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What is the Sangha?

by Suvarnaprabha

Here's a wee jewel from San Francisco - an introduction to the idea of spiritual community in Buddhism. Suvarnaprabha is a thoroughly delightful guide as she explores her subject with a depth of feeling that comes startling through at times. There are also plenty of laughs here - it's a human and grounded presentation of one of the Dharma's best kept secrets, one of its greatest potential gifts to the West.

Talk given at San Francisco Buddhist Center, St. Valentine's Day 2007

Tracks (click play to listen)

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1. The Sangha and the Three Jewels - a spiritual cycle; definitions of the word 'sangha' (2:20) 
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2. Origins; three levels of sangha - arya, bhikkhu, maha; Sangharakshita on Sangha; a neglected jewel in the West - cultural difference (4:29) 
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3. 'Faith' type (follower) and 'Doctrine' type (follower); being free; Sangharakshita and sangha; balance between ideals and experience (4:55) 
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4. Challenging aspects of sangha - groups; giving and taking; Suvarnaprabha's experience of people at the San Francisco Buddhist Center (5:10) 
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5. Group conditioning and trust - what we bring with us; Chogyam Trungpa's mantra; the value of sangha - receiving projection; Rumi on the barriers to love (2:50) 
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6. Rejoicing in merits - honesty; being touchy - truthfulness through relationship (3:05) 
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7. How to create Sangha; community living; being on retreat; meditation and ethics (2:48) 
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8. The four 'Means of Unification of the Sangha' (sangrahavastus); generosity, kindly speech, beneficial activity, exemplifying (2:11) 
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9. Conclusion - everyone makes the sangha; Dhardo Rimpoche's slogan (1:36) 


Total running time: 29:24