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 Post subject: Sangha
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:49 pm 
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Hello everyone, I am Zachary, but in general, the online communities refers to me as Zealot. I have recently started practicing Buddhism, and it has been bringing me a sense of discontentment that I found myself unable to take refuge in The Three Jewels or, more specifically, Sangha because in my area there are no temples, and I have yet to meet another practitioner in person.

With this post a body seeks to take refuge.

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 Post subject: Re: Sangha
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:55 pm 
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Good 'nuff. But you should still make efforts at some point to get instruction in person. Not necessary or required, but, imho, it is qualitatively critical to see Buddhist culture in person.


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 Post subject: Re: Sangha
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:59 pm 
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I would have to agree. But this at least brings me a small peace of mind until other arrangements can be made. It may be kind of fitting though as the thing that truly sparked my initiation in Buddhism was Wikipedia.

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 Post subject: Re: Sangha
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:12 pm 
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Dear Zachary,

The Sangha referred to in the three jewels is not just the physical Sangha of fellow practitioners but also the whole array of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Arhats. So it is not 100% necessary to go to a sangha in order to take refuge in the Sangha.

Where are you based? maybe somebody can point you in the direction of a nearby centre. Sometimes centres or groups of practitioners do not advertise their activities.
:namaste:

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 Post subject: Re: Sangha
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:18 pm 
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Are you saying that I should conjure up Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Arhats to have conversations with? They are a 'community that has attained enlightenment', but I don't see exactly how I can take refuge there. Also, it seems to overlap with one of the other jewels Buddha.

I live in Fremont County in Colorado. The closest place I've found communities is in Colorado Springs, however, I do not have readily available transport to that far away.

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 Post subject: Re: Sangha
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:31 pm 
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You take refuge in the community of the enlightened by trusting that since they have attained enlightement you can too. That is the true refuge or solace obtained from the sangha, not just having somebody around "to have conversations with". :smile:
:namaste:

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 Post subject: Re: Sangha
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:41 pm 
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So are you saying that Sangha is more of the peace you get from true acceptance of the Third Noble Truth?

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 Post subject: Re: Sangha
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:48 pm 
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All of the Three Jewels are.

Let me put it to you differently.

Initially I was hesitant of taking formal refuge.

Then I looked at the situation: I was practicing Buddhist meditation techniques, reading Buddhist texts, and asking questions to Buddhists in order to find release from suffering. I was doing this because it was working. Then I realised that I was already seeking refuge in the Three Jewels. Taking formal refuge was then the natural and obvious thing to do.

Actually conjuring up Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Arhats and having "conversations" with them through prayers, mantra, offerings (would you like a cup of tea and some barley cakes) etc... is exactly what we do in the Vajrayana!
:namaste:

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 Post subject: Re: Sangha
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:10 pm 
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Thank you for helping to open my eyes, Greg. I think I have a very good grasp of The Three Jewels now and a deeper understanding, as well :)
:namaste:

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 Post subject: Re: Sangha
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:29 pm 
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Can someone here tell me what is the difference between the 3 refuge and 3 Jewels please?.....and how important is it?.....thanks in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: Sangha
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:06 pm 
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One is simply a different name for the other; they are one in the same. Apparently, many do not consider you a practicing Buddhist unless you take refuge in the Three Jewels.

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 Post subject: Re: Sangha
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:14 pm 
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How far are you from Crestone? it might be worthwhile to make pilgrimage to one of the many temples there.

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 Post subject: Re: Sangha
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:13 pm 
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Jikan wrote:
How far are you from Crestone? it might be worthwhile to make pilgrimage to one of the many temples there.


The Colorado I visit is a Buddhist eden. Red Feather Lakes, Crestone, Pagosa Springs, Boulder... all have major presence of Tibetan Buddhism.

The other reality is that Colorado in general is very conservative and home to right wing evangelical Christian groups like Focus on the Family.

