Results 1 to 46 of 46

Thread: Role of the Sangha . . .

  1. #1

    Role of the Sangha . . .

    The three jewels . . . Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. This Sangha thing must be pretty important. I am aware of some of the numerous interpretations of what Sangha means and it's purpose. But, I'd like to ask a personal question here. . . what is the role of Sangha specific to your own practice and where does Treeleaf fit into that?

    Perhaps we're an imperfect Sangha, but I think imperfect is just fine in this imperfect world. I can't think of a perfect human institution.



    I'll answer this one myself soon, just need to figure how to without being verbose . . .

  2. #2

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    I think we are a "Perfectly What We Are Sangha", and Damn Good at It!!

    Actually, "Sangha" is a subject that is also traditionally studied in preparations for Jukai ... so we will be looking at that subject too.

    Gassho, Jundo

  3. #3

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    well, personally I see it as simply a group of people who are on a similiar path. The Sangha is there for support and whatever else pops up. Ideally a Sangha helps one further their practice, I think in ways that perhaps they wouldn't be able to do if praticing by themselves. Also community and relating to other people is good I think. Bumping elbows is also good. People with real wisdom willing to help and show compassion is really useful. I enjoy the chances to share my experience of practice and I think it somewhat keeps one on track. Sometimes people get out of the sandbox, but like sitting it's something you should stick to. Especially when you really don't want to and you want to leave. One of the best times to look at things. It comes and goes for me. Some days I'm like Oh yeah the Sangha "what" "ever" and then other days are different. As your practice progresses I think that you start to really see everyones personality. Man. I think I learn't a lot by posting at this place. But I think it's good to know that people are there. Good for a laugh etc.

    Gassho

  4. #4

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregor
    But, I'd like to ask a personal question here. . . what is the role of Sangha specific to your own practice and where does Treeleaf fit into that?
    As a newcomer (both to Zen and to Treeleaf) I've got mixed feelings about this place so far, though not in the sense that I have criticisms, really. I've had a lot of questions over the past few weeks, and before asking them, I've searched the forum archives. What do you know -- they've all been dealt with in previous threads! In fact, the one question I did ask had already been dealt with, I just forgot to do a search before I asked it. I've spent a lot of time reading old material here, and it's been very informative -- so informative that I haven't felt the need to start new discussions about any of these issues. So this forum has been exceptionally helpful.

    So why do I say I have mixed feelings? Well, if this were a group of people meeting in 'realspace' I would have had to ask those questions even though people had answered them for others already. This might sound like a disadvantage -- it requires people to answer the same questions over and over again, thus it's less efficient -- but it would force direct interaction, force me to get to know people and force them to get to know me. I guess I'm just pointing out one way in which an online community like this differs from a face-to-face, geographically local community. I've been 'listening' to all you guys very carefully for a few weeks now, but to words you all said months ago. Thus I'm not connecting with people, in a social sense, as quickly as I would be in a conventional community. I'm not complaining about that, just pointing it out.

    As for the role of Sangha specific to my practice...I really don't know how to answer that. My practice is very new, and figuring out where community is going to fit in is a tall order. On the one hand, I've had serious issues with religious community in the past...on the other, this place (and Zen in general?) seems to have way less dogma than most religious communities I've seen and been a part of. I guess I'll see where it goes.

    --Charles

  5. #5

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    This might sound like a disadvantage -- it requires people to answer the same questions over and over again, thus it's less efficient
    If I could remember half the stuff we've talked about here..

    I also haven't checked old post in ages. Plus the deeper our practice gets, and the more we learn, the more our outlook changes.

    Gassho

  6. #6

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    I think you'll find that will change once you start to contribute a little more and just stick around.

