Dharma Topic: The Nurturing Community

Dharma Topic: The Nurturing Community

Discussion date: Thu, Oct 21, 2004 at our weekly Thursday evening practice

Dear Still Water Friends,

In his book, Cultivating the Mind of Love,Thich Nhat Hanh writes about the importance of being part of a community ofpractitioners:

Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha are three precious jewels in Buddhism, and the most important of these is Sangha. The Sangha contains the Buddha and the Dharma. A good teacher is important, but sisters and brothers in the practice are the main ingredient for success. You cannot achieve enlightenment by locking yourself in your room. Transformation is possible only when you are in touch. When you touch the ground, you can feel the stability of the earth and feel confident. When you observe the steadiness of the sunshine, the air, and the trees, you know that you can count on the sun to rise each day and the air and the trees to be there. When you build a house, you build it on solid ground. You need to choose friends in the practice who are stable, on whom you can rely. . .

Taking refuge in the Sangha means putting your trust in a community of solid members who practice mindfulness together. You do not have to practice intensively – just being in a Sangha where people are happy, living deeply the moments of their days, is enough.

For the past five and a half years the StillWater Mindfulness Practice Center has been a spiritual home for many of us.Through our weekly events, classes, emails, and special events we haveendeavored to be "a nurturing and supportive practice community," asit is phrased in our vision statement.

This Thursday will be our annual communityreflection evening. After our sitting and walking meditation, which begins at7:00 pm, we will have the opportunity to contemplate and share on two themes:

  • In what ways have I been spiritually nurtured and supported through my association with the Still Water community this past year?

  • In what ways could I make the Still Water community even more nurturing and supportive this coming year, for myself and for others?

Please join us if you can.

Warm wishes,

Mitchell Ratner
For the Still Water Working Group

Discussion Date: Thu, Oct 21, 2004


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