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Thread: tip of the iceberg

  1. #1

    tip of the iceberg

    been thinking about how treeleaf is different than other physical sanghas -- the only part that is "visible" is on this computer screen -- this is the posting, and recorded talks by jundo/taigu -- and so, it seems to become a sangha of those who are comfortable communicating in this way -- not only treeleaf, but the entire online zen community -- so in this way it is self-defining, or self-limiting -- there are great benefits to the online sangha, which is why i continue the relationship, but there are definite drawbacks, such as it being limited to those who culturally or economically have home access to the internet, those who choose to make the time to not only do zazen, but to talk about it, the "distance" that allows some folks to to attack others in a rude way that direct contact would perhaps discourage, and in general, an emphasis on the cerebral, intellectual side of zen

    so i'm suggesting that the "online sangha" is just that, and that it is partially described above -- it is only a part of the larger sangha -- the larger sangha is not displayed on a screen, such as me walking in the desert with a friend, and for once, doing it silently -- sitting zazen in my trailer(the zen hall was an attempt at making that connection, but i give up on that) -- sitting a 10 day retreat, with sangha who i will never speak with, never email, but with whom i have had great communication, merely by their presence

    in any of the discussions on the forum, particularly the more heated ones, i think its important to consider that this is just one aspect of the practice, the online part -- for others who consider themselves a part of treeleaf, and zen practice in general, this may not even be a very attractive part -- it is entirely possible to have a need for an online sangha, for all the usual reasons, and yet be very turned off by the online sangha experience -- it is also possible to participate in a meaningful way by sitting, rather than posting

    gassho, roky

  2. #2

    Re: tip of the iceberg

    Quote Originally Posted by roky
    ... there are great benefits to the online sangha, which is why i continue the relationship, but there are definite drawbacks, such as it being limited to those who culturally or economically have home access to the internet, those who choose to make the time to not only do zazen, but to talk about it, the "distance" that allows some folks to to attack others in a rude way that direct contact would perhaps discourage, and in general, an emphasis on the cerebral, intellectual side of zen
    Oh, but there are great benefits and drawbacks to a Sangha which meets in a building too ... such as the fact that many people cannot go there. (Arguably, we are also more fuel efficient and better for the environment too ... not to mention a few of our members who cannot drive or afford a car or to take time off from their many jobs, or hire childcare, to get to a sitting). There are also our several agoraphobic members who do not care for strange buildings, and our other physically challenged members who cannot get out of bed (my wife is currently sitting with us from her hospital room).

    I am sure that there are great strengths and weaknesses in a Sangha of one alone, sitting alone ... just the desert and me/myself/I.

    However, in no Sangha, whether in a building or under the stars or everyplace and anyplace in between, should being attacking or rude to other members be permitted (even in a Sangha of one alone, I suppose).

    The contact that one person has with another is not merely a factor of physical presence, and truly our practice is about knocking down all mental constructs which separate and divide your imagined "self" from "another".

    The all encompassing Sangha is neither on a computer screen, in a building, a house trailer, or great temple, nor limited to all the seas and mountains and deserts of this world ... but consists of the entire universe, and then some.

    And all this is swept into a single moment of Zazen sitting ... which, for better or worse, sometimes some folks may have some vital things to talk about (as a support to the sitting ... never forget the sitting for all the talking about sitting) ... while others may not feel the need.

    Gassho, J

  3. #3

    Re: tip of the iceberg

    Yo. When I walk outside I'm not online. Infact, when I'm online I'm online. When I'm not online, then I'm not online. It's pretty simple.

    Gassho

  4. #4
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: tip of the iceberg

    An online Sangha provides true support and instruction for a great many people who have no other access or for whom local Sanghas may not offer the same level of connection or support.

    Physical Sanghas are often no picnic either. People are superficially more gentle in their speech, perhaps, but back-biting and gossip seem more prevelent too.

    Chet

  5. #5

    Re: tip of the iceberg

    Hmmmm. It occurs to me that gossip is a 'crime of opportunity'. It usually requires two people who know each other and both know a 3rd person. I don't know anyone else who knows you, so even if I bear tales, the impact is not the same.

