Sangha

Sangha is a word in the Pali language meaning “association, assembly, company, or community,” and traditionally referred to a monastic community of Buddhist monks or nuns. The Sangha was originally established by the Buddha in the fifth century B.C.E. in order to provide a means for those who wish to practice full-time in a direct and highly disciplined way, free from the restrictions and responsibilities of the household life. The Sangha also fulfilled the functions of preserving the Buddha’s original
teachings and of providing spiritual support for the Buddhist lay community. Sangha has since evolved in contemporary usage to refer to any group of people devoted to the practice of a spiritual path.

Sangha is the third of the Three Jewels (or refuges) in Buddhism, along with the Buddha and the Dhamma (teachings). Sangha as a refuge is an important part of one’s meditation practice, as we participate in and interact with the sangha in order to grow spiritually. We receive guidance and encouragement from other members while developing our own ability to support them in their journeys. We find safety and strength in these fellow walkers along the path. We can turn toward our community in times of need, to draw upon their experience, or simply when it feels like a safe harbor for us.

When we sit together as sangha, we contribute to, and benefit from the collective energy of mindfulness, a power much greater than the sum of its parts. Immersing ourselves in this space can be very healing and transformative, allowing for insights into the nature of reality, as well as our own true nature. As our heart-minds open through shared practice and exposure to wisdom, a sense of compassion develops that invites us to become more active in our wider communities and beyond to help ease the suffering of others.

Ours is a welcoming community, inviting anyone interested in awakening to the truth of experience, regardless of background, creed, belief system, or skill level. We maintain a light-heartedness in our gatherings while remaining deeply committed to our individual and collective spiritual practice. All are encouraged to explore the benefits of practicing with our delightfully diverse group as we continue our journeys together.