Question about the importance of a practice community

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Question about the importance of a practice community

Postby zavk » Thu May 07, 2009 8:07 am

Hi friends,

I know that Thich Nhat Hanh gives a lot of emphasis on the benefits of practicing with a sangha and being part of a spiritual community with other practitioners.

My question is: Do you know of any teachers (of any tradition, but I'm especially curious about Theravadin ones) who advice the same? Or do you know of any text (modern or canonical) that suggest this to laypeople?

Thanks!
With metta,
zavk
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Re: Question about the importance of a practice community

Postby Ben » Thu May 07, 2009 8:37 am

Hi Zavk

As you know, my teacher, SN Goenka, recommends to his students to get together once a week for a 'group sit' as a means to encourage and support one's practice.
Kind regards

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Re: Question about the importance of a practice community

Postby kc2dpt » Thu May 07, 2009 1:15 pm

"Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues, he can be expected to develop & pursue the noble eightfold path." — SN 45.2
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Question about the importance of a practice community

Postby sattva » Thu May 07, 2009 10:16 pm

It's funny about synchronicity. i have been talking about this subject recently and actually wanted to get a Theravadan perspective on it. i know in zen it is sometimes thought that wherever you are is a good place to practice and that the world with its challenges provides a place for transformation. i sometimes feel though that sangha and teacher nearby can help a person to form a base of calm, inspiration, and support which will help in dealing with the world in a way that practicing alone can't.
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May all beings be at ease.
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Re: Question about the importance of a practice community

Postby Cittasanto » Thu May 07, 2009 10:42 pm

I think this is a given, to any Theravada group or practitioner? I suppose it is more so noted in the monestaries of the Forest tradition but that may be a personal bias than fact?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Question about the importance of a practice community

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 07, 2009 10:46 pm

Greetings,

Dhamma Wheel is my community of practice.

I wouldn't be taking additional precepts today were it not for the support and encouragement of this community.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Question about the importance of a practice community

Postby zavk » Fri May 08, 2009 3:11 am

Peter wrote:"Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues, he can be expected to develop & pursue the noble eightfold path." — SN 45.2


Thanks Peter.
retrofuturist wrote:Dhamma Wheel is my community of practice.

I wouldn't be taking additional precepts today were it not for the support and encouragement of this community.


Yes, Dhamma Wheel is my community of practice too. Indeed, it seems to me that it is the same of many of us here.

What inspired this question is this conference that I'm hoping to present at: http://www.arts.monash.edu.au/ecps/conf ... unication/

The conference will have a wide interpretation of ‘religious communication’, including, but extending religious communication beyond ‘communication studies’ understood as ‘mass media’, to include religious modes of communication such as prayer, sermons, revelation, art, theatre and ritual, as well as religious uses of mass media. We invite papers from the perspectives across the humanities and social sciences, including literature, music, performance, film and television, anthropology, sociology and history, as well as religious studies and theology. We also invite papers from all religious perspectives.

The conference is particularly interested in exploring:

Religious affect and its relationship to different media (e.g., song, prayer, architecture, film, performance, images in general)
Religious interpretation and textual hermeneutics (e.g., literalism versus symbolism)
The use of communication media and art forms by religious groups to create a sense of community
Communication as a ‘portal’ or window to the ‘divine’ and/or the ‘sacred’
Cross-cultural adaptation and the creolisation of religious forms
Religion and the sacred in popular culture
Modernity, post-modernity and religious communication.

This conference will be held immediately prior to the World Parliament of Religions, providing an opportunity for reflection on religious practice and the relationship between religious identity and the aesthetic forms of religious communication, and cross cultural communication.


I think Dhamma Wheel would be an interesting example to talk about, if my paper gets accepted.
With metta,
zavk
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Re: Question about the importance of a practice community

Postby cooran » Fri May 08, 2009 7:55 am

Hello Zavk, all,

This will give some info.:

Kalyāṇa-mittatā
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... anamittata

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalyana_mittata

metta
Chris
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