This website is the result of the harmonious cooperation among ordained practitioners of Tendai Buddhism in Europe. It does not represent a centralised authority and there is no intention of exercising any kind of control over affiliated groups and individuals.
In order to preserve the independent and democratic character of our initiative, we expect that those who wish to cooperate will also agree with the following principles:
- We believe that there is only one Saṃgha.
We reject artificial barriers between the various practitioners and schools of Buddhism, and encourage sincere seekers to delve into this rich heritage without discrimination, so that they can truly find what is beneficial for their practice and spiritual attainment.
- We agree that the Dharma is not for sale.
We reject the charging of fees for sharing the teachings and practices of Buddhism. We also reject the practice of enforcing set donations. Generosity is a virtue which might lead to acts of will depending on the capacities of the individual. Nobody must feel excluded from Buddhist activities for not being able or willing to financially contribute.
- We vow to act in accordance with Buddhist ethics.
Both ordained and lay practitioners should strive to live in accordance with the ethical precepts of Buddhism for their benefit and the benefit of all sentient beings.
- We value religious clarity.
Each individual and group should strive to preserve the teachings in the purest form possible, making the necessary cultural adaptations, so that they can be of true benefit. We discourage the blending of Buddhist and non-Buddhist teachings and practices. We also discourage blending activities during for-profit events promoting arts and disciplines without an explicit link with the Dharma as presented in the Mahāyāna Canon, or experienced in historically attested cases of cultural and religious cross-fertilisation. This is not meant to exclude individuals who undertake such practices for their personal spiritual and physical well-being.
- We treasure our lineage and respect our obligations.
We consider the teacher / disciple relationship of extreme importance and strive to keep it healthy and constructive, becoming strong and trustworthy links in the chain of our lineage. Teachers should not be approached as living Buddhas or all-knowing gurus. They are there to provide the necessary guidance and support for the correct practice and study of the Dharma. Those ordained practitioners who wish to support this collective effort are obliged to abandon false claims and provide accurate information about their discipleship and training.
- We practise equity and equality.
Differing views, identities, and experiences are welcome. We will not reject a disciple or associate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, physical condition or religious background. Individuals who choose to disparage other vehicles, teachings, or practices of the Buddha, and put down groups or individuals will not be tolerated.
- We make decisions following democratic procedures.
This is a non-hierarchical initiative and we wish to keep things horizontal. We decide collectively for joint activities and issues that concern our representation in established organisations and events in Europe, but exercise no control over the activities of cooperating individuals, priests and their groups, as long as they remain true to these values.
- European priests, temples and groups are sovereign and independent.
We practise the Dharma, share the teachings of the Buddha and organise our communities independent from any authority other than that of our teachers; eminent priests, scholars and abbots working under the banner of Tendai-shū in Japan and Overseas. There is no other authority, institution or organisation with direct jurisdiction over our comminities.