Joining a Sanga

Joining a Sanga

Postby Dave The Seeker » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:36 pm

This is the Temple that I have attended, now Zen isn't really my first choice in "schools" of Buddhism. But this temple is the closest at an hour and a half away, so to join and at least get a teacher for the beginning of becoming a Buddhist.
Here is a link to their main page: http://zenbuddhisttemple.org/about.html

I was just wondering if this is a good organization, or something I should avoid.

Thank you :namaste:

Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Joining a Sanga

Postby Konchog1 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:37 pm

"modern-day renewal" "reapplication" "new pioneer movement" "complete overhaul of the tradition" "in the West"

These are flashing red lights and sirens for me, as it mean they aren't orthodox, and may just be making things up. But that's just my personal beliefs.

More importantly, why go to a Zen center if you don't like Zen? The center I go to is six hours away.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Joining a Sanga

Postby justsit » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:19 am

Most of the cities that website mentions have other options, with the possible exception of Mexico City. Ann Arbor has Jewel Heart and KTC for Tibetan lineages. New York, Chicago, Toronto - all have numerous centers of all kinds.
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Re: Joining a Sanga

Postby Mr. G » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:21 am

My original research led to the idea that Ven. Samu Sunim was a monk of the Jogye Order. However, I'm not sure if he is still affiliated with them. However, I just came across this site:

http://zenmastermayhem.blogspot.com/201 ... im_05.html

Quite curious.

Perhaps those familiar with Korean Buddhism could assist. Maybe Astus, Anders Honore, Hui Feng, or Huseng?
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Joining a Sanga

Postby Dave The Seeker » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:52 am

Thanks so much for the replys.
As to a 6 hr trip to a temple, I just couldn't do that. Work wise as well as the fuel cost.

Thanks, I'll look more into the Ann Arbor area. Didn't see that many on my search, but I'll search again.

Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Joining a Sanga

Postby Josef » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:47 am

The Seeker wrote:
Thanks, I'll look more into the Ann Arbor area. Didn't see that many on my search, but I'll search again.

Kindest wishes, Dave

Jewel Heart was my first sangha experience.
Really wonderful and supportive community there.
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Re: Joining a Sanga

Postby Thug4lyfe » Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:12 pm

If you want to join a Sangha, it's a big committment. Members of the Sangha are the spiritual descents that carries on the linege of the Buddha. Hence I recommend if your serious about it, you should check out large reputable organisations like Fo Guang Shan rather than local Zen clubs.
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Re: Joining a Sanga

Postby Dave The Seeker » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:14 am

Thank you Food_Eatah, and yes I am very serious about this.
Since I have begun meditating and studying the teachings of The Buddha, my life and attitude have changed so much for the better I'd like to have a formal teacher.
Don't get me wrong this forum and the things I read here help a lot, but I feel a need for a group to help me further my learning along The Path.

I will look into the larger organizations.

Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Joining a Sanga

Postby Huifeng » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:24 am

When you write "joining a Sangha", to me that means becoming an ordained monastic.
Is that what you mean? Or do you mean being a committed lay practitioner at a given center?

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Joining a Sanga

Postby Dave The Seeker » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:45 am

I meant being a committed lay practitioner.
Sorry if I worded that in a questionable manner.


Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Joining a Sanga

Postby Quiet Heart » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:23 am

:smile:
Okay...but why are you in such a hurry to run and join a Sanga?
Go and visit them first. Talk to the members. See if is suited to you or not. Then make your decision.
If they seem as if they are trying to force you to join immeadiately without taking time to consider your decison....I would run away as quickly as possible.
So. why are you hurrying to do it as quickly as possible now>
:smile:
------------------------
Oops...I only read your original post...not the later ones.
So I see you have thought about this.
But my advice is still to consider it carefully....and visit them to see if is for you.
Then, if it is, give it a try.
:smile:
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
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Re: Joining a Sanga

Postby Adamantine » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:31 am

Hi Dave, if you are looking for a teacher then simple geography may limit who you can study with immediately and regularly-- but it shouldn't limit the scope of your search in the larger picture, because quite simply the best teacher for you may not be the most convenient one. Better to have the perfect guide who you may only be able to see twice a year or so than a false teacher or a bad fit who you can see every week. But that shouldn't stop you from exploring the options in your area, and begin some kind of regular study and sitting practice. Just keep perspective.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Joining a Sanga

Postby Dave The Seeker » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:03 pm

Once again, thank you for all the replies.

I understand that it may take some time and visits to numerous temples to find a proper "fit".
As to regular practice, I am getting up an hour earlier each day to be sure that I do have time to do a bit of studying, a short yoga routine and a half hour in meditation.
This I've found is a great start to my day.
I have been reading a lot, and am beginning to understand much more.
I will continue seeking for a teacher.

Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Joining a Sanga

Postby catmoon » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:11 pm

When seeking a wife, one does not usually allot a week or two to the task, and then select from what is available. Choosing a sangha is similar.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
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Re: Joining a Sanga

Postby Dave The Seeker » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:34 pm

This is very true, I made the mistake of rushing into things........twice :lol:

Thank you catmoon, I will not be rushing into this. As I understand that this is a very important decision. I am still seeking out temples to visit, but have expanded my search to upto 4 hrs away.

Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Joining a Sanga

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:59 am

The Seeker wrote:I understand that it may take some time and visits to numerous temples to find a proper "fit".


For some of us it takes many years. ;)

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Re: Joining a Sanga

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:01 pm

Huifeng wrote:When you write "joining a Sangha", to me that means becoming an ordained monastic.


You're right, but I think it's OK to talk about "sangha" ( with a small s ) to describe the broader Buddhist community.

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Re: Joining a Sanga

Postby Dave The Seeker » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:22 pm

Thank you Spiny, I understand that this could take a long time.

Huifeng, my apologies for 1) the misspelling of Sangha 2) for using it in an improper way.

My understanding, which is very limited, was that I was asking about joining a temple/traditions group and being part of that temples community.
No disrespect was meant.


Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Joining a Sanga

Postby jrzen » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:18 am

Haju Sunim of the Zen Buddhist Temple in Ann Arbor, Michigan is absolutely wonderful so I encourage anyone/everyone to check it out.
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Re: Joining a Sanga

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:46 am

The Seeker wrote:My understanding, which is very limited, was that I was asking about joining a temple/traditions group and being part of that temples community.


Dave, you might find this site useful:

http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/

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