What is your sangha like?

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What is your sangha like?

Postby nosaJ » Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:45 am

Greetings all,


The Sangha that I attend is home for a lot of local Buddhist. Some Zen, some Pure Land, Vipassana, and a Mindfulness group. During the Vipassana gatherings, the evening starts with a 40 minute meditation, an open forum for those that would like to share, announcements of the Sangha then a break. Those that would like to stay can stay for a reading or an audio Dhamma talk, depending on the night. Then the floor is open to discuss the reading and or talk. Is this similar to the Sangha you attend or have attended? How is the mood of those that attend? Has it been your experience that the conversation derails quickly or do people stay on topic?

On another topic while I am here....

I would like to set-up a home altar. After looking at a lot of the Buddhist retail fronts, I am no further along in knowing which Buddha statue is associated with the practice of Vipassana.Theravada tradition. If anyone has some insight on this I would be appreciative.

Cheers.

J
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Re: What is your sangha like?

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:53 pm

Our local meditation group here in NH is pretty much as described, however we have our Dhamma discussions between meditation sessions. Usually there is socializing after the second meditation period, where new people or those interested in particular topics have an opportunity to ask questions or request resources.

If you have an opportunity, my suggestion would be to get online and check out a few other meetings and or sanghas in the surrounds, even out of state when you can, just to gather ideas to bring back to your group.

Hope this helps.

_/\_Ron
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: What is your sangha like?

Postby kirk5a » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:55 pm

nosaJ wrote:I would like to set-up a home altar. After looking at a lot of the Buddhist retail fronts, I am no further along in knowing which Buddha statue is associated with the practice of Vipassana.Theravada tradition. If anyone has some insight on this I would be appreciative.

How about no Buddha statue?

"Over there are the roots of trees; over there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana, monks. Don't be heedless. Don't later fall into regret. This is our message to you."

— SN 35.145

Here's a good article on the origin of the Buddha image.

http://www.exoticindiaart.com/article/buddhaimage
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: What is your sangha like?

Postby Ben » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:34 am

Within the tradition that I practice, we have weekly 'group-sittings' for those who have participated in ten-day courses with my teacher or one of his assistant teachers in some places. The group-sit is really just a meditation session for about 1h10m for 1 hr vipassana and a few minutes of metta at the end. Depending on the group - there is sometimes socialising at the end (tea & biscuits). Certainly the group-sit that I established in Ballarat (central Victoria, Australia), we would share tea and biscuits/cake at the end of the session. Where as others I have been to - people leave at the end of the session. THe real value in the session is to get together and meditate together for an hour and a bit. The change in environment and the proximity of other practitioners can help to refocus and energize.

With regards to your second question - I think it depends on personal preference. Again, within my own tradition, we don't have Buddha images at our centres in the west. However, on going to Burma I was delighted to see in our centres there that we have a shrine room somewhere on site which contains a Buddha image, photos of Sayagi U Ba Khin, water offerings and vases of flowers. My personal preference is a Buddha image in the Mandalay style, such as this one:

http://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://farm1.static.flickr.com/187/431012839_6e4afc8d4e.jpg%3Fv%3D0&imgrefurl=http://flickr.com/photos/7223723%40N02/431012839&usg=__sirg_c2AfbswKFBD7hkE5FlQwac=&h=400&w=300&sz=35&hl=en&start=35&sig2=dKPQf7LIeHr_5DiHIGyaGA&zoom=1&tbnid=rhNGu-jTK3cqDM:&tbnh=138&tbnw=112&ei=yKIrTZCUNoH0vQP548HvCA&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmandalay%2Bstyle%2Bbuddha%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26biw%3D1020%26bih%3D592%26gbv%3D2%26tbs%3Disch:10%2C1014&itbs=1&biw=1020&bih=592&iact=rc&dur=531&oei=s6IrTb_iG4qSuwP4hbm9CQ&esq=3&page=3&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:13,s:35&tx=71&ty=96
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Re: What is your sangha like?

Postby nosaJ » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:44 am

kirk5a wrote:
nosaJ wrote:I would like to set-up a home altar. After looking at a lot of the Buddhist retail fronts, I am no further along in knowing which Buddha statue is associated with the practice of Vipassana.Theravada tradition. If anyone has some insight on this I would be appreciative.

How about no Buddha statue?

"Over there are the roots of trees; over there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana, monks. Don't be heedless. Don't later fall into regret. This is our message to you."

— SN 35.145

Here's a good article on the origin of the Buddha image.

http://www.exoticindiaart.com/article/buddhaimage


Thank you for the link. I found it to be very informative. J
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Re: What is your sangha like?

Postby nosaJ » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:49 am

Ron-The-Elder wrote:Our local meditation group here in NH is pretty much as described, however we have our Dhamma discussions between meditation sessions. Usually there is socializing after the second meditation period, where new people or those interested in particular topics have an opportunity to ask questions or request resources.

If you have an opportunity, my suggestion would be to get online and check out a few other meetings and or sanghas in the surrounds, even out of state when you can, just to gather ideas to bring back to your group.

Hope this helps.

_/\_Ron



It does help. Thanks. J
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Re: What is your sangha like?

Postby bodom » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:54 am

Heres my Sangha's web page:

Insight Meditation San Antonio
http://www.insightmeditationsanantonio. ... tonio.html

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: What is your sangha like?

Postby shjohnk » Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:02 am

My Sangha is you good people on 'Dhammawheel' :buddha2: Thank you for playing this role for me!
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Re: What is your sangha like?

Postby Esaka » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:15 pm

shjohnk wrote:My Sangha is you good people on 'Dhammawheel' :buddha2: Thank you for playing this role for me!


Same situation here & thanks for this awesome website and all your posts.
It makes a difference for those who can't rely on the support of a local community.

Thank you :anjali:
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Re: What is your sangha like?

Postby nobody12345 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:06 am

shjohnk wrote:My Sangha is you good people on 'Dhammawheel' :buddha2: Thank you for playing this role for me!

Same here.
I live in Los Angeles and have been disappointed by the quality of sanghas that I visited.
So I consider this place (Dhamma Wheel) as my sangha.
Metta.
:anjali:
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Re: What is your sangha like?

Postby ignorant layman » Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:24 am

same here. I think that here in the west Buddhism is considered to be more of a cultural identity than a practice. Not everyone is like that of course, and I think more people
are seeing the Dhamma as a real way of life so eventually the sanghas will get better. I hope.
Happiness, wisdom and safety upon you!
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