Should Buddhists develop community support?

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Should Buddhists develop community support?

Postby pilgrim » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:46 am

Buddha spoke highly of kalyana mitra or spiritual friendship esp for the ordained sangha. Should lay Buddhists develop community support for each other along the lines of theistic religions? This could take the form of developing networking for business, financial support for each other, aid for immigrants, job placements, assistance for new Buddhists, etc. I believe this is absent or at best very weak or neglected in our Buddhist communities.
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Re: Should Buddhists develop community support?

Postby Ben » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:53 am

Why do you think its necessary?
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Re: Should Buddhists develop community support?

Postby pilgrim » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:04 am

Ben wrote:Why do you think its necessary?

Dana is not necessary, but it is good for the giver and recipient. It develops bonds of community within the lay sangha and its equivalent practice( e,g joint farming of each other lands, village help, community kitchens and childcare, etc)has been part of traditional Asian Buddhist communities for centuries.
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Re: Should Buddhists develop community support?

Postby Ben » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:10 am

Pilgrim I suggest you develop good Dhamma friends. They will not only come to assist you in your mundane activities, but more importantly, will assist you with your supramundane aspirations.
kind regards

Ben
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Re: Should Buddhists develop community support?

Postby pilgrim » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:01 pm

Ben wrote:Pilgrim I suggest you develop good Dhamma friends. They will not only come to assist you in your mundane activities, but more importantly, will assist you with your supramundane aspirations.
kind regards

Ben

Hi Ben,
I have excellent Dhamma friends and I do not need any assistance at the moment.....but that is not the topic. Pls read my first post . I just started a new topic with a very relevant question. Why is your immediate response one of personal hostility?
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Re: Should Buddhists develop community support?

Postby appicchato » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:18 pm

Why is your immediate response one of personal hostility?

Hostility?...whoa...
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Re: Should Buddhists develop community support?

Postby SamKR » Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:38 pm

pilgrim wrote:
Ben wrote:Pilgrim I suggest you develop good Dhamma friends. They will not only come to assist you in your mundane activities, but more importantly, will assist you with your supramundane aspirations.
kind regards

Ben

Hi Ben,
I have excellent Dhamma friends and I do not need any assistance at the moment.....but that is not the topic. Pls read my first post . I just started a new topic with a very relevant question. Why is your immediate response one of personal hostility?


Hi Pilgrim,

I don't see any personal hostility in Ben's reply but Your original post is really interesting. I think community support would be a very good thing, but the problem is to find the criteria (or requirements) of giving/gaining such support.
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Re: Should Buddhists develop community support?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:51 pm

pilgrim wrote:Should lay Buddhists develop community support for each other along the lines of theistic religions?

Doesn't that happen automatically from people getting together (at Church or at a Wat)? Or am I missing something?

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Re: Should Buddhists develop community support?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:37 pm

Greetings,

appicchato wrote:
Why is your immediate response one of personal hostility?

Hostility?...whoa...

Yeah... that did seem a bit of out left-field. I thought Ben's answer was very good and straight to the point.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Should Buddhists develop community support?

Postby appicchato » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:33 pm

retrofuturist wrote:... a bit of out left-field.

Baseball Paul?…whoa... :smile:
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Re: Should Buddhists develop community support?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:52 pm

appicchato wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:... a bit of out left-field.

Baseball Paul?…whoa... :smile:

Could have been an Aussie rules field, or maybe League...

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Re: Should Buddhists develop community support?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:05 am

Something similar to the OP idea is co-housing. There have been many attempts to create a Buddhist co-housing, but most have never left the planning stages. There are at least two yahoo forums devoted to the topic. One of them, BuCoHo, had a message from the administrator just the other day stating:

Dear People,
I have been the moderator of BuCoHo since 2001. In that time it has grown to 211 members but has not yet produced a Buddhist Cohousing Community. It takes a core group of 5 fire starters to get going and 25 or more sustainers to finish. I know you are on the list but just don't know how to meet.
To that end I am turning over the management of BuCoHo to Raines Cohen.


I have one of the other groups too, here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/buddhistretirement/
which also gets almost no activity.

