Selected upcoming events:
‘The sea and sky are our shrine room.
The natural elements are our meditation.’
Aro is a Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist tradition whose unusual characteristics make it singularly appropriate for many Westerners. Aro is principally concerned with transforming our experience of everyday being, rather than achieving an esoteric or spiritualised mode of existence. Our aim is to engender cheerful courage, perceptive consideration, sincere determination, natural gallantry, graciousness, creativity, and spaciousness.
The Aro teachings descend from a lineage of enlightened women – beginning with Yeshé Tsogyel. She was the female Tantric Buddha, who—together with Padmasambhava—founded the Nyingma tradition of Buddhism. Aro is a small family lineage within that tradition – founded by the female visionary Lama Aro Lingma in 1909.
Aro is now represented in Britain, America, and Europe by several Lamas and their senior ordained students. These teachers are Westerners, born and raised in our cultures. Accordingly, they may be better able to understand the practical concerns of Westerners than Buddhist teachers raised in the East. Nevertheless, they rigorously avoid incorporating elements of psychotherapy, ‘political correctness’, or New Age formulæ into Vajrayana Buddhism.
The Aro teachers are not monks or nuns. They are ordained Tantrikas – whose lives are, in many ways, quite ordinary. They may have conventional jobs, or raise children. Many teach as married couples. Their wisdom is embodied in the ways they live everyday life. Facing the same life challenges as their students, they are able to offer advice that is grounded in personal experience as well as profound religious understanding.
Aro emphasises simplicity, clarity, and depth – both of practice and understanding. To wield the essential functions of Buddhism is our mode of practice. To grasp the essential principles of Buddhism is our mode of study.
The Aro path is structured as a series of phases which allow a gradually increasing involvement and commitment as interest and understanding deepens.
For the general public, we offer talks, a course of classes, weekend retreats, weekly meditation groups, and a host of learning materials including a free on-line meditation course, books, newsletters, and several web sites. See our calendar to find events near you.
Aro Members are provided individual instruction from ordained mentors.
The unique Aro apprentice programme provides a close personal relationship with a Lama or teaching couple, longer apprentice-only retreats, access to more advanced teachings, and membership in a warm, close-knit community. The number of students per Lama is quite limited, to enable frequent in-depth interaction.