Order of Amida Buddha
The Order of Amida Buddha came into being in the summer of 1998 when three people took bodhisattva vows with Dharmavidya.
Initially the intention was not so much to create a new sangha as to allow those who wished to do so to affirm their commitment to full-time Buddhist training in a socially engaged context. Over the intervening years, the sangha has developed and the Order has clarified its orientation. Here are further Resources about the Order.
Ordained members of the Order engage in ongoing religious formation. This is a training that equips them to carry out the work of the Order and which, more generally, brings out the best in people, provides them with enhanced life-skills, promotes social sensitivity, brings out leadership potential, deepens fellow-feeling and compassion, and enables the members of the Order to work together in creative teams on a great diversity of activities.
Being a member of the Order means devoting one's life to Dharma work within the frame of Buddhist ethics.
It is a life of deep fellowship and mutual support with other Order members that reaches a particular intensity and intimacy.
Although the internal structures of the order may change over time and individuals may change their status within the Order after careful consideration, the commitment to Order membership itself, past initial probationary stages, is intended to be permanent.
Ordination of Prajnatara Teresa Bryant, Nov. 11, 2010
Dharmavidya David Brazier
David Brazier, Dharmavidya of the Order of Amida Buddha, is a spiritual master, doctor of philosophy, author, and authority on Buddhist psychology. He is also a poet, social critic, psychotherapist, and grandfather.
Dharmavidya has had Buddhist teachers in the Theravada, Tibetan, Zen and Pureland traditions, and has also taken a keen interest in the mystical path in other faiths. He teaches an approach to spirituality that is both contemplative and culturally engaged, a practical way rooted in faith and love.
Religious visions as a child inaugurated Dharmavidya’s lifelong mission. "I never 'found faith,' he says, "I was born with it. I practise Buddhism, yet am a religious universalist.” In his approach, science and mysticism are not opposed. He was a friend of the late philosopher Mary Midgley, with whom he shared many common views.
Before becoming a full-time Buddhist teacher, Dharmavidya had a career in social work, initiating schemes in respite fostering, mental rehabilitation, alternatives to custody, training, and managerial reforms. Subsequently, as a full-time Buddhist, he worked on initiatives in Bosnia, international aid work, educational projects in India, social action and community mental health work.
As a psychotherapist, Dharmavidya learned psychodrama from Elaine Sachnoff (Chicago) and invented pandramatics. He also knew Carl Rogers, and was on the International Committee of the Association for the Development of the Person-Centered Approach.
In 1996 he co-founded the Amida Trust and, two years later, the Amida Order.
Dharmavidya is also the author of books on psychology and culture, as well as on Buddhism and spirituality. He has at least twelve published books, including “Zen Therapy,” “The Feeling Buddha,” “Love and Its Disappointment,” “ Not Everything is Impermanent,” "Buddhism is a Religion: You Can Believe It," and, most recently, "The Dark Side of the Mirror: Forgetting the Self in Dogen's Genjo Koan." He blogs and writes extensively on the internet, and has been listed by the Huffington Post as one of the most informative Buddhists to follow on Twitter, alongside the Dalai Lama, Jack Kornfield and others. He regulary contributes to Tricycle magazine.
Although Dharmavidya now calls a small hermitage in France home, and he travels extensively throughout the world to teach. His disciples in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia form a mosaic of diversely-talented people working for spiritual liberation in a wide range of societies and settings.
Rev. Dr. Dharmavidya David Brazier
Head of the Order of Amida Buddha