Curriculum Kernewek

Cornwall Agreed Syllabus 2011

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+ Guide to Buddhism

Buddhism is one of the world's largest religions and finds expression through a number of branches and traditions, which mainly originate from different areas of Asia. It is based upon the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha or 'awakened one' which aim to help people alleviate suffering and attain happiness.

The 2011 census data shows that after Christianity, Buddhism is the most common religion in Cornwall (1,726 in total). Buddhists have been active in Cornwall for several decades with the earliest Buddhist community reputed to be the Mousehole Buddhist Group, which was active from the 1940's. The group was established by Zen Buddhist, Bill Picard.

There are a number of Buddhist groups around Cornwall today, reflecting a range of traditions and approaches. Not all Buddhists attend groups or classes, some practise their faith in isolation.

Members of the Buddhist Community participate in the Cornwall Faith Forum and support 'Dor Kemmyn' (meaning Common Ground in Cornish) the interfaith initiative to build a new shared centre for Cornwall's spiritual communities.

Buddhist groups in Cornwall include the:

+ Aro community which holds meditation groups in Penzance and Trescowe Common, Godolphin. Aro emphasises self-liberation and transformation, as opposed to the renunciation approach.

+ Western Chan Group which through the Lizard Chan Group holds meditation meetings and occasional day retreats at Gear Mill. Chan is the Chinese ancestor of Zen Buddhism.

+ Crystal Group holds meetings in Chyan, Penryn. It was established by Namgyal Rinpoche, to provide an opportunity for deepening the study of Buddha Dharma and has a retreat centre based in Herefordshire.

+ Triratna Buddhist Community (originally Friends of the Western Buddhist Order) was founded by Sangharakshita in 1968 and the Cornwall Triratna group meets weekly in the homes of members in Penzance. Triratna does not promote a traditional school, but instead draws on a range of Buddhist approaches to help people live as Buddhists in today's world.

+ The Whitecross Buddhist Centre, near Penzance, meets for regular sitting and walking meditation sessions. The sessions are open to people from any Buddhist traditions.

+ Soka Gakkai International Buddhism UK holds events and activities around Cornwall, particularly in the North and East. SGI Buddhists follow the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin (b1222 in Japan), with an approach which shows respect for life, seeks personal fulfilment and contributes to the positive development of society.