Dharmachari Subhuti

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Subhuti
Born Alex Kennedy
1947
United Kingdom
Nationality British
Known for Buddhist teacher, author
Religion Buddhism (Triratna Buddhist Community)

Dharmachari Subhuti, originally Alex Kennedy, is a senior associate of Sangharakshita,[1] founder of the Triratna Buddhist Community (formerly the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO)), and President of the London Buddhist Centre. He has held various positions of leadership and has been instrumental in many developments in the community.[2][3]

Subhuti was influential in the building of the London Buddhist Centre, which opened in 1978, and he helped to raise funds from the Greater London Council for its completion. He developed training for men preparing to be ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order at Padmaloka retreat centre, near Norwich in England. He also helped to found Guhyaloka, a retreat centre in Spain, where men make final preparations to become members of the order.[2]

As well as being involved in the spread of the Dharma in the West, particularly in Britain, Subhuti spends six months each year working with the community's Indian wing, the Triratna Bauddha Mahāsaṅgha (TBM).[2][4]

Most of TBM's members are drawn from the poorest people in India, sometimes referred to as Dalits, or so-called 'untouchables'. The late Dalit leader, Dr. Ambedkar, converted to Buddhism, saying it was necessary to escape the caste oppression and discrimination which this group experienced. Hundreds of thousands of Dr Ambedkar's followers subsequently converted to Buddhism.

Following the turn of the millennium Subhuti raised concerns over the circumstances of some of Sangharakshita's past sexual relationships, and around the same time his chairmanship of Triratna's Preceptors College was handed on to Dharmachari Dhammarati.[5] In recent years Subhuti and Sangharakshita have been collaborating closely to produce a series of new articles clarifying and reemphasizing Triratna's core approach and principles.

Published works[edit]

Subhuti's books include Sangharakshita: A New Voice in the Buddhist Tradition,[6][7] which explores what Sangharakshita has contributed to the practice of Buddhism and the spread of Buddhism in the West. He has also published: "The Buddhist Vision"[8] (an introductory book on Buddhism), "Bringing Buddhism to the West" (a short biography on Sangharakshita), "Buddhism for Today",[7][9] "Women, men, and angels", and "Buddhism and Friendship".[citation needed]

In his book Buddhism and Friendship, Subhuti explores what he believes friendship can offer. He argues that, in the past, friendships were considered to be important relationships, whereas now, romantic relationships have taken the preeminent place which friendship once occupied.[citation needed]

He argues that friendship is an element in the Buddhist path to enlightenment, and continues afterwards. He gives as examples the Anirhuddins, three young men who had a close friendship which endured even after they had all attained enlightenment. Another example he gives is of the Buddha himself, whose relationship with Ananda lasted for the last 20 years.[citation needed]

References[edit]

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