Dharmavidya David Brazier is the Spiritual Teacher and Head of the
Amida Order, a Socially Engaged Pureland Buddhist School. He is the
acclaimed author of a number of books including The Feeling Buddha, Zen
Therapy, Who Loves Dies Well and The New Buddhism.
Yesterday I was a guest, as a member of the Chaplaincy team at Northumbria University, at the Congregation at which Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate.
As Buddhist Chaplain at Newcastle University, I was a member of the
academic procession at two Congregations last week, at one of which
Rachel Abel, Amida-shu member, received her degree. This was the first
time that Buddhist robes have been worn in the academic procession at
I'm very happy to have been appointed as a member of the Northumbria University
Chaplaincy team on Friday. This Chaplaincy was set up as multi-faith
but has only had Christian chaplains to date. I am a full member of
the team, acting as Buddhist Contact person, with responsibility for
the needs of Buddhists at the university, for the first year, after
which I will be Buddhist Chaplain, with responsibility for the
spiritual needs of all students and staff. I have been Buddhist
Chaplain at the other university in the city, Newcastle University, for the past four years
'Real poverty is despair and hopelessness, and it is also a moral
issue', said Professor Brink (the new Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University). 'Universities should take part in these
issues, and I am pleased to have joined an institution that is taking a
moral stand against poverty'.
Last Tuesday I joined the World Poverty Day walk, which started at Newcastle University, walked through the city centre and ended at the Millennium Bridge. The university reported it thus:
Students and staff have marked the official United Nations day of
action for the eradication of world poverty, known as World Poverty
Day, with a 'stand up and speak out' event on the University campus.
The event was organised by Nicola Martin, President of the Union
Society's U8 International Development Society, and Ethics and
Environment Officers, Katie Whitehouse and Jen Miller.
World Poverty Day 2007 was designated as a day of action in support
of the United Nations Millennium Campaign to promote fulfilment of the
eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
On Monday evening Sujatin attended a Service of Welcome and
Commissioning for the Honorary Chaplains (Christian) attached to the
Chaplaincy team at Newcastle University. As the only non-Christian
chaplain on campus, she represented both Buddhism and All Other Faiths.
Come and join us for this stimulating course at The Buddhist House. A Pureland Buddhist college where learning is both formal and informal
24-25 February 2007: Amida Buddhism as Cultural Analysis
Can ordinary people of faith change the world for the better or do we all have to be enlightened first?
It has been said that culture is all about attributing identities and endlessly elaborating them in new dimensions of expression and interpretation. If this is so, then one might hypothesise that spirituality
We started the day with Morning Service. How soft the heart feels to have Dharmavidya lead and Sally be Bellmaster and me a participant in my own shrine room. Then breakfast together with Peter. After this, fitting in two loads of washing, I walked down to Gosforth High Street to catch the bus to the University, where I attended a Welnet (Welfare Network) meeting. Home for 12:30 to make lunch for Sally and I. Sally had made soup for tonight. Dharmavidya was away, in Jesmond, meeting Mary Midgley. After lunch Sally and I rearranged and tidied the shrine room, so we can accommodate all the extra people who are coming tonight. Then we went to the supermarket to buy bread, biscuits, milk, pizzas, tea etc for tonight, and flowers for the new Quan Yin shrine we made earlier in the afternoon. I have had a half hour rest and am now about to go down to the kitchen to finish the soup and get the communal meal ready for 6pm. This will be followed by our meeting at 7:30pm