Triratna Day Weekend: Is a Guru Necessary?

6-10 April | A Weekend open to everyone practicing within Triratna

A long weekend marking 56 years since the founding of the Triratna Buddhist Community, led by Saddhanandi and Ksantikara with talks from other members of Adhisthana’s residential communities. 

Whenever one genuinely tries to evolve, tries to develop, or even just tries to be oneself in any authentic manner; a question arises, a question that all the more imperatively demands an answer, when one tries to follow that spiritual path in one of its oriental forms. And that question is, of course, ‘Is a Guru Necessary?’

Urygen Sangharakshita

Buddhism is a living tradition with an unbroken lineage that takes us all the way back to the Buddha. This passing-on of teachings from one generation to the next is a dynamic communication between a ‘teacher’ and the less experienced practitioner. 

Through communication with those more experienced than us, we can develop, evolve and rise to a higher level of consciousness. In his 1970 talk Sangharakshita warns us against thinking of those we look up to as our problem solver, teacher or substitute parent, but if can learn to look up in the right way we will enter a larger world of gratitude, receptivity, and reverence.

In Sangharakshita’s 1970 talk ‘Is a Guru Necessary?’ he begins by establishing what a guru is not before unpacking western attitudes toward spiritual teachers and investigating what kind of relationship a disciple has with a spiritual teacer. 

Join the residential Adhisthana communities for a long-weekend retreat (re)exploring the themes of Sangharakshita’s seminal lecture and delve into questions such as: In a world where ‘we are all equal’, do I really want to look up to someone? Isn’t it unnecessary, dangerous even, to think of someone as my teacher? Surely my reverence should reserve for enlightened beings only? How perfect does a teacher need to be, ideally? How do I develop gratitude and receptivity? How do I balance being receptive with the need to think for myself? And… Is a guru necessary?


This retreat is open to anyone who is familiar with Triratna meditation. We’re also collaborating with particular Sanghas on this event, so if you’re from one of the Sanghas listed below, please book through the specific link for your Sangha.


We are also pleased to invite some sanghas to come as together on this retreat and take their practice deeper in the context of the wider Triratna Sangha. The participating sanghas are below, if you’re not part of one of these centres, please use the ‘General Bookings’ button above.

day event

There is also the option to attend for just the day on Saturday. For more information and to book for this, please click below.

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