Going Forth

Meeting the Buddha – Dedicated to Rosemary on her Going Forth

Samanartha writes: This article is based on a talk I gave to celebrate Rosemary’s leaving for her Ordination retreat. In it I’ve tried to evoke, if somewhat briefly, some of the myth and hence the importance of what she has embarked on.  Firstly, what do we mean by ‘the mythic’ or ‘myth’? In a Buddhist context we don’t use the term ‘myth’ in the sense of something not being true. Instead, the mythic is something like a deeply held belief, story, or organising principle that creates a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives. These myths are not ones in which we are observers but are something that we participate in and actively live out. For example, I’m a great uncle and when visiting my family recently I could see that living out the myth of the family is very important to them. It carries a strong sense of purpose and even of meaning for the people involved and is something that is obviously lived out. This, of course, is fully supported by society and is a very strong myth indeed. For some people, however, to only live out these common myths – such as those of the career or the family – seems lacking and unsatisfying in some way. And this propels some people to begin a search, a quest for something else, something that may include the myths of the career and family but is ultimately a vastly bigger myth. It is this quest for greater meaning that explains why many people arrive on the shores of Leeds Buddhist Centre. “In a way the Buddhist path... Read more