Role of the Sangha . . .

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  • Gregor
    Member
    • Apr 2007
    • 638

    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 . . .
    Jukai '09 Dharma Name: Shinko 慎重(Prudent Calm)
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39392

    #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
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • will
      Member
      • Jun 2007
      • 2331

      #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
      [size=85:z6oilzbt]
      To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
      To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
      To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
      To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
      [/size:z6oilzbt]

      Comment

      • Charles
        Member
        • Feb 2008
        • 95

        #4
        Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

        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

        Comment

        • will
          Member
          • Jun 2007
          • 2331

          #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
          [size=85:z6oilzbt]
          To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
          To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
          To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
          To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
          [/size:z6oilzbt]

          Comment

          • will
            Member
            • Jun 2007
            • 2331

            #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
            [size=85:z6oilzbt]
            To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
            To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
            To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
            To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
            [/size:z6oilzbt]

            Comment

            • Undo
              Member
              • Jun 2007
              • 495

              #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*£t 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

              Comment

              • Longdog
                Member
                • Nov 2007
                • 448

                #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
                [url:x8wstd0h]http://moder-dye.blogspot.com/[/url:x8wstd0h]

                Comment

                • Fuken
                  Member
                  • Sep 2006
                  • 435

                  #9
                  Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

                  Rock tumbler :!:

                  Gassho,
                  Jordan
                  Yours in practice,
                  Jordan ("Fu Ken" translates to "Wind Sword", Dharma name givin to me by Jundo, I am so glad he did not name me Wind bag.)

                  Comment

                  • Jundo
                    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                    • Apr 2006
                    • 39392

                    #10
                    Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

                    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
                    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                    Comment

                    • Kent
                      Member
                      • Feb 2008
                      • 193

                      #11
                      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.

                      Comment

                      • Gregor
                        Member
                        • Apr 2007
                        • 638

                        #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.
                        Jukai '09 Dharma Name: Shinko 慎重(Prudent Calm)

                        Comment

                        • Stephanie

                          #13
                          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.

                          Comment

                          • Stephanie

                            #14
                            Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

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

                            Comment

                            • Kelly M.
                              Member
                              • Sep 2007
                              • 225

                              #15
                              Re: Role of the Sangha . . .

                              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.

                              Originally posted by Jordan
                              Rock tumbler :!:
                              :lol:


                              Gassho,
                              Kelly
                              Live in joy and love, even among those who hate
                              Live in joy and health, even among the afflicted
                              Live in joy and peace, even among the troubled
                              Look within and be still; free from fear and grasping
                              Know the sweet joy of living in the way.

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