the Malvern Hills, not far from the Welsh border. It is the home of the College of Public Preceptors and usually at least three Public Preceptors live there. Once a year, currently in November, Adhisthana hosts an international gathering of Public Preceptors from all around the world.
Adhisthana stands at the heart of Triratna and provides a focal point where people from all over the world can meet, study and practise together, formally and informally, in large and small numbers. It’s a place where that deepening experience of teaching and practice can be shared, and where the commonality of practice that a growing international spiritual community needs can be maintained.
The Triratna Community is based upon Sangharakshita’s particular presentation of the Dharma, which, whilst remaining faithful to the historical Buddha’s own teachings, also honours the best in all the schools of Buddhism. Sangharakshita’s approach allows for a system of teaching and practice that continues to unfold and evolve as times change and experience grows.
Adhisthana is now the burial site of Urgyen Sangharakshita, and home to his library, archives and thangkas, as well as housing two residential communities.
THE KULA SYSTEM
No single Public Preceptor can decide by themselves to ordain someone. That decision has to be ratified by a Kula of at least five Public Preceptors. In time we hope to have a Kula of male Public Preceptors and a Kula of female Public Preceptors in every specially designated Area of the world where Triratna is active – UK & Europe, Australia & New Zealand, India and the Americas – and we are steadily working to that end. At present, experienced Public Preceptors from outside a particular Area may make up numbers, and also work with a Kula in training new Public Preceptors.
Much of the day-to-day work of overseeing ordination training is done by the Kulas and the Ordination teams they work with. This makes the coming together of the whole College at the International College Meeting at Adhisthana each year all the more important in maintaining unity of vision and understanding. After the International Meeting is a two-day Forum for representatives of all the Kulas, specifically charged with the task of maintaining a unified approach to ordination training around the world, as well as sharing experience and learning.
The College relies largely on donations from Order members and mitras for funding. Currently expenditure exceeds income, but two bequests in recent years have helped maintain a healthy reserve, thus avoiding our need to ask for further help at present.
We aim to use our funds as effectively as possible, supplementing the income of a number of Public Preceptors who would otherwise have to find outside work so they can work more full time for Triratna. It is still only a minority of Public Preceptors who are funded, partially or wholly, from College funds.
If you would like to support the College with a regular donation please follow this link.
PRINCIPLES & PURPOSE
This section contains two important documents that help explain the responsibilities, structures and purpose of the College:
(1) Responsibilities of the College of Public Preceptors