    G,W

  7. #7

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    I like it here (despite everything)

    I have had a few chats with different people and have enjoyed them or/and found them helpful to practice and day to day (both). There have even been times when something might have been going a little up s*Łt creek and I've remembered something someone has said in the Sangha and it has useful. It might have been a conversation I had not been involved with. So I think the idea of being able to see old material has a great benefit, maybe more than a face to face only Sangha.
    It may feel a little disconnected but as I write this I am in "real space" when you read it you are in "real space". I'm an idiot, so sometimes when I have a conversation (face to face) with someone it may take some time before what they have said to take effect :roll: . The moment has passed and we are both in different places but what was said could only make sense in the new moment, a bit like here. Like if you sit with Jundo, you sit with him, me and anyone else sitting, you do this when you sit.

    My main concern of an easy access Sangh is that it might too easy to post and see what other people think about something rather than having a good hard think oneself. Again being in a different moment oneself can bring new light and that might be lost with trigger happy posting. Then again I'm sure this can also be an advantage.

    Anyway I'm rambling now so thanks to everyone here past and present and all the best,

    Philip

  8. #8

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    The Sanga is great. It helps me keep my focus, clarify my understandings and is supportive. Jundo's talks are great too, thank you, always looked forward to although I do my sittingaway from the computer.

    I don't really distinguish between the treeleaf 'cyber' Sanga and my Sanga of the local meditation group and Abbey but I have so much more interaction with Treeleaf.

    Thanks for providing this space Jundo

    In gassho, Kev

  9. #9

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Rock tumbler :!:

    Gassho,
    Jordan

  10. #10

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles
    So why do I say I have mixed feelings? Well, if this were a group of people meeting in 'realspace' I would have had to ask those questions even though people had answered them for others already. This might sound like a disadvantage -- it requires people to answer the same questions over and over again, thus it's less efficient -- but it would force direct interaction, force me to get to know people and force them to get to know me. I guess I'm just pointing out one way in which an online community like this differs from a face-to-face, geographically local community. I've been 'listening' to all you guys very carefully for a few weeks now, but to words you all said months ago. Thus I'm not connecting with people, in a social sense, as quickly as I would be in a conventional community. I'm not complaining about that, just pointing it out.
    Hi Charles,

    As far as interacting, I would say "just jump on in ... the water's fine!"

    You know, even in a "realspace" Sangha ... well, there are always wall flowers who kinda hang back and don't interact much. Myself, I'm kinda shy. And, in my experience, there is not so much time for socializing really. In fact, in the typical weekly or biweekly group, people show up and maybe have a small chance to talk or discuss ... but then it is soon time for just sitting sitting sitting. There might be a little time for tea afterwards, or a Jukai class or book club like we have where people take turns talking. Maybe there is a group activity, movie or party now and then. Folks might get together for lunch or dinner once in awhile. Frankly, I have had Sangha that I attended for years, yet barely had time or opportunity to say "hello" to many folks, let alone have a deep conversation. I promise that we are talking more deeply with each other, and DAILY!, than almost any group I know.

    So, I will say that, to a great degree, the barriers to "connecting" to others are largely in one's own mind. Knock those walls down!!!! Remember, even in the "realspace" world, there are limitations. Sure, I would love to reach out and give a hug now and then. Otherwise, nothing is lacking I think. Perhaps the "pre-internet" generation is still a little uncomfortable about interacting with folks this way ... I think younger folks grew up with it.

    In fact, I think we are in "realspace" too. As real as real can be! It is just a slightly different reality!

    Gassho, Jundo

  11. #11
    Senior Member Kent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    san diego california
    Posts
    198

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    being new to Zen and unable to find a connection elsewhere Trealeaf has provided an immediate venue for this beginner. i've been exposed to an incredible amount of new and old wisdom and experience. i feel a real sense of community and willingness to share, this for me has been a wonderful way to start my practice. my thanks to Jundo and all Sangha members.

  12. #12

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Keep in mind, that I had no intention to point out anything negative about Treeleaf, just wanted to assert that it's just fine as it is. Nothing is ever perfect, but I think we have a great group of people here who do their best to support and encourage each other.

  13. #13
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Sangha was something I overlooked when I first got into Buddhism. Now I think it may be the most important component of the Three Jewels.

