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Is this website an appropriate sangha?

edited July 2010 in Sanghas
Ive only met three other Buddhists in person in my life. And I only really talked to them for a few minutes.

Ive never really had a calling to be a regular part of an actual temple.

In my mind, this is technically better than any temple that i could be a part of. I am able to experience the views of people from all branches of Buddhism, rather than a single one.

Ive learned so much, and on a side note wanted to thank this awesome and active community for helping me grow. you guys have been a great help.

On topic! Would you guys consider this an appropriate "Sangha"?

My only concern is that i would love to meditate in a group one day.

Comments

  • edited July 2010
    IMO, any sharing and exchange of kindness, samadhi, harmony and emptiness is an appropriate sangha. Your concern to love meditating in a group is right path. In group meditation, it is helpful to share, learn and develop the unsurpassed loving kindness and serenity much more powerfully. Through group, you would aware your inner harmony clearly and tranforms those weaknesses into benevolence and wisdom of emptiness. You would also able to help other students to develop their inner serenity from your enlightenment.
    Om Mani Padme Hum :)
  • skullchinskullchin Veteran
    edited July 2010
    Mics, I sure hope so! I won't be able to make it to my local zen center for another three months!
  • 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 July 2010
    On topic! Would you guys consider this an appropriate "Sangha"?

    Yes, if you have nothing else, it's utterly exactly the place you need to be, right now.
    My only concern is that i would love to meditate in a group one day.
    That's a luxury I've only managed to enjoy 3 times in all my time as a Buddhist.
    I too would dearly love to deepen my meditation practice.
    Logistics, affordability and professional constraints mean that right now, this is impossible for me.
  • edited July 2010
    The should be seen for what it is, a forum or meeting-place of those from all traditions to help each other as best that we can (though we are not Arahants, Zen Masters, etc.).

    A Sangha is of one tradition, so it might be quite the misnomer for this forum. Many of the arguments here are because people forget this is multi-traditional, and they press their tradition's point-of-view as if there is no other.

    This is certainly an appropriate "place/event" to be, just not in calling it a Sangha. :)
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran
    edited July 2010
    We take refuge in the Sangha. Yes, Sangha can refer to the community we sit down and practice with (it being implicit that we are doing the same practice) ... but primarily, it is those who teach us, those ordained monks and nuns.

    One of the things we are taught is that we should watch and assess our teacher for 10 years before deciding if they are worthy to teach. Are they qualified? Are they skillful?

    And what is "skillful"? The strongest lessons are not the words, but the gentleness on your teacher's face when one of us (oh, heavens no, not ME!) is a complete asshole. You see their humility. Their quiet attentiveness and the quickness with which they step in to help. The way they never, ever tell anyone they are wrong. Their quiet joyfulness and warmth, and the way they so easily laugh and thoroughly enjoy the simplest humor. The way they perform their duties with diligence and sweetness when they are, in fact, dying.

    These teachers, the true Sangha, teach us Buddhism in ways that words, especially written on a screen, can never show us. It's like the difference between watching ballroom dancers, and only reading about dancing. No wonder we take refuge in the Sangha.

    Are we Sangha here? What are our qualifications? What is our level of skillfulness? Have you personally observed us for 10 years? Hey ... garbage in, garbage out. Caveat emptor. Bob Loblaw. And any other trite saying you can apply. You are selling yourself short if you rely on any forum for your primary understanding.
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran
    edited July 2010
    Disney wrote: »
    IMO, any sharing and exchange of kindness, samadhi, harmony and emptiness is an appropriate sangha. Your concern to love meditating in a group is right path. In group meditation, it is helpful to share, learn and develop the unsurpassed loving kindness and serenity much more powerfully. Through group, you would aware your inner harmony clearly and tranforms those weaknesses into benevolence and wisdom of emptiness. You would also able to help other students to develop their inner serenity from your enlightenment.
    Om Mani Padme Hum :)

    Wouldn't mind joining YOUR sangha! Mine seems to have a disproportionate number of un-enlightenend people! And even my teacher's sangha, the monks at Namgyal monastery (the Dalai Lama's monastery) are full of snits and fits, or so he tells us.
  • cazcaz Veteran
    edited July 2010
    Far better to find an actual group...Places like this suffice for a while and sure you can make some great friends, The problem is however if you want advise you have mutiple answers.
  • edited July 2010

    On topic! Would you guys consider this an appropriate "Sangha"?
    no.
    That doesnt diminish the value of online discussion when no physical sangha is present.
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited July 2010
    I practice with an online sangha.. My teacher says that is ok that the adhistana (power of lineage) can work on you at a distance..

    I think the problem with this sangha is that the wisdom and compassion of the people answering the threads is less than an arhant or boddhisattva whereas if you are in an actual sangha you might meet one of these teachers.

    In any case we will meet teachers according to our karma (causes and conditions not saying we are more or less deserving).. When the student is ready a teacher will (eventually :confused:) appear. Buddha will call you if no one else. My teacher says that the mandala of awakening is also calling to us and arranging things for us just as we are receiving its message and making our own sensitive response.
  • edited July 2010
    I have a small,unofficial sangha:Me,my two best friends,my best friends mother and sister(3 yrs. :D).We meditate separately,everyone has their own schedule and place of meditation.Where in Europe could I buy supplies for an altar?Not a Tibetan altar(no dorje bells or singing bowls),but an altar for Buddha,Tara and Jizo(Father,Mother and Baby).
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