HomeLocal FWBO GroupsDanakosa Retreat CentreGlasgow Buddhist CentreEdinburgh Buddhist CentreLinks


The FWBO is an international network dedicated to communicating Buddhist truths in ways appropriate to the modern world.  The essence of Buddhism is timeless and universal. But the forms it takes always adapt according to context.
Bringing Buddhism into an entirely new culture implied to Sangharakshita that we needed to go back to basics — to look at the principles underlying all forms of Buddhism and work out how best to apply them in this new context. So, the FWBO is an ecumenical movement, aligned to no one traditional school, but drawing on the whole stream of Buddhist inspiration.
Now that Buddhism is spreading around the globe, the task is to create new Buddhist traditions relevant to the 21st century. During the past 35 years the FWBO has become one of the largest Buddhist movements, with activities in many cities and rural retreat centres around the world.
We have been sensitively implementing the principles of Buddhism, with a particular Glaswegian touch, for over 25 years now.  Thousands of people have attended classes in meditation, Buddhism and complementary disciplines such as yoga. Visit the FWBO Website for details
Just as the great ocean has one taste, the taste of salt, so also this Dhamma and vinery (ethics) has one taste, the taste of liberation.- Udana 5.5 
If you are new to the FWBO approach to Buddhism and meditation visit our main website, where you can find out the FWBO in the modern world. The FWBO News blog is a lively record of events around the world and the activities of a diverse community — FWBO People is a compilation of links to some of our personal websites.
From amongst our FWBO Internet services you can choose one of dozens of Buddhism and meditation retreats at our eight FWBO retreat centres in the UK; Dharma and meditation books from our publishing house Windhorse Publications include titles by many FWBO Dharma teachers. Alternatively, Dharmachakra offer the download of, free, ‘podcast’ talks delivered at FWBO Centres via their website. If you are unable to make it to an FWBO Centre you can learn meditation with Wildmind, a successful, innovative, FWBO online teaching venture.
There are already a considerable number of articles about Buddhism and the FWBO available across the Internet. Sangharakshita has written about the six distinctive emphases of the FWBO and the Five Pillars of the FWBO, whilst Subhuti has written about Sangharakshita—founder of the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO). Nagabodhi wrote an open-minded and honest view of the FWBO’s development and history.
The Friends of the Western Buddhist Order was founded by Sangharakshita, a Londoner who spent 20 years as a Buddhist monk in India benefiting from the learning of teachers of many Buddhist traditions. Upon his return to the west he saw the need for a new form of Buddhism through which the central principles of Buddhism could be practiced in modern society without either blindly imitating traditional Eastern culture or losing in translation what was genuinely Buddhist. In 1968 he established the Western Buddhist Order.
The Friends of the Western Buddhist Order is today a world wide movement found in places as culturally diverse as Mumbai, San Francisco, Mexico City, Inverness and Saint Petersburg.
Each local FWBO centre is legally and financially autonomous, relating to the others through the Western Buddhist Order, a fellowship of committed Buddhists. The members of this order are known as Dharmacharis (male), or Dharmacharinis (female), those who fare in the Dharma, the teachings of the Buddha. Some members have families, some are celibate; some are men and some are women; some work in the wider world in various careers, some work full time at urban Buddhist centers or retreat centers in the country, and some live more intensively meditative lives. All are equally ordained, equally committed to working out their Buddhist principles in their lives.