Triratna Buddhist Community
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“Don't expect anything from life and you won't be disappointed”
“Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it depends on what you put into it.”
“A disciple a day helps you work, rest and play"”
In the nineteenth century, Darwin delivered a knockout blow to God. Nietzsche followed this up with a stake through the heart. God was good and dead. This left Western Man with a problem: he wanted a religion that would let him carry on pretending he wasn't doomed to die, but he could no longer take Christianity seriously. The answer? Aha - Buddhism! No God, but endless rebirth. Perfect!
The Triratna Buddhist Community (Formerly the Western Buddhist Order) was founded in England, and this is no coincidence. The Church of England was a stroke of English genius: offering the comfort of religion without the embarassment of actually believing in anything, it portrayed the Godhead as a branch of the Royal Family. The death of God unsettled this. Western Buddhism filled the gap admirably: no need for God at all. All that is now needed is for the Tory Party to learn to meditate, and the English have that consummation devoutly to be wished: a god-free religion.The Buddha, like God, was clearly an Englishman.
Not only that, but the Triratna Buddhist Community (TBC) offers the world at large a second opportunity to learn to be Englishmen (after it loutishly rejected the efforts of the British Empire to civilise it). The Order has Centres all over the world, and has a large and increasing following in hell. Jimmy Savile himself has spoken approvingly of its founder. It has mounted raids on the lower Dhyanic heavens, which have so far been repulsed. To date its attempts to affiliate to Opus Dei, the Falange,the CIA and the Rotary Club have been unsuccessful, although a few London S&M clubs now extend visiting rights to members.
edit What the Order isThe founder Shagyasangha has famously defined the order as "the organisation of my catamites, the catamites of my catamites, their catamites, and so on". According to the NHS however the TBC is "an organisation of refuges for the mentally disturbed run on a co-operative basis", ie a madhouse run by the inmates.
edit What the Order is not
The order is NOT a collection of confused ex-hippies who rotted their brains with drugs back in the seventies and now wish they'd done something worthwhile with their lives. Definitely not.
edit A New Image
Re-branding can often give sales a boost when a product starts to lose its appeal. Just adding "New" to the name worked wonders for soap powders and the Labour Party. The head of the Order, Shagyasangha, has given much thought to finding a more relevant name for a Western Buddhist Order than (as it was then) "the Western Buddhist Order". Meditating deeply on the issue while sitting on the toilet one morning, he had a vision of "Father" Jack O'Buggery, the first Patriarch of Western Buddhism. In the vision, Shagyasangha asked the Holy One for guidance. The Patriarch shouted back "Feckin' eejit!" and wandered off muttering to himself. Although he spoke no Gaelic, Shagyasangha knew through Transcendental Insight that this was indeed the name he had been searching for. And so the movement was henceforth to be known as "The Feckineejits Community".
Fortunately, senior order members managed to persuade the great man to change this to what they explained was the same thing in Sanskrit, the long-extinct universal language of Buddhism. Thus it is that the Triratna Buddhist Community came to carry a name that meant nothing to any living soul.
The Order adheres strictly to the Founder's Rule. The Four Noble Truths of traditional Buddhism are regarded as the foundation stone of the movement:
1. Life is Marked by Suffering; nothing like starting with the blindingly obvious.
2. Suffering is Caused by Craving; true; also by toothache, the need to earn a living, and - chiefly - other people.
3. There is a Means to end Suffering; it's called "death". As so often in life, the cure is worse than the disease.
4. There is a Noble Path to follow. This is another basic traditional teaching and consists of lots of things you have to do beginning with "right":
right question; right thought; right answer; right angle; right move; right turn; right said fred; right that's enough.
The founder, Shagyashangha, has also emphasised what he explains is a long-neglected traditional teaching: going for refuge to the family jewels. This teaching emphasises the spiritual benefits of satisfying the sexual needs of those above you in the spiritual heirarchy. Shangyasangha is, as it happens, at the top of the spiritual heirarchy.
Members practice Meditation, a technique for spiritual masturbation spent in a mental state intermediate between daydreaming and boredom.
Order members also spend a great deal of time delivering interminable lectures on Buddhism to each other.
Occasionally members organise Bible-burning festivals as a way of reducing both religious competition and fuel bills. Other than that there is little organised activity as order members are mainly reprogrammed seventies dropouts with short attention spans.
