Letter from the president – Spring 2015

jamie

Dear Friends

Welcome to the New EBU website !

I am so pleased to see our new web site launched! It really is a modern and fresh looking site and I am sure will serve us well for many years. It is a great step forward for the EBU in terms of its public face and a great achievement for the EBU and for all those involved in getting the site up a running.

Central to the process has been Thomas Bethe, and we all agreed at the EBU General Meeting, what a great job Thomas has done with creating this site.

I would like again, to thank Thomas for all the hard work he has done over the last year or so to get this site looking so good and in making it accessible and user friendly. In addition, since the general meeting Michael Vermeulen has taken on much of the work of bringing text and information into the site. Also Munisha has helped with editing and writing texts. So many thanks go to all three.

So now comes your work. For a web site to be useful to us it needs to be active. This means that items of news, upcoming events, thoughts and ideas and so on need to be posted. I hope that over time we can make the web site a central hub for European Buddhism and a place where people visit in order to keep up to date with what is happening. If you have items which you would like to see on the site please email them to me and Michael

Editor in chief: Jamie, mail to editorinchief@e-b-u.org 

Final editor: Michael, mail to finaleditor@e-b-u.org

EBU Council

Elections for a new EBU council took place at the AGM 2014 and we have now held two council meetings. Ours first was in Berlin at the Lotus Sangha Dharma Centre, and the next one was held in Zagreb at the Dharmaloka Buddhist centre. Our June meeting will take place in Paris.

We have had some great discussions and have talked about all sorts of ideas. After spending some years on consolidating and clarifying our constitution and structure, and getting our vision and mission ready, we all feel that now we want to focus on more practical aspects of the EBU. By this I mean, events, projects, a conference/gathering for European Buddhists, and so on.

EBU Activities

During our general meeting we all had good discussions about ideas and plans for the future. We discussed Buddhist Action Month, a possible conference, Building the team of those involved in relationships with European Institutions, EBU networks and so on.

Therefore in terms of an action plan for 2015 – 2016 these are the projects, which we would like to focus on:

1. The launch of an Annual Buddhist Action Month (BAM).

The theme for 2015 is ‘Buddhism and Social Engagement’ These activities can be simple and straightforward, and may even be activities, which a particular Buddhist group is already involved in.

BAM has been running in the UK for some years now. The Network of Buddhist Organisations is under way with publicising and getting people involved in this Junes activity.

Have a look at the BAM UK Facebook site or the NBO web site. Here you will find information and ideas, which may inspire you.  I think Buddhist Action Month can be an idea which could take off across Europe within Buddhist groups and who knows, maybe it will become an International Buddhist event! Please do consider getting your Buddhist organisation involved, even if things start off small.

2. Development of  the EBU’s visibility and influence in European Affairs by :

a) Identifying more people to join the EBU European Affairs team

b) To complete the European Commission transparency register

3. To canvas support for, and if there is interest to set up the following EBU Networks:

a) Network for those involved in Buddhist chaplaincy schemes

b) Network for those involved in Teaching Buddhism in schools

4. Commence Fundraising campaign by:

a) Researching the possibility of using fundraising professionals

b) A review of membership fees

5.  To hold a major EBU event/conference for 2016 along the lines of  ‘What it means to be a Buddhist in Europe today’. Work is beginning now and details will very shortly be sent to you and also published on the web site.

6. Campaign to increase membership. This relies on all of us being aware of any groups we come across who are not already members. Also If you have connections with Buddhist groups in Eastern Europe please let me know.

So please think about getting involved even in a small way by joining in work on a project or giving a donation so that when this action plan is revised at the next AGM we will be able to congratulate ourselves on how much has been achieved.

I am excited about the EBU and possibilities over the next few years.

I hope that you will also share my excitement and interest in continuing to build a valuable European Buddhist Union.

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