"The world we live in is getting smaller and peoples actions have tremendous impact. In the era in wich we live people cannot get away with cllinging to their beliefs. I dont have any personal attachment or clinging to being a Buddhist. We need to step outside the boundaries of Buddhism and really go out and share the benefits of our Buddhist practise with the rest of the world. " / HHG Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Bus Society

The life with a sangha as I see it, is to expand the mind from its most cloistered corners, and get all of once juicy differences and crisp angels mirrored back by others, without away to retaliate. It is about practicing choicelessness.

A sangha consists of a group of potential friends, enemies and those that one feels indifferent for. Just as anywhere. Like on a bus.

Thats why I call this "The Bus Society".

One is living very close together in a small container, full time, where there is no choices around meeting someone or not. What ever and who ever is right there in your face, weather you like it or not, around the clock. One might resist it at first, but eventually its gonna start seeping in and start dancing on your lack of patience, like a laughing skeleton. There is no way but to surrender to the rawness of it all. Once own shortcomings become very vividly alive and mirrored back in full color when living in community.
This is how we learn from each other.

People of all sorts and walks of life may constitute a sangha, and finding deeper relationships within a community is quite unusual, no matter where you are. Its not like calling all your best friends together and say; Hey, lets go live together. Its more like you would step in to any city bus, preferably one youve never been on before and suggest the same thing; Hey, lets go live together!

There is the guy you would never have thought of even have a cup of tea with who now shares your seat, the woman whos core values are so the opposite to yours that a mere Halo at the breakfast table makes you long for a turtle shell to crawl in to. There is those who tickles your curiosity who never looks in your direction, and those you are to afraid of to talk to. Small, big, with tattoos, and without, but everyone has scares. They come in all colors and sizes, and they are not getting off at the next stop...

You share your bathroom, your few toys and goodies, your good moods and your worst moments with these fellow companions of the bus society 24/7.

Youre up close with your most hidden secrets, your failures, strengths and shortcomings. The longer you stay the longer you get a chance to be boiled thoroughly, and get your edges softened. Emerging from the sangha soup as a tender and tasty potato or carrot might take a while though. Most of us are hard boiled eggs all ready that instead needs to be cracked open. O´boy, hope no one needs to be cracked open! Just softly boiled to perfect tenderness. ;-)

I see part of sangha life as an investment in the living Dharma, for the  sake of all living beings. The insights we get through abandoning our comfort zones and stirring right at the edges of our limited worlds is what invites us to expand and soften in to a more peaceful and harmonious frame of mind. Unless you push it to far to fast...and starts to sink instead.

Many ideas of what it might be to live in community and in a monastery or nunnery fall apart when you enter one and become a part of it.
Thats a good thing, because it opens up the potential to see what it really is, and what is really true and what needs to be addressed. What it really means to be living in community wont be limited to our own approval, it will just show it self on our doorstep as it is, and we take it from there to the cushion. Bringing what ever ripens to the path and use it as potential fertilizers to our capacity to grow beyond our current limitations.

Its hard work to get the bus society rolling harmoniously, as most of us just want to come to gorgeously ready served tables and not get our sleeves soiled or stained by uncomfortable truths. Especially not about ourselves.

The strength of being more then one that together digs in to create the sustainable foundations for a continuation of stable sangha lives are needed.

We are much stronger together then alone, and we will continue to need each other in order to anchor a foundation for sangha life that can mirror back our own uncomfortable truths, and befriend them, for the sake of all beings.
All of us who are willing to walk the path are all channels for the Dharma, no matter shape or form, and the way the way will show it self is through walking it - step by step towards selflessness.

"The Charnel Ground"  - composed in Bodhgaya January 2009

Im walking the charnel ground.
Theres a shuffle by the tree.

I am this moment.
How can you be in love with a moment?

Now Im here.
Now Im gone.

Im the place between breathing in
and breathing out.

Now Im here.
Now Im gone.

Im the space embracing the leave.

The leave will drop,
fall to the ground
and follow the wind.

I am the leave.

Now Im here.
Now Im gone.

I am walking the charnel ground.
There is a shuffle by the tree.