Blog

Online Sangha

July 7, 2008

This morning I was delighted to learn (from a comment on a blog post) that our Breath in the Heart Meditation would be shared online as part of Plumline‘s Monday morning Sangha.  In fact, it is going on as I write.  

Although Buddhist studies have not been a part of my background, and I have had no training in mindfulness meditation, I am always struck by how much my meditations seem to resonate with those traditions.  As I’ve said before, the deepest truths can be arrived at and expressed through many different paths.  

I enjoyed visiting the Plumline website.  Plumline describes itself as “Building online Sangha in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh”.  For those who don’t know, “Sangha”, roughly translated, means spiritual community.  A community of like-minded practitioners is felt to be essential to support on-going spiritual practice in Buddhism.    

Those interested in Buddhism may want to visit Plumline.  Thich Nhat Hanh, from whom they derive their inspiration, has written one of my all-time favorite poems – “Call Me by My True Names”.  (See Thich Nhat Hanh speaking on mindfulness on YouTube.)

I’ve come to feel our podcasts are like a giant group meditation.  We don’t see and meet each other for the most part, but we truly are meditating together — thousands of us.  I’ve hoped to provide some support for that experience in this blog and on our Meditation Oasis website. Perhaps there are yet other ways that we can create community for those who are interested. I’ve thought of different ways — an online course, a chat group, a conference call.  I’m not sure what will actually manifest, and would be interested in your ideas.

Comments

9 Responses to “Online Sangha”

  1. Mike on August 15th, 2008 5:10 am

    Have you looked at http://www.treeleaf.org? Although the content is specific to a particular tradition, the format is an interesting example of creating community online.

  2. Mary on August 15th, 2008 8:50 am

    Thanks for the reference, Mike. A quick look tells me they have a forum — something we’re thinking of adding. Will spend a little more time with their website to learn more.

  3. mark tulin on September 23rd, 2008 6:38 am

    I read and loved Thay’s poem. I encourage all to read poem mentioned in blog.

  4. Pete Murray on September 29th, 2008 12:18 pm

    Greetings Mary!
    I just came across this post. The Sangha at Plumline has been enjoying your guided meditations for many weeks now. We start our meetings with a 20 minute meditation followed by discussion. I think your meditations would fit comfortably in Plum Village, where Thich Nhat Hanh lives and teaches. I would like to invite you to stop in visit one of our meetings. They are very relaxed and simple. We are not too fixed on any particular philosophy. The format of our discussion is described on the Plum Village web site http://www.plumvillage.org/HTML/practice/html/dharmaDiscussion.htm
    If you are interested. please email me.
    We all thanked you today and sent some loving kindness your way.
    Peace

  5. Mary on September 30th, 2008 1:40 pm

    Hello Pete,
    How lovely to hear from you and to know we’ve been meditating together each week! Thank you for the loving kindness you sent. I feel it in my heart as I type!

  6. Regina on October 28th, 2008 12:09 pm

    I would like to tell you that your meditation “Letting go” helped me very much with my dead end. It had become a “spiritual obligation” to meditate and I merely forgot that it can be so relaxing and even “fun” in the sense of feeling good physically. If it had not been for my new I-pod, I wouldn´t have found you.

    Love Regina, Germany

  7. Mary on October 29th, 2008 2:38 pm

    Good news, Regina! I’m so glad you’ve rediscovered the relaxation and good feeling meditation can bring. To me, that’s what spirituality is about — the joy in being alive. Anytime meditation becomes a “spiritual obligation” it’s good to approach it from a new angle.

  8. Dara on March 27th, 2011 10:32 am

    i would love to participate in a board or chat or anything you decided to create. i listen to my scripture and then meditate and i’ve found it works well at making my day not so hectic. some days i know i SHOULD but i don’t feel like…being able to connect with others on a board..to feel encouraged…i think would benefit us all. i rarely trust others to influence my thinking…if everyone is going right count on me to go left…but i’ve found your voice and your intent to be purely in the interest of the person listening. I LOVE THAT! i’ve been working on different breathing techniques to help relax me but nothing seem to work as well as your guided meditations. even when i’m not using the guided…the voice in my head repeats the words you’d usually say :) thank you for sharing so much with so many!

  9. Mary on March 27th, 2011 4:18 pm

    You are very welcome, Dara. It’s inspiring to hear how well the meditations are working for you. We’ll have to think about the idea of a board or chat…

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