A loved practice by all order members is the umpteen fold Puja. This is the devotional highlight that should take place in every order members meditation-sacrificial chamber. The leading text to follow is a call and responds mass that should come from the most central point of divine self deception. "I truly believe in the untouched greatness of myself, nothing can destroy my inner superiority. May all creatures learn to worship me. I am the godliness of the gods. I am the organ, I am the giver of all gifts. Come to me and I heal you of any doubt in my divinity."
May all beings be happy.
"May I be the happiest of all. May all beautiful boys come to me. I'll teach them in the wisdom of non-penetration. I vow to my teacher never to let an opportunity for frotting go past."
[Nothing to do with me. I was out to lunch - Ed.]
To become a member a postulant must undergo "ordination". This ritual is highly secret; the postulant disappears into a room with his Teacher and emerges sometime later walking rather painfully. What passes between the two has never been revealed, although a tube of Holy Cream is apparently involved.
A postulant must learn to recite the sayings of the Teacher Shagyasangha parrot-fashion, ie in a high squawky voice at random intervals throughout the day. He must also learn to recognise the thirty-two Marks of an Enlightened Being, for example:
- Having a bleaty voice
- being unbelievably old
- having a bulbous nose
- preferring boys to women
- being able to clean his genitals with his tongue.
He can also learn a bit about buddhism.
A postulant must satisfy the leadership that he is ready for ordination. This is settled through examination (normally rectal).
The ordinand symbolically leaves his old life behind by accepting a new name. This is made up of Sanskrit words with an inspirational meaning. Sanskrit is an ancient Indian language used for graffiti and public notices. Early mistakes in translation led to the first order members having names that meant "Aryans go home" and "keep off the grass". Typical recent names include:
- Bonkatwinky :"He who loves his disciple"
- Slartybartfast :"He who loves crinkly things"
- Shagananda :"The Joy of Sex"
- Yabbadabbadoo :"Dribble...parp..whee"
- cerebrolingam :"fuckwit"
- velociraptor :"wham bam thank you young man"
edit Right Livelihood
It is one of the tenets of the Order that members may only earn a living by doing something completely pointless that has no social or artistic merit. At various times they have started businesses for selling exercise bicycles to quadriplegics, wind chimes to the deaf and pretty decorated mirrors to blind people.
In a radical departure from this tradition, there is now a move towards working with the mentally disturbed, teaching the value of solitary introspection to depressives and prolonged retreat from the world to the lonely. These efforts have significantly increased the intake of psychiatric clinics near the Order's Centres. The Order is paying particular attention to Mental Disorders of the Rich and how they may be treated by parting them from their money.
edit Dietary restrictions
Order members are strict Planktarians, living on nothing but plankton. They refuse to consume multicellular life forms because they consider it unethical to eat other living things. An extreme sect within the order refused even to eat plankton because they too are living things, consuming only inanimate objects such as plastic ducks; this sect is believed to have died out.
The Order, or "Sangha" as it is called by members, is officially led by an ageing billygoat named Shag-ya-sangha (born Dilbert Lingam in Neasden). Such is his keen interest in the young that he is widely spoken of as the Jimmy Savile of Buddhism.It is not clear whether Lingam is an active leader or just a mascot. "Dildo" Lingam has controversially directed that the order change its name to "Baaahhhh". Nearly all members have bleated agreement while a few have left to join the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
"Plonker" Lingam explains that he "knew he was Buddhist" at the age of 16 after reading the ancient Indian classic the Karma Sutra. He practiced the yogic exercises intensively on his own for two years until his eyesight began to deteriorate. He sailed for India in search of partners to practise with/on/under, only to find that the Indians had given up on Buddhism 1,000 years earlier. Undaunted, Plonker set about converting the heathen, concentrating on smooth-skinned youths with firm buttocks. He returned hurriedly to England in the 1960s after being caught in the act of "converting" the son of the Chief of Police in Delhi.
In London, Plonker's unique formulation of the ancient Buddhist practice of "going for refuge to the family jewels" (in which he invited aspiring Buddhists to "drop your trousers; bend over; and repeat after me: 'go ahead' ") resulted in his ejection from the London Buddhist Vihara. This inspired him to start his own cult, teaching the new practices he had developed.
Dennis the Menace is 143.
