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How to use sangha?

yagryagr Veteran
edited April 2021 in Sanghas

Perhaps there is a sutra I could be pointed in the direction of...

To clarify my question though: How does one use a spiritual community to grow without becoming attached or dependent on that community? Hmm. Actually, that didn't manage to encapsulate the entirety of my question, so let me add this: How does one prevent ego from arising and sabotaging the whole endeavor? I have recently stepped into a community and I'm aware of thoughts arising (not just from me) leading to conceptual discussions that I'm not certain are doing anything but giving birth to some incredibly sexy spiritual thoughts that are trying to entice me (and others) down what looks like a dangerously deep rabbit hole. When does a Dharma discussion turn counter-productive?


  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited April 2021

    That is a great question that can be approached from many different directions.

    The main point that I try to maintain in discussions with Sangha is speaking in a way that supports the intent of the precepts that one follows, the 4 NT & the 8 FP.
    Is my speech in accord with a ceasing from evil, doing only good and a purifying of the heart/mind?
    Does anything I'm saying support some form of killing/ stealing/ coveting/ saying that which is not true/ selling the wine of delusion/ speaking against others/ being proud of yourself & devaluing others/ anger or is a defamation the Buddha, Dharma or Sangha.
    What actually is "right" speech?
    It is not enough to speak truthfully of something if you can't also ascertain that this moment is actually the right time to speak of it.

    The second point that I have come to appreciate is from Sangha's that have been taught that a discussion within a Dharma group has the potential to be a great teaching aid for any participants willing to keep their own ego's on a very short leash egos during this group activity. To this end, let there be only one voice speaking at any one time, that addresses everyone present and can be heard by everyone, rather than breaking off for individual discussions within the group as it is commonly seen in the world.

    A Dharma discussion turns counter-productive when it creates more inertial movement towards sufferings cause than towards suffering's cessation.

    Cheers all.

  • yagryagr Veteran

    @federica said:

    See, the Dhamma talk is NEVER counter-productive.
    You are.

    Indeed. I have 99 problems today - and I am all of them. But I am breathing and doing Spring cleaning, so there is hope. <3

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    How to Use Sangha?

    "Therefore do these 8 kinds of individuals, these four noble pairs,
    Deserve both gifts, self sacrifice, offerings, hospitality and reverential salutation with joined palms.

    Since the noble Sangha community of the Buddha's noble disciples is indeed an unsurpassable, and forever unsurpassed, field of merit,
    In this world,
    For this world,
    To honour, support, uphold, respect and protect."

    The Buddha

  • @yagr said:

    When does a Dharma discussion turn counter-productive?

    To quote Mr Shakespeare There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

    When one becomes too attached to one's own thoughts....

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    It seems to be when thinking turns away from insight and learning dhamma, and becomes about upholding entrenched positions within the mind. It is often the people who think they know what it is about who cause the problems, and online people seem to give themselves license to “come out swinging”. Dhamma discussion is a great tool for learning where one is stuck.

    Great question @yagr.

  • But I am breathing and doing Spring cleaning, so there is hope. <3

    There is always hope whilst breathing.

    At the moment the sky here is clear blue and empty. So in that sense there is no sangha, no dharma and no buddha. However ... I rather liked @federica cloud ...

    The question is about transparency. When we clean, our efforts produce the ever present result of the future sprung.

    We might say we resonate with the Truth, not all the sangha. We focus on the meaningful, not the dhrama. In essence we are bodhisatvas attuning to Buddha Bod Hi!

    Hope that makes sense. Otherwise clouds, rain, water ...

    Change Eternal.

  • How to use Sangha or be of service to one of the three jewels [me, mind and something or other ...]?

    In this sense it is not what we get out but what we put in without noisy reward expectation or ostentatious interfacing.

    We are independent in essence, through training in freedom ...

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited April 2021

    OP, it sounds like, if the community you recently joined already has you struggling with doubts, maybe it's not the right community for you. I don't know much about the situation, but the sound you hear may be that of red flags flapping in the wind. It might not be a bad idea to step back from it for a bit, to process your experience and get a more objective perspective over it. That's hard to do when you're immersed in it.

    just a thought.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited April 2021

    I think its not so much about doubts arising so much as how we respond to them.

    Some of the most the most profoundly ego deluded sangha's have managed to achieve this state from the concerted banishing of doubts from their practice.

    While the rejection of doubt is understandable for how it makes for an easier maintenance of the status quo within any tribe, that has more to do with control than with truth.

    The arising of doubt needs to be given no more special treatment than any other visiting phenomena because the alternative is the habitual clinging to/ rejecting or the ignoring of doubt that keeps folks snoozing within the dream that the Buddha was trying to have his followers awaken from.

    Just considering the possibility that ones actions in anything might be ego entangled to some extent, while not a comfortable exploration, help form the questions to ask ourselves that many spiritual tribes would prefer us to gloss over.

  • @how said:
    I think its not so much about doubts arising so much as how we respond to them.

    Ah ha!
    First there is a rug to sit on ... and then it gets pulled from under us ...

    Tee Hee! Are we sitting comfortably?
    Time for real cushions that rock ...

    In a similar way ... here are my cushion doubts, sitting quietly on my head ...

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    That’s a real rock, though, wearing the hat.

  • dramaqueendramaqueen USA Explorer


    Wonderful. Thanks so much. May I ask who you practice with? FoibleFull makes such a good point - when you see people who have practiced (genuinely practiced) and sense them, you will know that there is an entirely different way of being which is so far from our usual selves, that it will be beyond humbling.

    Thanks for your sharing.

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    I practice with a Tibetan monk called Kushok Lobsang Dhamchoe. Our gatherings are now held on Zoom instead of us going to the Centre

  • ChoephalChoephal UK Veteran

    @FoibleFull said:
    I practice with a Tibetan monk called Kushok Lobsang Dhamchoe. Our gatherings are now held on Zoom instead of us going to the Centre

    A very great teacher and the student of another great teacher.

  • dramaqueendramaqueen USA Explorer

    Who is his teacher @Choephal ?

  • ChoephalChoephal UK Veteran
    edited April 2021

    @dramaqueen said:
    Who is his teacher @Choephal ?

    K.L.D.’s main teacher was H.E. Lobsang Nyma Pal Sangpo a major lineage holder.

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