The Mitra Ceremony

On Saturday 7th March 2015 Sarah became a Mitra. In this way her intention to practise as a Buddhist became visible in a public way.There were about twenty of us to witness this event.

So what is a Mitra? A Mitra is someone who can make the following three declarations (even though these are not part of the ceremony itself).

1.                           I feel that I am a Buddhist. (I am trying to follow the teachings of the Buddha.)

2.                           I am trying to practise the five precepts. (These are guidelines for the spiritual life.)

           Not harming sentient beings but actively practising kindness.

           Not taking thongs that someone else is not willing to give but actively practising generosity.

           Not indulging our sexual or other cravings in ways that are harmful to others but practising stillness, simplicity and contentment.

           Not speaking falsely but making a definite practice of honesty.

           Not clouding our minds with drink or drugs but actively cultivating mindfulness and awareness.

3.                         I feel that the Triratna Buddhist Community is the main context in which I want to deepen my practice. ( So recognising that Sangharakshita, the founder of the Triratna Buddhist Community, is my main teacher  but other retreats outside of this Community as well as other Dharma  books are not excluded.)

If these three statements are true then anyone can become a Mitra. The ceremony itself is quite straight forward. It takes the form of a Puja and the Individual who is becoming a Mitra makes three offerings.

The three offerings are a candle which represents the light of wisdom, a flower which represents the beauty of the spiritual life (and also impermanence), and finally incense which represents ethical actions and the effect they have on the world. These three offerings also represent the three jewels (or Triratna) which are the Buddha , the Dharma and the Sangha.

As a result of the dana that was given at this session £100 was given to a fund for a three year old little boy called Romeo who Alayasri and Suddhacitta had met. This little boy is suffering from Purpura Fulminans which has led to him having both of his legs amputated. If you would like to read more about Romeo or donate some money yourself then you can click on the following link www.gofundme/lzphe0

Many thanks to all those who came and made it such a moving and successful day.

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