Triratna Buddhist Community

The Triratna Buddhist Community is an international Buddhist movement with centers in over forty countries.

The Triratna Buddhist Community was originally founded as the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order in 1967 in London by Urgyen Sangharakshita, an Englishman who had returned to the West from Asia with twenty years experience as a Buddhist monk and scholar. While in Asia he studied under teachers of the Theravada, Chinese Ch’an, and Tibetan Vajrayana traditions. His thorough understanding of the teachings of Buddhism and his solid grounding in Western culture have enabled him to present a body of teachings that are particularly suited to the Western student.

At the heart of the Triratna Buddhist Community is the Triratna Buddhist Order, an association of  over fifteen hundred women and men who have formally committed themselves to wholeheartedly pursuing their own spiritual development and facilitating that of others.

Order members, or mitras, are those who are deepening their contact with Buddhism and the order. Friends are those who participate in Triratna Buddhist Community activities but have made no formal commitment to practicing the Dharma within the context of the Triratna Buddhist Community. Friends often live, work, and practice together, some of them running public centers, some working in team-based right livelihood businesses, and many living in Buddhist residential communities.

The Triratna Buddhist Community is a remarkably diverse organization, including people of many nationalities, from all walks of life, and living a wide range of lifestyles, both lay and monastic.

The Triratna Buddhist Community was formerly called the Western Buddhist Order. In 2010 the Western Buddhist Order and its sister-order in India, Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha Sahayak Gana, were renamed as the Triratna Buddhist Order, while the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order was renamed the Triratna Buddhist Community. Triratna means “three jewels,” in reference to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.