Saturday, March 17, 2012

Celtic Buddhism in Vermont and Ireland; Wisdom Quarterly for a Buddhist St. Patrick's Day
Tillie, Sophie, and their father, Seonaidh, at a Savaripa instruction weekend (

"Celtic Buddhism" was suggested in the 1970s during casual conversation between the renowned Western pop Tibetan lama-playboy Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche of Shambhala fame and his student John Perks. Its actual development is the result of the mixing of their minds.

Ven. Seonaidh Riley Perks and friends on retreat in Ireland, May 2005. "We came here a few times to practice as the energy was palpable and the view quite lovely."

The "lineage" was formally incorporated as a non-profit in 1989 taking on official status. After meeting for years in rented rooms, Ven. Seonaidh Riley Perks established the Anadaire Celtic Buddhist Center on 11 acres in Vermont, where the sangha ["community"] erected a stone circle. It has aided an increased awareness and helped focus transformative energies.

Beginning in April, 2006 several of the sangha would move to Ireland for a year to strengthen and expand Celtic Buddhism. This led to the ordination of Celtic Buddhist priests, such as Rev. Andrew Peers of the Order of the Longing Look.

Rev. Peers is from Nottingham, England. A punk rocker in his teens, he later spent 20 years in Trappist monasteries in England, Ireland, and the Netherlands. He has studied theology and philosophy and earned a degree in civil law. He is ex-chair of the MID (Monastic Religious Dialogue) for the Dutch-speaking region (including Flanders) and participated in the 10th Spiritual Exchange visit to Japan in 2005. He writes articles on the spiritual materialism of religion and leads his own meditation retreats. He is currently living as a Celtic Buddhist priest and Bishop of Ireland on the west coast of Ireland.

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