Mitra is the Sanskrit word for friend. Becoming a mitra means making a commitment to Buddhism, to the Triratna Buddhist Community, and is a way of expressing a deepening interest and commitment to living a Buddhist way of life.
After attending Aryaloka meditation and study classes for at least six months, one can explore the process of becoming a mitra with a Mitra Convenor, an Order member who has particular interest in guiding mitras in their spiritual practice. When a person decides to become a mitra, he/she feels ready to make the following declarations:
- I consider myself to be a Buddhist – I consider the Buddha and his teachings as the spiritual ideal
- I will practice the Buddhist precepts with: deeds of loving kindness; open-handed generosity; stillness, simplicity and contentment; truthful communication and mindfulness.
- I wish to deepen my Buddhist practice within the context of the Triratna Buddhist Order.
Becoming a mitra is celebrated with a Mitra Ceremony, a simple, significant and joyous occasion where one makes one’s declarations publicly. At this ceremony, one makes offerings of a candle, incense and a flower which symbolize one’s commitment to the teachings of the Buddha, and the beauty and wisdom to be gained by living according to Buddhist principles.
Once a person makes this commitment, he/she has the opportunity to study the Dharma Training Course for Mitras with other mitras. This course can be found at www.freebuddhistaudio.com
Being a mitra provides opportunities to deepen one’s spiritual practice by developing spiritual friendship, and by studying, attending retreats and meditating with other Buddhist practitioners.