Becoming an ÖBR member
Who can tell me where it would be best for me to start?
Here in Austria we are in the fortunate position that all the major Buddhist traditions are represented in the Buddhist groups of the ÖBR. Experience has taught us that a personal talk is the best way for finding a first orientation. Throughout Austria there are ÖBR Representatives who will be happy to assist you. Our team at the office is also always there for advice.
May I visit different groups just to try them out?
Yes, you are welcome. Many groups offer opportunities for people to experience Buddhism through introductory events and lectures.
May I just walk out, in case I do not like it?
Feel free to do so. There are no obligations.
How can I become a Buddhist?
You become a Buddhist by taking refuge to the Three Jewels—the Buddha (as teacher, example and the principle of enlightenment), the Dharma (his teachings) and the Sangha (as community of practising Buddhists). Before taking refuge most people go through a period of study and practice. You can take refuge in a special ceremony that most Buddhist traditions and Dharma groups offer. It does not mean though that you are bound to that group. The inner commitment to go the Buddhist path is certainly the free decision of every person. The membership in the ÖBR is a different matter. It documents your decision officially.
What does it mean to be a member of the ÖBR?
The ÖBR is the formal base for all the different Buddhist groups, but also all Buddhists, who do not belong to a special group are taken care of by us. The activities of the ÖBR extend to all Buddhists living in Austria.
Once you have decided to take the Buddhist path as your personal religion, the membership in the ÖBR offers the possibility to have it publically acknowledged.
Membership in the ÖBR is acquired by handing in the written application for membership. Joining the ÖBR is principally free of charge, but we are grateful for a one-time donation.
The ÖBR is mainly financed by donations and thus relies on your and everyone’s support.
Membership in a Dharma group and membership in the ÖBR: What is the difference?
Being a member in a group of ÖBR does not automatically make you a member of the ÖBR. That means: only your personal membership in the ÖBR officially states your religious decision.