The Order's Second in Command is known as "Substituti", a Sanskrit name which translates as "His Master's Voice". Having no ideas of his own, he is the perfect communicator of the founder's vision. His book "Women, Men and Angels" presented Plonker's controversial doctrine that "Women are to Men as Men are to Angels". Given Plonker's views on women, this means that angels see men as over-emotional half-wits who are only good for occasional shagging. Many senior order members believe themselves to be angels. So if you are a man and you see one coming, keep you rear end firmly against the wall. Ifyou're a woman, just give the whole thing a miss.
In view of the founder's advanced age, responsibility for administration of the order has been devolved to the "College of Nnittvitts". "NNittvitt" is an ancient sanskrit word meaning "he who has the acumen of a headlouse". The duties of the college are to bleat in harmony, to prevaricate, and generally to practice the ancient Buddhist virtue of empty-headedness. They are very hard to locate: on visiting their offices, an enquirer will invariably find that they are out to lunch.
edit Attitude to Women
The Buddha thought that the life of a wandering hermit was not suited to women, and only reluctantly agreed to ordain any. The Buddhist tradition interpreted this as meaning that women weren't up to the spiritual life (sexist? - nooo). The TBC follows Buddhist tradition in regarding women as spiritually inferior to men, but tolerates them because they are useful for keeping the place clean and for the occasional shag.
Come to think of it, that's why most men tolerate women.
edit Attitude to sex
The Buddha said that if a man is trying to renounce the world and reach Nirvana,better he put his penis into the mouth of a snake than into a woman's vagina. The message has been widely misunderstood, and many a monk has died trying to interest a serpent in fellatio.
The Western Buddhist Order teaches that sexual intercourse between master and disciple can be a means of rapid transmission of the Senior Teacher's Dharma, or "STD". The Founder,Shagyasangha, spent many years selflessly masturbating onto the more good-looking of his followers. And lo, many of them gained Insight into the Secret Teaching: "When you visit the Master, take a towel with you - you'll need it".
edit Relationship to Mainstream Buddhism
Like Socrates and Christ, the Buddha was mysteriously untouched by the normal human obsessions of greed, fear, hatred and power-lust, and spent his life trying to wean others off them. Like mainstream Christianity, mainstream Buddhism represents the successful perversion by priests of these ideas into organisations in which they can exploit peoples' fear (of hellfire) and hatred (of everyone else) in such a way as to satisfy priests' own greed and lust for power. Compared to the Catholic Church, most Buddhist priestly castes are rank amateurs at this game. The West has much to teach the East.
The Triratna Buddhist Community is unusual in having only one priest, Shagyasangha, who realised that he would get more power more quickly by starting his own church than by joining somebody else's. He could also rewrite the rules, leaving out the ones he didn't like, such as not shagging disciples. This is at least more honest than the normal priestly practice of forbidding shagging, buggery etc and then sodomising altar boys.
Leaders of establishment Buddhism (the Dali Lama, the Punchin Lama, the Kickin Llama, Nelly the Elephant and Richard Gere) regard the WBO as trespassing on their turf and have put out a contract on its leader. Two attempted character assassinations have failed and journalists suspect that he must be one of the undead. He has the telltale characteristics of black circles round his eyes and a penchant for flying through the air at night in the form of a bat and drinking the blood of virgins. His followers insist that these are merely the unfortunate side-effects of a scientific experiment he volunteered for in the nineteenth century, and aver that compared to, say, Vlad the Impaler he is kindness itself. The Banana Llama is rumoured to have asked the Vatican to send in an exorcist.
edit Accusations of Culthood
The Order has been accused of behaving like a cult because it:
- Brainwashes new members
- Refuses to allow non-TBC Buddhists to speak in its "Buddhist Centres"
- Sexually exploits young vulnerable people
- Gets as much money as it can out of its adherents
- Hunts down and assassinates any members who leave.
This accusation is plainly ridiculous, since all of these practices are commonplace in other major world religions and no one accuses THEM of being cults. Not if they know what's good for them (see Vatican and Mafia).
edit The Future
Buddhists believe that, short of enlightenment, they will inevitably be reborn, and that if they do nothing to improve themselves morally during this lifetime they will likely be reborn as a sheep. This prospect seems to appeal to members of the TBC, who consequently believe in doing as little as possible about anything, except possibly bleating about it. The order in its human form is thus likely to become steadily more wooly-minded over the course of the next few generations. Baaah.