WHAT IS ZEN? - Chap 11 - Sangha

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39276

    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

  • Koki
    • Apr 2017
    • 319

    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


    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk


    • Mp

      Thank you Jundo. =)




      • Onkai
        Treeleaf Unsui
        • Aug 2015
        • 2844

        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.

        美道 Bidou Beautiful Way
        恩海 Onkai Merciful/Kind Ocean

        I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.


        • Junkyo
          • Jun 2018
          • 262

          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.



          Sent from my SM-G955W using Tapatalk


          • Washin
            Treeleaf Unsui
            • Dec 2014
            • 3753

            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.

            Kaidō (皆道) Every Way
            Washin (和信) Harmony Trust
            I am a novice priest-in-training. Anything that I say must not be considered as teaching
            and should be taken with a 'grain of salt'.


            • Eva
              • May 2017
              • 200

              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


              • AlanLa
                • Mar 2008
                • 1405

                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 I’ve 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 naïve 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, “There’s a lot more to it than that.” I think Zen’s 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 I’m gonna try and let that go. It’s gonna be a long-term project, however.
                AL (Jigen) in:

                I sat today


                • Jundo
                  Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                  • Apr 2006
                  • 39276

                  Hi Al!
                  ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE