Report: NBO annual gathering

Around 30 people from 14 different Buddhist groups met on Saturday 5th November for the Network of Buddhist Organisations’ annual gathering, hosted by the Burmese Buddhist community at the Birmingham Buddhist Vihara in Ladywood.

It was wonderful to meet in person and connect with so many people.

The afternoon began with an amazing meal, which gave people time to connect with one another before the formal proceedings began. We then enjoyed seeing the pagoda and hearing a little of its history before receiving a blessing from the head monk, Ven. Uttaranyana.

We heard highlights of the work that NBO has been engaged in over the last year, in religious education, chaplaincy, interfaith work, in our Eco Dharma network and in Safeguarding training for Buddhist charities. I’m always impressed how much a small group of people working with dedication is able to accomplish.

The theme of the afternoon was ‘Awakening: Individual and Collective’. We heard talks from Andy Wistreich from FPMT, Samacitta Muller from Triratna and Enrique Galvan Alvarez, a Jodo Shinshu priest. The talks were lively, engaging and thought provoking. There was a great sense of energy coming from the group discussions that followed and in the final Q&A and summing up.

Thanks to all of our speakers and to the NBO committee members who presented, sent in reports and helped organise the day. Thanks to the Birmingham Buddhist VIhara who hosted us so well, and thanks to everyone that attended and bought their attention and engagement.

Some of the groups that attended are below. (Apologies if your group was there and we didn’t make a note.)

Amaravati Buddhist Monastery
Amida Shu
Awakened Heart Sangha
Birmingham Buddhist Vihara
Bright Earth
Buddhist Healthcare Chaplaincy Group
Community of Interbeing
Footsteps (Birmingham Council of Faiths)
Herefordshir Interfaith Group
Order of Buddhist Contemplatives
Sheffield Insight Meditation
Triratna Buddhist Order and Community

Kaspa Thompson
Chair, NBO