One of the modern afflictions we face as a society is loneliness since industrialisation has changed our extended family and village way of living. Community is important for everyone and it is especially important for seekers as a lot of us tend to be loners by nature and often feel we can’t fit in with many social groups. The value of friends to share an often difficult path cannot be understated.
Seeker: Yesterday you were speaking about birds of a feather flocking together and it reminded me of people saying you choose your friends but you’re stuck with your family. With the people who come to these meetings, typically we would not associate with each other except for the love of this, so it’s a bit more like a family.
In my experience family was something to get away from but this is something to move into more deeply. I was wondering if you could talk more about it?
Vishrant: Yes. This gathering of people is like a boat and to make the boat float and to make it work everyone needs to put into it. Everyone needs to be helpful towards it. It’s good for all to be paddling in the same direction and then this boat can take everyone. A solid boat built on kindness can support many. This gathering of like- minded people is a refuge, not unlike a boat: it can be an oasis in the desert where people can come and get the support they need in life’s adventure.
People caring about each other. This is what’s encouraged here,to create an environment that supports the individual members during their hard times and their good times. One for all and all for one. To build a loving community is a great adventure. There is not much sense of community in the city. The culture tends to be a little cold and insular. It is amazing, if you get a chance go to another culture like the small country town culture and see that there’s a warm community where people care for their neighbours.
Yes, people here support others’ freedom, they don’t support their enslavement and the people here are courageous and they’re going for it. If you’re going for awakening of heart at least get in the boat with people that are going the same way.
We have an opportunity here for a warm community because there is a group of people interested in awakening to heart. There is a possibility of creating an oasis of people who care for each other, going in the same direction. It is up to you guys as individuals to paddle in the right direction.
Seeker: But it’s interesting because apart from the love of truth you couldn’t really say that we were birds of a feather flocking together because we’re all so different.
Vishrant: Very different in a lot of aspects but the same in the love of heart and the love of beingness. Same for the love of truth and this, in a way, is rare in our society. I mean, there are not many people going for truth or for heart. It’s rare.
Seeker: I was wondering, about the differences that people come here with: there’s no possibility of locking into set things because we’re constantly being almost mirrored out of it. It’s quite amazing but it’s uncomfortable sometimes.
Vishrant: Yes, people here support others’ freedom, they don’t support their enslavement and the people here are courageous and they’re going for it. They’re going for experiencing what appears rather than running away and avoiding. They’re looking for ways not to run away, which is very different in the outside world, where people are still very much running. If you’re going for awakening of heart at least get in the boat with people that are going the same way.
The Sangha of an Awakened One is described by Gautama the Buddha as the third of the Triple Gems and is essential to anyone wanting to discover their true nature. If you have the heart of a seeker, find your community so it can flourish.
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