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Eight Guidelines

The Eight Guidelines are a set of questions intended to help you reflect on your practice. Each of the eight covers an area that is significant to the life of a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order.

The Guidelines are not a checklist of criteria to determine readiness for ordination. Rather, they acknowledge that everyone has their own unique path of practice, and they are intended to help you to shape and articulate what that might look like for you.

At the same time, we practice as part of a community with certain common principles and approaches to the Dharma. Thus there are interwoven themes of individuality and commonality that are helpful to explore together. The aim is not only to spur self-reflection, but also to spark dialogue with your kalyana mitras, study leaders, and preceptor.

The Eight Guideline: 

  • Going for Refuge

  • Ethical Practice

  • Meditation + Mind Training

  • Understanding the Dharma (as taught by Bhante)

  • The Mythic Context

  • Spiritual Friendship

  • Understanding the Principles of Triratna Community + Order

  • Altruistic Dimension

Further Reading:

The Ordination Handbook

The Tiratanaloka Handbook on the Eight Guidelines.

And the videos below where members of the Preceptors College offer their reflections.

Going for Refuge: Sincerity and Effectiveness

Ratnavyuha, from Auckland, New Zealand, and Ratnadharini from the UK, start off the series of informal, personal conversations between Public Preceptors about the Eight Guidelines for Ordination Training.

Ethical Practice

Maitripala, from Melbourne, Australia, and Santavajri from the UK, discuss the theme of Ethical Practice, covering aspects of sensitivity, remorse and confession.

Meditation and Mind Training

Parami, from Glasgow, Scotland, and Paramachitta, from Valencia, Spain, discuss their meditation practice and its value in their dharma life.

(Spanish with English Subtitles)


Understanding the Dharma 

Jnanavaca and Maitreyabandhu, from London, UK, discuss the process of studying and understanding Sangharakshita’s distinctive presentation of the Dharma.

The Mythic Context

Maitreyi and Padmasuri, both from the UK, discuss their personal stories about connecting with the mythic context of dharma practice.

Spiritual Friendship

Subhadramati and Vajrashura, from London (UK) and Dublin (Ireland), reflect on the practice of spiritual friendship and the value of community.

Understanding the Principles of Triratna 

Karunadevi and Viradhamma, from California USA, share some of their reflections on the principles of the Triratna Order and Community.

The Altruistic Dimension

Amoghasiddhi and Amrutdeep, from Nagpur (India), reflect on the meaning and importance of the altruistic aspect of our ordination.

(Hindi with English Subtitles)

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