What is a sangha? Thich Nhat Hanh explains that sangha is more than a community, it’s a deep spiritual practice. A sangha is a community of friends practicing together in order to bring about & to maintain awareness. The essence of a sangha is awareness, understanding, acceptance, harmony and love.
There will be 45 minutes for guided meditation and mindfulness practices then community share circle afterwards. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a curious, open mind. No experience required! Learn simple techniques for reaping the benefits of meditation. Bee You Yoga & Wellness will provide a supportive environment focused on your comfort and gently guide you through the process of mindful meditation.
Come learn how to quiet the buzzing in your mind!
“Our civilization, our culture, has been characterized by individualism. The individual wants to be free from the society, from the family. The individual does not think he or she needs to take refuge in the family or in the society, and thinks that he or she can be happy without a sangha. That is why we do not have solidity, we do not have harmony, we do not have the communication that we so need.
The practice is, therefore, to grow some roots. The sangha is not a place to hide in order to avoid your responsibilities. The sangha is a place to practice for the transformation and the healing of self and society. When you are strong, you can be there in order to help society. Work to take refuge in the sangha so that you can restore your strength, your understanding, your compassion, your confidence. And then in turn you can use that strength, understanding and compassion to rebuild your family and society, to restore communication and harmony.”
Read more about sangha at: https://www.lionsroar.com/the-practice-of-sangha/
“Alone we are vulnerable, but with brothers and sisters to work with, we can support each other. We cannot go to the ocean as a drop of water—we would evaporate before reaching our destination. But if we become a river, if we go as a Sangha, we are sure to arrive at the ocean…
I’ve been a monk for 65 years, and what I have found is that there is no religion, no philosophy, no ideology higher than brotherhood and sisterhood.
Not even Buddhism.
In society, much of our suffering comes from feeling disconnected from one another. Being with the Sangha can heal these feelings of isolation and separation. We practice together, share a room together, eat side by side and clean pots together. Just by participating with other practitioners in the daily activities we can experience a tangible feeling of love and acceptance.
A sangha is a garden, full of many varieties of trees and flowers. When we can look at ourselves and at others as beautiful, unique flowers and trees we can truly grow to understand and love one another.
One flower may bloom early in the spring and another flower may bloom in late summer. One tree may bear many fruits and another tree may offer cool shade. No one plant is greater, or lesser, or the same as any other plant in the garden. Each member of the sangha also has unique gifts to offer to the community.
We each have areas that need attention as well. When we can appreciate each member’s contribution and see our weaknesses as potential for growth we can learn to live together harmoniously. Our practice is to see that we are a flower or a tree, and we are the whole garden as well, all interconnected.
Supported by the Sangha Body My practice flows easier,
Allowing me to swiftly realize
My great determination to love and understand all beings.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh Welcome to our Sangha!
How We Practice Mindfulness Together
Our Sangha is a community of people practicing mindful living together in order to bring about and to maintain awareness. Our gatherings are an opportunity for practicing together joyfully. Aware that our speech and actions can help our brothers and sisters practice more deeply, we hold ourselves to a high standard of mindfulness. We practice with sincerity and respect for the teachings and practice as they have been transmitted to us by our teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh and his students. We are also open to teachings of mindfulness where ever they may come from if they are wholesome and beneficial to us.
A sangha gathering is not a time to suffer, so comfort is important. We are all encouraged to take responsibility for our own well-being and to communicate our needs to the facilitator of the meeting within consideration for others.
During Dharma sharing, we practice loving speech and deep listening. It is a special time for us to share our experiences, our joys, our difficulties and our questions relating to the practice of mindfulness. By learning to speak out about our happiness and our difficulties, we contribute to the collective insight and understanding of the sangha.
Dharma sharing is not a time to engage in theoretical or abstract conversations about theories or texts but rather, we will only speak directly from our own experiences. We will refrain from characterizing the experiences of others, giving unsolicited advice, or inserting ourselves into their stories. By avoiding such “cross-talk,” we honor and safeguard each individual’s sharing. We will remember not to spread news that we do not know to be certain and not to criticize or condemn things of which we are not sure. We will refrain from uttering words that can cause division or discord.
By practicing deep listening while others are speaking, we help create a calm and receptive environment. Mindful of our own inner dialog, if we refrain from agreeing, disagreeing or wanting to respond, we can choose to come back to being present with the person speaking. By being witness to sangha members, we support healing, joy, and spiritual growth of the individual and ourselves.
Whatever is shared during Dharma sharing is confidential. If a friend shares about a difficulty he or she is facing, we will respect that he or she may or may not wish to talk about this individually outside of the Dharma discussion time.
If someone is not speaking loudly enough, we will refrain from interrupting them to ask for them to speak louder knowing that the sharing is for them to speak more that it is for us to hear.
Cultivation of Diversity:
Our sangha seeks to cultivate the deep and rich diversity, in all aspects, that is found in our community. We aspire to make all people who seek to practice feel welcome and supported and to help them succeed on their path of practice. We seek to take actions to eliminate barriers, whether they are physical, economic, cultural, or attitudinal to the practice. As sangha members we all seek to diversify our relationships, commit to open-mindedness toward other points of view, examine our own beliefs and actions, and increase the compassion in how we live our lives and understand each other.
Enjoy Your Practice.
You need a sangha; you need a brother or sister, or friend to remind you what you already know. The Dharma is in you, but it needs to be watered in order to manifest and become a reality. – Thich Nhat Hanh