The UK’s Network of Engaged Buddhists recently announced its decision to dissolve itself and hand over its assets to the NBO.
At a meeting at the end of May, the membership published this announcement – including the interesting observation that NEB’s closure reflects a growth rather than a decline in Socially Engaged Buddhism:
“The Network of Engaged Buddhists has today (24th May 2014) dissolved formally as an organisation in line with the conditions of its constitution. Its membership met to reconcile and ratify this decision after a protracted period of consideration of the organisation’s future and earlier consultations.
There are a variety of reasons why NEB has wound up its operations, these include: membership numbers in decline as many sanghas in the UK have their own engaged Buddhist groups and sub-groups There are many other diverse forms of Buddhism in new and more traditional groups and in mindfulness movements associated with Buddhist engagement in a practical sense.
In consideration of this ever changing phenomenon it is recognised that NEB’s lack of a public profile does not suggest a decline in Socially Engaged Buddhism (SEB), in fact the contrary is the case, and SEB in the UK is alive and well.
Groups that function within the ethos of SEB or are associated with its methods and thinking in some way, include: Amida Trust, Buddhist chaplaincy movement, the NBO, Rigpa Trust, Rokpa Trust, SGI (UK), TarikiTrust, Triratna Buddhist Community, and a range of Zen/Chan organisations.
Whilst recognizing this change, we celebrate the creative and exciting work done by the Network of Engaged Buddhists, and we regret the loss of its national all-inclusive voice, upholding and promoting as it did the vision of a Radical Culture of Awakening so desperately needed. We know that its members will continue to serve Buddhism well and hope that such a national all–inclusive voice for Socially Engaged Buddhism will re-live and we wish everyone associated with NEB now or in the past, blessings in the Dharma.
Thanks should go to the various members who have been part of the executive over the years and to all members of NEB for their efforts. In particular, we would like to acknowledge with much gratitude the role of Ken Jones the founder of NEB, and its visionary and guide over more than three decades, He is now in his 85th year and continues to teach, offer retreats, write and archive his prolific work.
The assets of the organisation will be passed to the Network of Buddhist Organisations (NBO), as an infrastructure and umbrella Buddhist group. (This decision was unanimous at the dissolution meeting.)
NEB Dissolution Meeting Participants