The Network meets for three or four days annually at the end of September, immediately before or after the European Buddhist Union meeting. Meetings are hosted by Buddhist Centres across Europe.
The meeting is not a conference, though there is often a theme. Many different formats are used to facilitate the meeting, open space discussion, small groups, presentations, practice sessions, world cafe, walks and sharing meals together.
The inspiration for the Network came from a meeting in 1993 held in Dharamsala, India, between His Holiness the fourteenth Dalai Lama and a group of Western dharma teachers from the major Buddhist traditions in Europe and America. The aim of the meeting was to discuss a range of issues concerning the transmission of Buddhadharma in the West. The following themes emerged:
•a responsibility to work towards creating a better world for all forms of life
• avoidance of divisive sectarianism within Buddhism
• the need to affirm the equality of the sexes
• the relevance of contemporary psychological understandings of the mind
• the need to advise students of Buddhism to exercise care in choosing authentic teachers
• the importance of the highest standards of ethical behaviour from teachers towards their students
• the need to differentiate the essential teachings of Buddhism from its cultural trapping
Implementing these values is the raison d’etre of the Network of Buddhist Teachers in Europe.
Criteria for Membership
The meeting is by invitation only.
• Members must have been teaching for at least ten years.
• Members are authorized to teach by a recognised teacher.
• Teaching/studying is a significant part of their life.
• Members must be fluent in English, the common language of the Network.
• Admission to Membership needs to be approved by the existing members of the Network.
• Members who have attended at least one meeting over the last 5 years will be listed on this website.
• We invite teachers who are unambiguously from a Buddhist tradition to be considered for inclusion.
• We invite young teachers who have been teaching for at least since 5 years. They have to be accompanied at the first meeting by an older teacher.
In every second or third year the Network holds a large meeting in which existing members may bring up to two junior teachers, i.e. teachers in training or those who have been teaching for less than five years. The supervising teacher must be present in the meeting.