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Thread: WHAT IS ZEN? - Chap 11 - Sangha

  1. #1

    WHAT IS ZEN? - Chap 11 - Sangha

    Hello Sangha!

    This time, our reading is all of Chapter 11, Sangha ... Community.

    What is your definition of "Sangha" (or maybe you have more than one)?

    Is there some power in the group, and some power in dealing with all the little tensions that a group can sometimes entail (not only a Buddhist group, but even a family or group of friends)?

    Or are you more a loner in your Buddhist practice, and is there some reason that you resist groups?

    How does all this relate to a "near but far" online Sangha like Treeleaf?

    I look forward to your impressions.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Member Koki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Parma Ohio (just outside Cleveland)
    I think Sangha is a group of like individuals, who support each other in Buddha, Dharma, Sangha.

    Like family...there is love, diversity and occasional disagreements.

    An online Sangha has much merit, by reaching far and wide, and to many who cannot attend a brick and mortar sangha, for whatever reason. (no local Sangha, disabilities, etc)

    There is a potential for misinterpretation or misunderstandings when just printed word. Sometimes you can tell much more from a person by their facial expression, tone of voice, body language, etc. Which isn't apparent in written words. Fortunately, we can Skype, etc., from time to time.

    It's also tricky with all this modern technology for "key board warriors", like "arm chair quarter backs", to be more brash than they might be in person.

    I love our Sangha because of its potential to reach out to so many people, and most of the people I've had the pleasure of interacting with have all been like brothers and sisters...not strangers.

    Just my 2 cents

    Gassho
    Koki
    Satoday

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Thank you Jundo. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  4. #4
    I have usually thought of sangha as the people who practice with me. Treeleaf has been very supportive of my practice. I liked the discussion in the book of the absolute meaning of sangha - all sentient beings, including pebbles, tiles, and grasses.

    Gassho
    Onkai
    Sat/LAH

  5. #5
    I am finally catching up in the book!

    For me the Sangha is family. Instead of being connected through genetics, we are connected through the dharma and our practice. Like a family we support one another in our practices sometimes through sharing or offering a shoulder and other times just by sharing our practice/merit.

    After some reflection I would even go as far to say I love the sangha and its members in much the same way as I love my family.

    I am grateful to be apart of it with all of you, and with all the members of the wider sangha around the world.

    Gassho,

    Junkyo
    SAT

    Sent from my SM-G955W using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Thank you, Jundo.

    I liked the analogy of the sharp rocks in a tumbler. I think this is what happens to one's
    character in time. Although I attend a sesshin several times a year and pratice daily with
    this community in order to enhance own practice I realize that on a large scale my practice
    is not about myself. It is about others.
    Sangha is very important. I feel deep gratitude and joy being a part of Treeleaf.

    Gassho
    Washin
    st
    Wa (和) Harmony
    Shin (心) Heart-Mind

  7. #7
    Hello everyone,
    I'm happy to share my thoughts on this .

    I see Sangha as all that is our consciousness, because like a family, one takes care and is fully responsible for everyone in it. So whatever or whomever I am conscious of, is "my" Sangha and I am theirs. This also applies to thoughts and emotions . I am responsible for the clarity of my thoughts, to Zazen, to what I reflect upon.

    It is a place to be loving and forgiving (even when correct understanding is not always available to intellectual mind), to being together, to be joyful and happy or sad and compassionate .

    Thank you everyone for your presence,
    Gassho eva,
    sattoday and also LAH

  8. #8
    It seems somehow appropriate, or maybe ironic, that this itinerant member returns for the chapter on sangha. More on that later, because I have a few short comments on what Ive missed.

    In my know-it-all teens I had a wonderful conversation with our Lutheran pastor, a close friend of the family, about the training required to be a pastor like him. My nave argument was that if someone was touched by the Word of God, as he certainly appeared to be, then why would they need to go to seminary school? I can summarize his patient response as, Theres a lot more to it than that. I think Zens apprenticeship approach is a good one. You can know all the dharma there is to know, so to speak, but there is a lot more that goes into making a good teacher, or pastor.

    As for the long haul, my Jukai ceremony was very moving and important to me, vastly more so than my Lutheran confirmation ceremony that I didn't truly believe in. Since Jukai I have dedicated myself to the vows and the precepts, and I can say unequivocally that my efforts to adhere to them have changed me considerably for the better, and I am eternally grateful. Despite the fact I remain terribly flawed, I have learned to treat my flaws as opportunities for awareness and advancement.

    As for sangha, over the years since Jukai I have come to take quite seriously how I take refuge in the sangha. I consider Treeleaf my spiritual home. I wander away regularly, but I know that I can always come back, impermanence aside of course. My sangha also includes my family and other people in my life that I know I can count on, that visit me in the hospital and follow through with what they say, that truly support me beyond words because their words are not empty platitudes. Another ring of my sangha is those who make me smile or make my life more pleasurable. All of these people are very important to me in some meaningful way, they give substance to my life for which I am eternally grateful. And at the broadest end of the spectrum, my sangha includes all sentient beings because I realize that I get little bits of support for my life from all the vast array of sources that have gathered together to keep this highly improbable me here for the brief time I am here.

    To get back to the itinerant member comment that I started this post with, I am certainly guilty of letting my egoistic individualism keep me from the doing of all things together, as Fisher and Moon discuss. Evidence of that is not hard to find here. Reading that section got me to thinking, brought it into awareness in a meaningful way, so Im gonna try and let that go. Its gonna be a long-term project, however.
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

    I sat today

  9. #9
    Hi Al!
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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