The Triratna sangha is open to all those who wish to practise Buddhism within its community or who are sympathetic to our approach. Most people encounter Triratna through a meditation class at a Triratna centre. Everyone who has contact with Triratna is considered a friend. However someone who wants to make a particular connection with the Triratna Buddhist Community and develop friendships with members of the Order can ask to become a Mitra (which simply means ‘friend’ in Sanskrit).
The mitra community
In this context, a Mitra is someone who is actively involved in Triratna activities, and intends to continue practising the Dharma in this community. Becoming a Mitra marks a deepening of commitment. And, as far as possible, Order Members try to ensure that the spiritual needs of Mitras are met. There are special activities, including specific retreats, and study groups which follow a four-year course, covering the key aspects of the Buddha’s teaching and Sangharakshita’s approach to it. People ask to become a Mitra when they:
1. Consider that they are Buddhists.
2. Want to live in accordance with the five ethical precepts
3. Believe that the Triratna Buddhist Community is the appropriate spiritual community for them.
Once a person’s request to be a Mitra has been accepted, he or she takes part in a simple ceremony. This ritual is acknowledged by all Order Members. Wherever they go throughout the world, at all Triratna centres, they will be acknowledged as a Mitra, and Mitra activities will be open to them.
The Triratna Buddhist Community is essentially a community of people who are practising the Dharma together, encouraging each other in whatever way they can, and co-operating to create conditions to support their collective spiritual growth.
Take a look at the Dharma Training Course for Mitras.
The Buddhist Center: building community online