What is Celtic Buddhism?

The Celtic Buddhist Lineage arose out of H.H. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's love for the dharma, appreciation of early Celtic Christianity, and his desire to see Buddhism take on a fresh start in the west, free from eastern cultural trappings. Ven. Seonaidh Perks, at Trungpa Rinpoche's suggestion, took up this task and in 1989 officially founded the Celtic Buddhist Lineage. The word "Celtic" here refers not to a race of people (for indeed Celts were on every continent) but to the type of heart and mindset seen in the early Celts. It is a heart that is in love with this earth and its many manifestations, and a heart that is brave enough to face the things we fear the most.  A Celtic mind is a mind that is curious and adventurous and will not settle for the comfort of illusion and popular opinion.

Celtic Buddhism, as a western lineage, is free to unite and utilize teachings and training techniques from all Buddhist lineages and schools, and it's flavor varies depending on the teacher or lineage holder and the needs of the students. As such, there is a wide diversity between various teachers and teachings.  

Celtic Buddhist monasticism is inspired and informed by the life of St Francis, Mother Theresa, and St Brendan, to name a few, and seeks to create a strong religious Buddhist/Christian monastic community. Buddhism will never truly belong to the west until strong monastic communities are present. These communities will become the gathering place for practitioners, offer people the chance to do short and long term retreats and become living examples of what life can be when the focus is not upon the self. 


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Sister Gryphon is a fully ordained monastic and holds the title of Anamchara. Having come from 8 years of intensive training as a Zen Buddhist monk and raised in a Catholic household, she seeks to create the first monastic community in the Celtic Buddhist lineage. To be sure, the first monks of any lineage are pioneers. Few feel called to such a journey, but it is a journey not short on adventure. If you feel a calling towards monasticism and would like to further explore this calling, please contact Sister Gryphon at: sistergryphon@celticbuddhistmonks.org