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Nancy Drew and the Case of Missing Sangha

edited June 2010 in Sanghas
I picked up a Buddhist magazine today. I began to flip through it about half an hour ago and I had to put it down and walk away. I didn't get a chance to read any of the articles. I saw a lot of pictures and advertisements that showed happy people on retreat, or at abbeys, temples, monasteries, dharma centers, celebrations, et cetera. I became angry, because I want to be in those places, with those people, doing those things, but I can't and I won't be able to for a very long time (if ever).

It's difficult for me to read about the importance and the benefit of the sangha because I don't have one, and I won't have one for a very long time (if ever). The same thing happens when I read about the importance and benefit of having a qualified teacher, or going on retreat, or anything of that sort.

I know it's okay to be angry, and I recognize that I'm not angry with those people, places, things, or events. I'm simply angry because of circumstances both within and beyond my control. I picked up my Three Pillars of Zen the other day again, and put it back down because it began to talk quite a bit about receiving teachings from a qualified teacher, and how koans are passed on. I put down Hooked: Buddhist Writings on Greed, Desire, and the Urge to Consume for similar reasons.

Right now, I'm not sure how to deal with it. I'm just angry and frustrated.

Comments

  • edited July 2006
    Email Samu Sunim at the Toronto Zen Center

    http://www.zenbuddhisttemple.org/
  • edited July 2006
    Thank you, Genryu. I just sent them an email. I appreciate the recommendation. ^.^
  • edited July 2006
    You are most welcome.
  • edited July 2006
    hmm im thinking i felt the same way jiza.. if i read your posting right.
    gona check out zenmonks site as well..thanks ZM

    are you feeling you need more "conection" and its just not available to you?
    let me know maybe i can tell you how i have come to terms with it.. and with
    patience found my own path..
    if this is what you are meaning?
  • edited July 2006
    this site was helpful for me..

    http://www.buddhismcanada.com/
  • edited July 2006
    You are correct, colleen. I wish for more connection. To practice with others, to receive teachings from a qualified teacher, to celebrate buddhist holidays. Unfortunately, there isn't anything in my city that really fills that. There is a vipassana meditation group, but they charge money (which I find silly).
  • edited July 2006
    did you find anything from the post i sent you.>
    i looked for you.. seemed like there was???
  • edited July 2006
    There is a Pure Land pagoda (no offense to any Pure Land-ers, but it's just not my cup of tea), and that Vipassana group that I mentioned in my earlier post. That's all that I found through that link.
  • edited July 2006
    i tryed.. lol

    i dont no... keep doors open my friend.. maybe goin to one of these classes
    and talkin to others may lead you to where you want to be?

    or even call them and ask for what you are interested?
    again.. that is what i did.. made my own path, it never came to me.
  • edited April 2010
    Namaste, Jizo! /\
    I, too, share your frustration. Though I belong to a sangha about 30 miles away, I haven't gone due to lack of gas $. Probably a lame excuse, I guess I could network to carpool, but I haven't. Though you could perceive it as trite, one has to call on the Buddha to be present before oneself and take refuge within oneself. Yeah, it sucks spirituality, retreats, etc. aren't "free," even though they should be. Yet, to run these things requires energy and in our pluralistic society with all it's freedoms-it operates on capital-money, credit, energy, labor, property, etc. I guess the rub is freedom comes with a price. Even the sadhus had to beg for alms so they could eat. The greater challenge is to look within yourself and find the discipline to practice your prayers and meditation where you are, to create a Pureland/buddha field where you are-when you can do that, things will work out somehow where you can get to some fellowship. Or you can say to yourself, "Who is this clown, I think he's full of BS," and leave it at that.
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran
    edited April 2010
    Yes, Sangha's nice to have ... but we're all still unenlightened, just like the rest of the beings walking about.

    Sharp words, hurt feelings, jealousies, cold shoulders, even stolen purses ... they're all there. Our teacher tells us that even in Namgyal monastery (back in India), the all-too-human interactions go on between the monks.

