The Guhyaloka retreat centre and communitiy are part of a wider Buddhist movement originally called the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO). In May 2010 this movement changed it's name to Triratna, mainly because it is growing as rapidly in the East (particularly India) as it is in the West, so the original name is no longer appropriate.
The Triratna-FWBO approach is based on the perception that the varied and divided Buddhist tradition has an underlying unity. All schools teach a path to Enlightenment, and define this path through common principles. When Sangharakshita founded the FWBO in 1967 he wanted to strip the tradition back to this essence so that a new Western Buddhism could develop as experience showed how universal Buddhist principles could be expressed in the new context. The intention was to make Buddhism a viable spiritual path for the modern world and a force for good in society.
We are heirs to the whole of Buddhism. This is why the FWBO-Triratna does not define itself in relation to any one form of Eastern Buddhism but derives inspiration from the Buddhist tradition as a whole. The FWBO-Triratna’s attitude is not one of eclecticism, however. It has a coherent and well-worked out approach to Buddhist practice, and it draws on particular techniques, texts and teachings in a systematic way that supports practice.
Guhyaloka is dedicated to running retreats for men who wish to receive ordination into the Triratna Buddhist Order (previously the Western Buddhist Order), which is at the heart of the Triratna Buddhist Community.
Over the last thirty years thousands of Buddhist Centres have opened across Europe, America, and other parts of the world. Most of these teach one of the many Buddhist traditions that have developed in Asia. Others have sought to understand Buddhism in the light of particular traditions of western thought, such as psychotherapy, drawing on it as a source of techniques and instruction. Triratna takes a third approach. It seeks to return to the basic principles of Buddhism and find ways of living them out in the context of the modern West. It seeks to be neither an importation of Buddhism to the West nor an adaptation of it; it seeks to be a re-expression of Buddhism in its new surroundings. In doing this the FWBO-Triratna sees itself as following the example of Buddhist traditions throughout history that have been flexible and pragmatic in communicating Buddhist teachings in new environments, and yet have remained true to its core teachings and values.