The Next Buddha is Sangha

Sangha is the third jewel, the third refuge in the Buddha’s teachings. The traditional meaning of “Sangha,” is the community of practitioners who preserve and uphold the teachings of the Buddha: the enlightened Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, monks and nuns and householders who are practicing to realize the wisdom, ethics and meditation Path of Dhamma, moving toward truth.

Contemplating, we ask how narrow or broad is the community to which we wish to go for safety, for refuge?  Rather than taking refuge in our personality or the narrow band of our clan, our tribe, our small circle, we cultivate connection to the larger whole.  Sangha invites a communal perspective.  We recognize that our thoughts, words and deeds affect the entire interconnected web of which we are a part.  Thus, we practice tirelessly to contribute love, wisdom and beauty, to relinquish selfishness, aggression and ignorance.

Let us take refuge in Sangha together, co-creating a peaceful and  inclusive communal space for all who study and practice here. Let us build together a Sangha that is sensitive and richly diverse: all ages, genders, ethnicities, cultures, countries, and socio-economic backgrounds, delighted, appreciative and encouraging of all who come through the door.  Taking refuge in the jewel of Sangha we come together, just as we are, as a safe, engaged and interdependent community.  We don’t have to walk alone.  Grateful for the unique beauty of every being, we can feel at home here.  Come for refuge.  Support and feel the safety in Sangha.

with metta,
Gina Sharpe
Guiding Teacher