    The only thing that makes it nice is that at least when you "Tsong Khapa Day", people don't reply "Gesundheit".
  • edited May 2010
    LOL

    I am also frustrated as there is a local forest hermitage (Theravadan) within 10 miles of home, but because of my health and responsibilities I am unable to get involved. I like the advice given by PemaRangdol to find the discipline within to practice without a teacher and sangha to be with physically. I also find books and this forum really helpful. I have pictures of Buddhist teachers that I look at everyday, and I regard them as my teachers even if we have never exchanged a word.

    You are not alone Jizo Bosastu!
  • edited June 2010
    You are correct, colleen. I wish for more connection. To practice with others, to receive teachings from a qualified teacher, to celebrate buddhist holidays. Unfortunately, there isn't anything in my city that really fills that. There is a vipassana meditation group, but they charge money (which I find silly).

    If you are unwilling to support your sangha financially how can you expect them to maintain their ability to support you spiritually?
    There is absolutely nothing silly about dharma centers charging money. Its essential. I for one wont attend a teaching or event without offering at least some money in support of it.
    Not to mention the virtue involved in financial support of the sangha.
    Not going to a center because you are expected to provide some kind of financial support is a "silly" reason not to go.

    There are a lot of centers in Canada. What city do you live in?
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited June 2010
    I hesitate to point this out, but we're talking in a thread created in 2006......

    It's 4 years old, guys.......
  • edited June 2010
    federica wrote: »
    I hesitate to point this out, but we're talking in a thread created in 2006......

    It's 4 years old, guys.......

    I love when that happens.
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran
    edited June 2010
    I'm a four-year-old at heart. :smilec:
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited June 2010
    I love when that happens.

    I know... it makes me go "giggle-d'oh!"
    Nirvana wrote: »
    I'm a four-year-old at heart. :smilec:

    That old....? beats me by a coupla years.....:D
  • johnathanjohnathan Veteran
    edited June 2010
    Even though the original post and discussion ended almost 4 years ago, I think the topic is still relevant and should be either continued here or in a new thread... PemaRangdol, Foiblefull, Fran45, and shenpen nangwa's current discussion is just as valid now as it was then and I was finding it interesting... please do carry on...
  • ShutokuShutoku Veteran
    edited June 2010
    There is a Pure Land pagoda (no offense to any Pure Land-ers, but it's just not my cup of tea), and that Vipassana group that I mentioned in my earlier post. That's all that I found through that link.
    I was more or less Soto Zen/TNH. The only Sangha in my community was Jodo Shinshu. I too felt PL was "not my cup of tea", but I went anyway because at least it was a Buddhist Sangha.
    I am happily Jodo Shinshu now and have been for a round 15 years.:cool:
    Once I learned what it was actually about I was happy to be Shin.

    I think one thing people should realize, is that I think it is never a good idea to base one's ideas about a sect, or religion on anything other than talking to people who actually practice it. Most people outside PL have some very wrong ideas about it. I've also heard Shin Sensei's saying some things that were not completely accurate about Zen and Theravada. We all will tend to impose our biases. Even just reading a sutra isn't really going to tell you. You need to talk to actually practitioners, or try it yourself to get a feel for it. Go to the source and you will find the truth.

    Again I realize this is an old thread, but maybe if these are the Sanghas close to you, there is some karma going on here? Maybe you are closing your mind to something that might be exactly what you need (PL or Vipassana)

    BTW I was not in the least offended that PL isn't your cup of tea...that isn't my motivation here. I just wanted to point out that sometimes we think something isn't for us without really knowing what it is, and if we close off such possibilities, we may be closing the door to a wonderful Dharma gate.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited June 2010
    johnathan wrote: »
    Even though the original post and discussion ended almost 4 years ago, I think the topic is still relevant and should be either continued here or in a new thread... PemaRangdol, Foiblefull, Fran45, and shenpen nangwa's current discussion is just as valid now as it was then and I was finding it interesting... please do carry on...

    Not disputing that at all. I'm merely pointing out that the OP may not be in any position to respond right now.....his last post was in September 2006.

    But you're absolutely correct. The thread has not lost any relevance..... Many subjects are repeated, time and time again....
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