The main problem I see with co-housing is what if one of the members of the community (a Buddhist) wanted to leave and sold his house or condo or townhome (however the community was comprised) and found a non-Buddhist to buy his place? I don't think it would be legal for the community to deny the sale simply because the buyer of one of the homes was non-Buddhist? And then if it continued, before long there could be more non-Buddhists than Buddhists in the Buddhist co-housing community.
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Re: Should Buddhists develop community support?

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:40 am

sure we should have community support, go to your local temples and sitting groups if the members own businesses support them, donate to local temples or sponsor monks to lead retreats if you live where there is no temple but is a local group that meets (yes folks monks will travel to lead a retreat and hey they dont need to be paid just provide the ticket, food and a place to stay!). or hey start a local group, meet at first at a coffee shop or bookstore, make it like a book club. if there are many groups bring them together by organizing a change your mind day. there are lots of things you can do!
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Should Buddhists develop community support?

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:47 am

pilgrim wrote: This could take the form of developing networking for business, financial support for each other, aid for immigrants, job placements, assistance for new Buddhists, etc. I believe this is absent or at best very weak or neglected in our Buddhist communities.

a lot of this does take place already, many many Thai people when they come to the US stay at temples till they can live on their own, they meet the local Thai community this way and find jobs through them. I've seen this happen on countless occasions. my wife is one example of this, when she came over here she lived for a time in a temple, older members of the community gave her a sizable loan so she could attend university, found her a job and a family even donated a car for her to drive. and she was by no means an exception to the rule, in fact she was one of two at the same time that this was happening for.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Should Buddhists develop community support?

Postby pilgrim » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:46 am

Yea, I apologise for the touchy reaction from myself as I didn't appreciate that the topic was turned back towards me when I had asked for the thoughts and ideas of those here. Anyway, my post was partially a response to this article.

Religion gives salvation for immigrants
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/artic ... d=10664624
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Re: Should Buddhists develop community support?

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:56 am

churches have used helping people get jobs as a selling point for their religion for a long time now, it's kinda a cheap tactic. one of my wife's friends (who is from isan and grew up uneducated and poor on a rice farm) was helped by a woman and got a pretty good job and this was tauted as being "I'm doing this because I'm christian and if you get this job it's because of Jesus" and so the friend starts to think "hey maybe Jesus did help me" . its sad.
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Should Buddhists develop community support?

Postby pilgrim » Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:26 am

If you can't win converts thru the value of your teachings, using cheap tactics, unfortunately, becomes a very attractive option. It is also effective as people in need will respond to the perceived kindness of those who meet their immediate needs much more than any profound philosophical teachings. The muslims have their ummah, the christians, the body of their church. For Buddhists, unity and cooperation in the lay-sangha, I'm sad to say, leaves many of us cold. I'm just wondering if we can develop more of this side of things, not so much as a means to win converts, but as a practice of compassion and dana.
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Re: Should Buddhists develop community support?

Postby Vepacitta » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:15 pm

Pilgrim: Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi has spoken on this issue - "engaged buddhism". He has founded Buddhist Global Relief to address relief and justice issues. If you do an I-Net search - you can find much material (from his point of view) on this subject. You might also look at the site - Ecological Buddhism.

I think there should be outreach. The temple near my home does prison outreach, for example, but I know that they are seeking to be more in touch with the local community. (Although they do join the Franciscans for the blessing of the animals each year - awww! - I'm not snarking by the way).

One doesn't have to "do" outreach or be involved in the community to 'gather converts' - one does it to connect, to help people - to alleviate suffering. Yeh, I know (the Asura said to the devas) the the thrust of Buddhism is to cool down - to nibbana'ise' - by knowing and understanding suffering, it's causes, it's origination, etc. but personally, I don't think that the personal practise has to negate - shall we say - practise towards others? There are plenty of suttas connected with the blessings of giving - no - sorry - can't site verse and chaptre - but I'm sure someone else here can :anjali:

Even if there's "no one there" - there's still quite a bit of dukkha (with all its variegated meanings) in this world - and anything one can do to help alleviate it is a good thing -

So, (after all of that) a ringing, affirmative "yes" - I think Buddhists should develop community support!

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Re: Should Buddhists develop community support?

Postby Terasi » Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:48 am

Is there any going on in Sydney?
I'd love to go like, volunteering work, a choir group (chanting and choir, I mean!), or just sit at a cafe swapping thoughts.
We can collect waste from restaurants for homeless ppl, or do some hospital visit, or organised blood donor, etc. Doing activities may build a community.
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