    Not sure it's 'on point', but just a thought. Ann

  6. #6

    Re: tip of the iceberg

    thanks for your thoughts


    gassho, roky

  7. #7

    Re: tip of the iceberg

    Perhaps, just that you can pick that part of Treeleaf most important to your practice now, without undue social group pressure, makes it well worth having. Gassho, Zak

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: tip of the iceberg

    I agree with Chet...the gossiping here is maybe just more out in the open which I think makes for fewer false pleasantries.

    And at physical sanghas you often have to donate and already have established a sitting routine to sit with the others...not always the most welcoming to new folks who can jump right in here.

  9. #9
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: tip of the iceberg

    A couple points:

    Our Sangha is small. There is more interaction with the teachers.

    Because of the internet 'distance', people share real issues here and the teachers can address them. There is less need for faking - even if there's more opportunity.

    The videos allow us to access teachings in a somewhat similar form as we might for a live talk - no matter when we view them.

    Chet

  10. #10

    Re: tip of the iceberg

    Hi everyone!

    Thanks to you all for this thread!
    I just wanted to say I'm feeling in accord with Chet's last post!
    Small Sangha, big opportunities... not for cheating each other, just for sharing with each other!

    Of course the base of everyone being here is you Jundo, ans also Taigu!
    But honestly without the other members of the Sangha and the interaction we all have together...
    this would not be a Sangha, would not feel complete ... even with a very good Teacher ...
    Luckily we have both ! 8)

    So, let just be and do what we do without paying much interest on what people may think or say!

    Deep Gassho to all,
    Luis/Jinyu

  11. #11

    Re: tip of the iceberg

    hello roky and others posting here

    this reminded me of a thread started a couple of years back: Sanghas, sanghas everywhere...:

    Similarly to 'everyone has buddha nature, just not everyone has Realized it yet' I think we step in and out of zendos all day and practice with an multitude of sanghas: we exit one zendo only to enter another: the zendo of the coffe shop, the zendo of the farmers' market, the zendo of the elevator, the zendo of the operating room. In each one, we practice with the sangha there--the sangha of the coffee shop, the sangha of the elevator, the sangha of the surgical team.

    Sangha members are numberless I vow to practice with all of them:
    zendo's are infinite I vow to practice in all of them;
    Delusions are like weeds: continuously abundant, I vow to be thorough and vigilant in removing them, their seeds and roots.
    Dharmas are boundless I vow to know them all by heart;
    The Buddha Way is without beginning, without end, in starting it I vow to complete it.

    So I will bow out of this sangha, and enter the city bus zendo of the bus riders' sangha--while I head over to the doctor's office zendo and the sangha of office staff and patients. (You lose your car keys, you get to visit other zendos on wheels!)


    when you step out of your trailer, roky, you enter the desert zendo, and walk with the desert sangha, and entering and exiting is like this all day, everywhere

    if it is not a sangha of which you are a member, then it is a sangha of which you are a guest
    at least this is what I have come to understand from my own experience

  12. #12

    Re: tip of the iceberg

    Quote Originally Posted by Keishin
    Similarly to 'everyone has buddha nature, just not everyone has Realized it yet' I think we step in and out of zendos all day and practice with an multitude of sanghas: we exit one zendo only to enter another: the zendo of the coffe shop, the zendo of the farmers' market, the zendo of the elevator, the zendo of the operating room. In each one, we practice with the sangha there--the sangha of the coffee shop, the sangha of the elevator, the sangha of the surgical team.

    This is fact. Sanghas are infinite and ever changing,. Sangha is one beyond one, just this universe and then some. Every place and time is a place and time for practice.

    Of course, in the Sangha of Starbucks, it is likely that one will not be shown the subtle ways of Zazen and Kinhin, nor the tastes of the Eightfold Path ... although one will be able to get a dandy tall half-skinny half-1 percent extra hot split quad shot latte with whip in a grande cup, extra foam.

    And here, in our little sitting group, I will hesitate to perform one's appendectomy, as might be better done in the Zendo of the 'operating room' (although we do heart transplants here all the time).

    Otherwise, just the same, no difference. :wink:

    Gassho, J

  13. #13

    Re: tip of the iceberg

    hellos to Jundo and others posting here

    I don't think I've ever been in a Starbucks/Coffee Bean and Tealeaf/Peets Coffee/etc and not done kinhin

    heavy traffic on the 10 Freeway? auto-kinhin!

    subtle teachings abound

    teachings are endless

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