    Your sangha is your support network in endeavors that other people in your life are unlikely to understand. I've experienced sangha many times and it really has helped keep me (relatively) sane. When you feel completely alienated from the world you find yourself in, but then you suddenly find yourself surrounded by people who "get it," who are on the same page and understand you, it really is a treasure. I had a tough time my last year of college and the only real support networks I had at the time were my two sanghas--an on-campus sitting group in which almost every member was older than me by at least thirty years, many more, and the motley crew at Zen Mountain Center. The warmth and welcome I felt, the ability to connect, it all did my (non-existent) soul some good. I felt valued, too, for who I was and what my experiences had been. That's a really important part of community, too, I think. That each member feels valued and included in some way. I also had a wonderful supportive experience of sangha during the residency I did at Zen Mountain Monastery.

    It's funny that the sangha that has become really meaningful and supportive for me when I'm in a place surrounded by dozens of Buddhist centers is this place. But I think there's something really special here. I haven't toned down my personality or who I am a bit here but I've been accepted, listened to, and helped, and that really means something. I feel this has something to do with Jundo's personal teaching style here--accessible and open, yet firm. I think that sets the tone for the community in a really good way.

    There's things you lose by interacting online, but "that don't make it junk." There's things you gain, too.

  14. #14
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Yer part of this sangha whether you like it or not, Harry

  15. #15

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by no hobby for me
    being new to Zen and unable to find a connection elsewhere Trealeaf has provided an immediate venue for this beginner. i've been exposed to an incredible amount of new and old wisdom and experience. i feel a real sense of community and willingness to share, this for me has been a wonderful way to start my practice. my thanks to Jundo and all Sangha members.
    I could not have said it better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan
    Rock tumbler :!:
    :lol:


    Gassho,
    Kelly

  16. #16
    Senior Member rculver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio Area (Northern Kentucky)
    Posts
    1,626

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    More than anything, support.....(I've sat more in the last 6 months with Treeleaf than I have in the last 6 years without it)

    Sometimes a distraction......

    Always interesting

    Ron

  17. #17

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    ...I promise that we are talking more deeply with each other, and DAILY!, than almost any group I know.
    I agree completely. I didn't mean to suggest that I'm dissatisfied with this place, or that it isn't useful to me (just the opposite, I've learned so much here already); just pointing out that the dynamic is different in some ways from face-to-face, not worse.

    --Charles

  18. #18

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Well, you did ask.
    :lol:

  19. #19

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    I've gotta agree with what everybody has been saying that a Sangha's role is to support and encourage us in pursuing our practice. Whenever people gather together to pursue common goals/interests the result is usually stronger than going it alone. Of course this assumes that the community is balanced and on the right track. I'd say that Treeleaf is the right sort of place :P . . . it seems to be about practice here with a healthy emphasis on the precepts. I have to mention that one of the original purposes of the Sangha was to assists its members in maintaining an ethical and spiritual life . . . it helps to be joined together with others as a check, sort of like having someone hold a mirror up for you. I think we do our best to fit into this role as well. . . of course ultimately we must each be accountable to ourselves.

    Gassho,

    Greg

  20. #20

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    I'm with Gregor on this. I see this community as being supportive to my spiritual development - whatever that turns out to be. Interesting point from Jundo - that there is more interaction here than in "real" life. That's probably the impact of the electronic & written medium which allows people to open up more with less embarressment (being British I find doing that in person cringe making )

    Kind regards

    Jools

  21. #21

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by no hobby for me
    being new to Zen and unable to find a connection elsewhere Trealeaf has provided an immediate venue for this beginner. i've been exposed to an incredible amount of new and old wisdom and experience. i feel a real sense of community and willingness to share, this for me has been a wonderful way to start my practice. my thanks to Jundo and all Sangha members.
    Yep, I'm right there with No Hobby. I've just now started visiting a sangha (not soto zen though) in my area and hanging around Treeleaf gave me the guts to try it out. I'm glad we have so many things going on here because I feel more affinity towards Jundo-style soto zen and there's nothing like that around me. Jundo spends a lot of time with us. I feel very lucky to have stumbled across all of you.

