Why is the Sangha (community) jewel so important?
Peer Group; shared ideals; support; teaching and inspiration are all valid benefits of being part of a community but is that all?
In entering a Buddhist community, maybe in a few hours, weeks or years one learns to develop openness, vulnerability and trust. These qualities are at the root of liberating conversations. Dialogues that may be defined as; discussions or communications with a more experienced dharma practitioner who is able to fully meet you, where you are, and offer an unseen perspective resulting in a moment of clarity.
Indeed, a lot of what we call Budhadharma is little more than a transcript of the conversation between a spiritual aspirant and the Buddha. For example Gotami and the Buddha upon the death of her child, Angulimala and the Buddha upon the attempted mugging etc. The tradition continued with Vimalakirti and others. In the Chan (Zen in Japanese) schools these dialogues where quite common place, even cultivated and studied.
Bringing all of yourself, showing all of yourself and having that met and responded to in the appropriate manner can crack open self views and begin, continue or establish a practitioner on the path to Buddhahood.
Although the Sangha (community) Jewel is last in the list of the three jewels it is not any less valuable than any of the others, perhaps, it is even the most important!
Join us this Sunday from 10:30, September 25th at the Heron Centre, Wiremill lane, Newchapel, Surrey for this years Community day.