Dublin Buddhist Centre
The DUBLIN BUDDHIST CENTRE, or as it was formerly known THE DUBLIN MEDITATION CENTRE, is a part of the "The Friends of the Western Buddhist Order," who are usually known as the FWBO. Some friends and family members of current and ex-members of the FWBO have compiled the following report. Dialogue Ireland as is its practice publishes the web sites of both sides of this debate.
The FWBO self-consciously presents a form of Buddhism that, it claims, has been appropriately adapted from traditional forms It describes itself in publicity material as 'a world-wide Buddhist movement devoted to re-expressing the essential truths of the Buddhist tradition in ways appropriate to the modern world'. The FWBO believes that, while Buddhism is highly relevant to westerners because it teaches the Dharma (the truth of how things really are), the eastern forms in which the Dharma are embedded are irrelevant and, indeed, inappropriate for western people, whose cultural background necessitates a new approach. They are not concerned with maintaining the purity of a particular form of Asian Buddhism. On the contrary, Sangharakshita, who founded the movement in 1967, and his followers believe that there is richness across the Buddhist tradition, much of which can be brought together to create a new and effective form of Buddhism suitable for people in the East or the West of the contemporary world. The FWBO does not regard itself as either Theravada or Mahayana. According to its self-identity, it is neither one nor the other but instead incorporates elements from both. Its practitioners are, they claim, 'heirs to the whole of Buddhism.' "It seeks to be neither an importation of Buddhism to the West nor an adaptation of it; it seeks to be a re-expression of Buddhism in its new surroundings. In doing this the FWBO sees itself as following the example of Buddhist traditions throughout history that have been flexible and pragmatic in communicating Buddhist teachings in new environments, and yet have remained true to its core teachings and values." (FWBO website:http://www.fwbo.org/).
An earlier debate around issues associated with the FWBO can be found at: http://www.ex-cult.org/fwbo/
The FWBO's response appears at http://response.fwbo.org