Moving Against the Stream
In this volume of memoirs we find Sangharakshita – after twenty years in the East – arriving back in England at the invitation of the English Sangha Trust. He expects to stay no more than a few months, but the months become years and, as he comes to know the then small world of British Buddhism, he realizes that after all it is here that he may best be able to ‘work for the good of Buddhism’, as one of his teachers had once exhorted him. After a farewell tour of his friends and teachers in India, he goes on to found a new Buddhist movement and to ordain twelve men and women into a new Buddhist Order. The answer to the question ‘Why did Sangharakshita found a new Buddhist movement and Order?’ is in these pages.
Moving Against the Stream has for its backdrop 1960s Britain, with figures as diverse as Prime Minister Harold Wilson, and David Cooper, the ‘anti-psychiatry’ psychiatrist. In the world of British Buddhism there is Christmas Humphreys, founder of the London Buddhist Society, and Maurice Walshe, translator of the Dīgha Nikāya,, and many others.
Here also is the story of a friendship that was to be deeply significant for Sangharakshita. As he and Terry Delamare drive across Europe visiting the sites of ancient Greece and the churches, museums and great works of art of Renaissance Italy, Sangharakshita makes vivid the role that higher culture can play in spiritual life.
This volume includes 1970 – A Retrospect in which Sangharakshita tells of a year that begins with lectures in Paris, continues with three months at Yale University as a visiting lecturer, and concludes back in Britain as he resumes his work for the Buddhist movement. A new phase is beginning.
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