Page 11 of 17
Sangha As a Family
There has to be residential Sangha that practices all year round, twenty-four hours a day. Building a permanent Sangha is the basis of all our teaching of the Dharma. That Sangha has to live together as a family. They have to be committed to staying together their whole lives. They don’t just stay together a few years. Although there are people who leave from time to time, the number of people who leave Plum Village is small, less than 10 percent. Over the past twenty years, many have committed to join the Sangha for their whole life.
If we talk about the success of Plum Village, we have to talk about the commitment to stay even though you have difficulties. That kind of commitment helps us to go through transformation. If we leave the community because of our suffering, we cannot transform. An authentic Sangha can only be created when people live together twenty-four hours a day and share the same roof and the same economic resources. They practice Days of Mindfulness together and make decision by consensus. Building Sangha is not something we do by organizing meetings, or by transmitting the Mindfulness Training. If people do not live together and decide together, they are still operating as individuals. They have a retreat for seven days, but then everyone goes home. That is a floating Sangha. The essence of Sangha is to live together and decide together.
If laypeople want to benefit from the practice, they need to build residential Sanghas, like Intersein in Germany and Clear View in Santa Barbara, California. We have create many Sanghas where we live according to the six harmonies, recite the Mindfulness Trainings together, eat together in mindfulness, walk together, and work together.
Last Updated (Friday, 23 November 2012 14:54)