  22. #22

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Just glad to be here . . . glad to be able to read posts from people who care about their practice . . . glad to contribute from time to time.

    Relatedly, should we arrange some kind of regional get-together so we can meet face-to-face? I'm thinking of something like the southern US folks meet in Atlanta, the northern in NYC, the Irish in ___, etc. Would that be a logistical nightmare? Probably, but I sure would like to actually shake hands with some of these folks. Just a thought.

    Bill

  23. #23

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Bill it's a good idea, I'd be able to do NYC or Boston . . . How many New Englanders / North Easterners do we have ?

  24. #24
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    I obviously could do NYC.

  25. #25

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    :lol: yeh a north-easterner here, but N.E. England :lol:

    Does sound like a good idea if people can arrange their own meet ups.

    Now if I had the money to go to Japan... :roll:

  26. #26

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    I think there may be a few folks on the SW washington, NW Oregon area here. I would love to meet and greet. Washington park comes to mind.

    Gassho,
    Jordan

  27. #27
    Senior Member Martin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Wherever the next mediation is. Every now and then I make it back to Norfolk, England.
    Posts
    217

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Groucho Marx said that he would not wish to be a member of any group that would accept him as a member. Well, I'm very happy to be "here" at Treeleaf. As Will said, we're all on the same path. And the path is a lot easier when there are others on it too. Even if - perhaps especially if - every now and then someone gets in someone else's way for a moment.
    Gassho
    Martin

  28. #28

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregor
    Bill it's a good idea, I'd be able to do NYC or Boston . . . How many New Englanders / North Easterners do we have ?
    I'm Mid Atlantic so I could go either north or south. I think it would be great to meet.

    Linda

  29. #29

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    ASIA REPRESEENT!! 8)

    You'll probably see me hanging around Treeleaf Zendo bothering Jundo sometime.

    G,W

  30. #30
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Midcoast Maine
    Posts
    1,752
    Blog Entries
    2

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Brunswick Maine sounding off! Another New Englander here Gregor! Meeting in NH, VT, ME or MA very easy.... I think meeting in person periodically would be a great thing!

    I would be happy to host a summer gathering at the family homestead in Rockland Maine for anyone willing to make the trek up the coast - we are on the water and there is plenty of canoeing, kayaking, sailing, hiking, etc. Maybe we could pick a weekend and gather on the Maine coast - ? We could hike, sit, cook lobster, meet one another, hang out... All geographies invited....

    Alex

  31. #31

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    I've created a Frappr map here, if anyone's interested in adding themselves to the map

    http://www.frappr.com/?a=constellation_ ... 7440443597

    Skye

  32. #32

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Cool idea skye. Added.

    G,W

  33. #33

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Maybe we could make the frapper thingy a sticky thread and encourage folks to sign up as they join.
    I think this is really cool. It makes it much easier for me to stalk ya'll :wink:

  34. #34

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Jundo. We're only about an inch apart. I'll have to hop Korea and pay a visit.

    G,W

  35. #35

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Anyone is invited to come to Treeleaf Tsukuba (45 minutes by train from Tokyo).

    Just wait till we get the floors back in the place (for those who don't know, some repairs were required due to minor termite and major earthquake issues). That's what happens when you live in a house made of wood joined together without nails. Otherwise, you will have to live in the kitchen with Leon, Mina and me.

    Oh, and give us a little notice so we can spread out the futons.

    Gassho, Jundo

  36. #36

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Skye
    I've created a Frappr map here, if anyone's interested in adding themselves to the map

    http://www.frappr.com/?a=constellation_ ... 7440443597

    Skye
    I am on board!

  37. #37
    Senior Member rculver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio Area (Northern Kentucky)
    Posts
    1,626

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Very Cool. Great Idea!