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 Post subject: Re: Sangha
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:42 pm 
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Location: Bay Area, CA, USA
...and Colorado Springs is the epicenter of the Christian Fundamentalist movement in the USA.

I STRONGLY recommend a trip to the Boulder area, or Crestone. These are organizations I can personally vouch for, and I'm sure there are other genuine Dharma connections to be made.

Nalandabodhi Boulder
The Sangha House 1200 Aurora
Boulder 80302
Web: http://www.nbboulder.org
Email: info@nbboulder.org
Teachers: Karen Quirk
Description: Tibetan - Nyingmapa


Chagdud Gompa - Orgyan Rigjed Ling
256 Spruce Street
Boulder 80302
Web: http://www.chagdud.org
Email: nbradley@uswest.net
Tel: (303) 443-6460
Teachers: Founder: H. E. Chagdud Tulku
Description: Tibetan - Nyingmapa


Ratnashri Sangha - Boulder
3565 Martin Drive
Boulder 80303
Web: http://www.kagyu-medialab.org/ratnashri
Email: msmdamelia@msn.com
Tel: (303) 554-6043
Teachers: Founder: Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche
Description: Tibetan - Drikung Kagyu

Boulder Shambhala Center
1345 Spruce Street
Boulder 80302
Web: http://www.shambhala.org/center/boulder
Email: sc@indra.com
Teachers: Founder: Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Description: Tibetan - Kagyu lineage



Look for upcoming events at these centers, and plan in advance.

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 Post subject: Re: Sangha
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:44 pm 
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Jikan wrote:
How far are you from Crestone? it might be worthwhile to make pilgrimage to one of the many temples there.

126 mi, 2 hours 33 mins according to Google Maps. That would not be impossible, it would just take planning.

In truth, it seems much of Colorado is divided that way. On sect of a community is very open and loving where the other sect is closed up and hateful.

Thank you for the information conebeckham, I will keep it in mind :)

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 Post subject: Re: Sangha
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:29 am 
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Zealot wrote:
Thank you for helping to open my eyes, Greg. I think I have a very good grasp of The Three Jewels now and a deeper understanding, as well :)
:namaste:


:woohoo:
May the force (and the Sangha) be with you. The three jewels are strong in this one . . .

You are doing fine. :bow:
I will devote my practice today to your continued growth. :anjali:

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 Post subject: Re: Sangha
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:53 am 
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Zealot wrote:
Hello everyone, I am Zachary, but in general, the online communities refers to me as Zealot. I have recently started practicing Buddhism, and it has been bringing me a sense of discontentment that I found myself unable to take refuge in The Three Jewels or, more specifically, Sangha because in my area there are no temples, and I have yet to meet another practitioner in person.

With this post a body seeks to take refuge.


I rejoice in your dedication!

One does not have to be in the physical presence of the Jewel of the Sangha to go for refuge, though.

~~ Huifeng

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 Post subject: Re: Sangha
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:36 pm 
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Thank you, everyone! It helps immensely to see your kind words when depression overcomes this body. Though it is my intention to rid myself from this cycle of 'failure' and sadness, I know it is not simply something I can turn off. As my understanding deepens, however, I see myself more and more detached from viewing an event as either 'failure' or 'success'.

It occurred to me maybe a week ago that if I just quit having an opinion on whether or not the thing in front of me in 'good' or 'bad' and just accepted its existence, I could conquer any obstacle in my path. Easier said than done, right? Although progress is slow, meditation on the Five Aggregates and Five Hindrances have accelerated my progress.

May my insights lead me to greater share my compassion with the world and allow others to do the same.

:namaste:

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 Post subject: Re: Sangha
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:04 pm 
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Quote:
Easier said the done


Tell me about it . . .
We have to start, be inspired and continue . . . :namaste:

One thing I found useful in the past is a journal or blog. This allows us to notice the changes which can be very subtle on a day to day basis.

What we really need is 'Sangha on a truck'. Basically drive them to needy individuals and communities and then pick them up in a day or two . . . or 'dial a monk'. :smile:

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