Zen & Dharma


Dai_Bosatsu_Zendo_Kongo-Ji_2Silent in the zendo face to the wall, Sangha surrounds me. Conventional wisdom says that the reason we gather is to support our practice, but I wonder again whether really the practice is just reason for sangha. Stripped down to essence of presence we don’t even pretend to drink coffee or walk or even talk. We just sit. Together. That’s enough.

I am thinking about Sangha:community. About why we need other people, and the ways we have of satisfying that need. I call up a friend to have coffee, play Scrabble, walk in the park, go to a show. It is rich to share experiences but also I suspect that the coffee and Scrabble are really just excuses to be with the people. We work together, ride the bikeways, live in East Van, sit in the zendo รขโ‚ฌโ€ together. I go to a yoga class at Open Door: the instructor is Jennifer who I know from dance circles way back in the day. On the mat next to me is Travis who I know as housemate of Sara and more currently as co-conspirator of ZenYU. Beside him is Laurel, his womanpal who I am just learning to know. Behind me stretches Dave who I work with now at the bike store, and who lived in the apartment below mine some 20+ years past.

The sanghas shift and merge and separate, and the ways we interconnect grow richer, more delightful, and more mysterious. As the fabric of sangha gets more tightly interwoven I feel like we can all be together, even when entirely alone.




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