    Ron

  38. #38

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    "I don't really distinguish between the treeleaf 'cyber' Sanga and my Sanga of the local meditation group and Abbey "

    Hi All,

    first post in progress!! I agree with Kev above, not surprising as he is my hubby, so we form a little sangha of 2! 8) Not that we always agree mind...... But I am involved in a variety of formal sanghas and they are all part of and help support my practise. I agree with Charles that it is nice to see folks face to face, but I feel having had a look through the forum that once you get involved here it's all very friendly.
    Back to the point, I understand the sangha as a global community of people on the buddhist path. However, I wonder after reflection, if those outside of the "sangha", ie, non-buddhists, are also part of the sangha as we are surely all connected. I certainly learn and gain very much in my own practice from these connections. Or is the sangha referred to in the in the 3 treasures specifically buddhists? Any thoughts?

    Nice to meet you all.

    Clare

  39. #39

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Alex,

    I love Maine . . . spend a week there every Summer. I'd be open to idea. I'll have to get back to you as things start to fall into place.

  40. #40

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by cergirl
    However, I wonder after reflection, if those outside of the "sangha", ie, non-buddhists, are also part of the sangha as we are surely all connected. I certainly learn and gain very much in my own practice from these connections. Or is the sangha referred to in the in the 3 treasures specifically buddhists? Any thoughts?
    Hi,

    Congratulations on your first post!! Yeaah!

    "Sangha" is one of those very flexible words, like "Buddha" ... Treeleaf is a Sangha, but so is the whole Universe, and the whole Planet Earth and everything great and small ... something like that.

    We will be studying the meaning(s) of "Sangha" ... as well as "Buddha" and "Dharma" ... closely during our preparations for the Jukai (Yes, I know I know ... I'm working on it!!!!!!!!) ops:

    Gassho, Jundo

  41. #41

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Skye, Cool idea (you are sooo Web 2.0 ). I'm on.

    Clare, I think that non Buddhists can be part of a Sangha. I think that people receive support on their paths from a lot of different places.

    Gassho,

    Linda

  42. #42

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by cergirl
    However, I wonder after reflection, if those outside of the "sangha", ie, non-buddhists, are also part of the sangha as we are surely all connected. I certainly learn and gain very much in my own practice from these connections.
    I don't see why not, Clare. Welcome!

    Thanks for the map, Skye. I'm signing in.

  43. #43

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    I'd like to second Jordan's idea of adding a sticky thread for the Frappr map, or at least adding it to the new forum members registration announcement. It's just going to get buried otherwise.

    I'd love to do a regional get-together. I can do a 4 or 5 hour drive from Southeast Michigan pretty much any weekend, barring occasional work or family obligations. I could commit to a day's drive given a month or two of warning.

    --Charles

  44. #44

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Warm welcome to you Clare! There is more than enough room for you here....please jump in and join us as you wish!!

    In Gassho~
    Lynn

  45. #45

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    Tell you what. I'm about an hour and a half from NYC, and grew up with manhattan in my backyard. EASY for me to get there.
    I do, however, live right by the lovely Pocono mountains now, and have (as Jundo knows) a peer-led "Treeleaf" based sitting group going pretty good up here, and if anyone's in the area, it'd be great to meet face to face. (Also have a big yard, woods, and a beautiful stream out back. and a pool. In ground. with jaccuzi. Nice after Zazen...)
    Come here, I'll go there, I'm just ALL FOR the idea of a get-together. Up here in the mountains, in The City, Upstate, or "Down the Shore" (New Jersese for "at the beach) wherever... I'm in.

  46. #46

    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

    the real value of Sangha where we see everything and everyone as intimately connected to us as closely as family.
    What a fantastic idea Harry and very eloquently phrased. Thank you everyone for the warm welcome.

    gassho
    Clare

Similar Threads

  1. Being of value to Sangha
    By Daizan in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 06-30-2012, 02:10 PM
  2. What to look for in a sangha?
    By Randori in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 05-18-2010, 06:15 AM
  3. Sangha Map
    By Skye in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-28-2008, 10:57 AM
  4. Role of Compasion
    By Gregor in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-27-2007, 02:33 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •