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Thread: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

  1. #1

    A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Hiyas
    Just a few thoughts on Sangha that came to mind as of late, hope you do not mind!

    Now in besides being the third jewel (though not in any order of importance as all three are one and each the other), we usually see sangha as a group of like-minded practitioners of the way supporting each other in practice. Of course there is more to that than meets the eye.

    In taking refuge in the sangha we work together to support each other, accept each other as we are. In doing so we often liken it to rock tumbler… we do not always agree, nor do we always get along perfectly. That brings me to the whole point of sangha, we learn at first to accept and support each other, and grind off some of our rigid points to allow room for others perspective open-mindedness(read: play nice despite our differences).

    Taking refuge in the Sangha does not mean we stay in the cosy warm safety of like minded folks of course, this means we learn from each other to have an open mind and extend our understanding to allow room for other views. If we can accept the few (or sometimes many… depending on the time and space) differences we find in our sangha, then we must also turn that understanding and open mindedness to the wide world, to the sangha of our family, friends, neighbors, and our work place, birds, trees, rocks, and the myriad of things that support us that go unnoticed. The sangha that cannot exclude anyone that includes our less preferable persons in our lives (noting of course we give those that cause us harm wide berth and learn from their teachings from a safe distance).

    Like the fish caught Myozan's attention, provided inspiration for his wonderful talk and great way to liken sangha, that fish jumping into the stream ventured beyond its safety.
    We must also venture to jump clear of the water once in awhile to realize that the river, the air, the rocks, the entire universe, are nothing more than this precious sangha.

    All this to say that right now, I want to put forward my unending gratitude to all of you (in the ten directions too) for your support, your teachings, and your encouragement. In my times of greatest need you all have shown me the way (weather you know it or not) and given me the support and understanding needed to take turn this around to the wider sangha.


    Countless deep bows to you all.

    Shohei

  2. #2

    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    and a very deep bow to you Shohei

    i don't think anyone could've put it better

    gassho
    Greg

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    _/_

  4. #4

    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Deep bows to you as well Shohei. I am grateful for having you in the rock tumbler with me

    Daido

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    _/|_


    Shugen

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    What a beautiful post. I, too, have much gratitude for all Treeleafers, Unsui's, Unsui's to be, Jundo & Taigu and the Sangha that extends beyond the Treeleaf circle. We are all interconnected in this universe and to treat all sentient beings with loving kindness and compassion whether they are a Buddhist or not, will only help to create more peace and harmony in the world even if it's just a little bit. A small act of kindness creates a ripple effect that may travel a wide distance while inspiring others on the way.

    Gassho,
    Ekai

  7. #7

    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Was reading Eihei Koroku this morning and this post shines with similar wisdom. Who is it that we practice with? Who is it we help? With whom do we get frustrated with?

    Gassho

    Dokan

  8. #8

    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Thank you
    _/_

  9. #9

    A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    So close, no matter how far
    Couldn't be much more from the heart
    Forever trusting who we are
    and nothing else matters

    Never opened myself this way
    Life is ours, we live it our way
    All these words I don't just say
    and nothing else matters

    Trust I seek and I find in you
    Every day for us something new
    Open mind for a different view
    and nothing else matters

    never cared for what they do
    never cared for what they know
    but I know

    So close, no matter how far
    Couldn't be much more from the heart
    Forever trusting who we are
    and nothing else matters

    never cared for what they do
    never cared for what they know
    but I know

    Never opened myself this way
    Life is ours, we live it our way
    All these words I don't just say

    Trust I seek and I find in you
    Every day for us, something new
    Open mind for a different view
    and nothing else matters

    never cared for what they say
    never cared for games they play
    never cared for what they do
    never cared for what they know
    and I know

    So close, no matter how far
    Couldn't be much more from the heart
    Forever trusting who we are
    No, nothing else matters

  10. #10
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
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    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Well said Shohei.

    Gassho,
    Chris

  11. #11

    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    _/_

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
    So close, no matter how far
    Couldn't be much more from the heart
    Forever trusting who we are
    and nothing else matters

    Never opened myself this way
    Life is ours, we live it our way
    All these words I don't just say
    and nothing else matters

    Trust I seek and I find in you
    Every day for us something new
    Open mind for a different view
    and nothing else matters

    never cared for what they do
    never cared for what they know
    but I know

    So close, no matter how far
    Couldn't be much more from the heart
    Forever trusting who we are
    and nothing else matters

    never cared for what they do
    never cared for what they know
    but I know

    Never opened myself this way
    Life is ours, we live it our way
    All these words I don't just say

    Trust I seek and I find in you
    Every day for us, something new
    Open mind for a different view
    and nothing else matters

    never cared for what they say
    never cared for games they play
    never cared for what they do
    never cared for what they know
    and I know

    So close, no matter how far
    Couldn't be much more from the heart
    Forever trusting who we are
    No, nothing else matters
    Sounds like there's a Metallica fan in the house

    Gassho,
    Ekai

  13. #13

    A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Yes, at least I used to be!
    Heard it on the radio and realized it's about Sangha!

    Thanks Shohei!

    /Pontus

  14. #14

    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Thanks Shohei!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    _/_ Sangha.

  16. #16

    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Hello all,

    Shohei - Wonderful post! I feel lucky/humbled to be part of such a warm, dynamic and just plain good group of people.

    bows,
    Kelly/Jinmei

  17. #17

    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    A while back - as my interest in Buddhism was beginning to deepen - I felt quite sad. Reading about the three precious jewels I thought
    I would never have the opportunity to be part of a sangha or learn through the guidance of teachers and a wise community.

    I understand that this journey is about questioning and not necessarily agreeing (yes- we are a vibrant rock tumbler here!) and is also sometimes taking time out
    to journey alone - but I am very happy to have found this sangha.

    Thank you for your thoughts Shohei

    Gassho

    Willow

  18. #18
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Quote Originally Posted by willow
    ...Reading about the three precious jewels I thought
    I would never have the opportunity to be part of a sangha...
    No being is outside of the Sangha. :wink:

  19. #19
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Hi Shohei,
    This is such a beautiful and wise post. An inspiration and an eye-opener. Thank you.
    Myozan

  20. #20
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Shohei,

    A wonderful post my friend...thank you for being you.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  21. #21

    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Amelia wrote No being is outside of the Sangha

    Hi Amelia - I agree - no being outside of Sanga with a capital S - the interconnected universe. But this morning - reading through the threads - feeling part of this community - a huge difference for me. Perhaps feeling part of a community in a 'real' way - faces to names - thoughts directly to thoughts - is the switch that lights
    the whole connective network up?

    Gassho

    Willow

  22. #22

    A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Yes Willow, I think you may be right.
    Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, the three jewels. Nothing is excluded.
    Thanks!

    Gassho,
    Pontus

  23. #23
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    May we all be polished to a mirror finish through this way of the Buddha _/_ Dharma _/_ and Sangha _/_
    Thank you all for your practice!

    Gassho,
    Hoyu

  24. #24
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Shohei,
    A beautiful and inspirational post (I know I am using Myozan's words but they fit and are worth repeating). Shoehei, Thank you is all I can say and should say. I am so grateful for you, this sangha, and all my Dharma brothers and sisters.

    A deep bow,
    Yugen

  25. #25
    Senior Member murasaki's Avatar
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    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Deep gassho.
    Julia

  26. #26
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    _/_

    Jen

  27. #27
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Quote Originally Posted by willow
    ...Perhaps feeling part of a community in a 'real' way - faces to names - thoughts directly to thoughts - is the switch that lights
    the whole connective network up? ...
    It helps.

  28. #28

    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Wonderful, Shohei.

    _/_

    Eika

  29. #29
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    _/_

  30. #30

    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    _()_
    Myoku

  31. #31

    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Thank you Shohei! Sangha is a bright pearl indeed! Shining here or there but where is it not?

    deep gassho,
    Jinyu

  32. #32
    Senior Member Marek's Avatar
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    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    _/_

  33. #33

    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    _/_

  34. #34

    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Beautifully said.

    Gassho, Ann (Josho)

  35. #35

    Re: A few simple thoughts on Sangha

    Shohei,

    I really liked the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by Shohei
    Taking refuge in the Sangha does not mean we stay in the cosy warm safety of like minded folks of course, this means we learn from each other to have an open mind and extend our understanding to allow room for other views. If we can accept the few (or sometimes many… depending on the time and space) differences we find in our sangha, then we must also turn that understanding and open mindedness to the wide world, to the sangha of our family, friends, neighbors, and our work place, birds, trees, rocks, and the myriad of things that support us that go unnoticed. The sangha that cannot exclude anyone that includes our less preferable persons in our lives (noting of course we give those that cause us harm wide berth and learn from their teachings from a safe distance).
    Open mindedness does not mean we must agree, but to be open to another's position....to give it consideration. Sometimes we become more convinced of our position, but see how others may view the world differently. Nevertheless, sometimes we change our position as a result...sometimes we admit there is more than one valid position..sometimes we admit there are..perhaps many.. many... different perspectives.

    Gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW

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