Spiritual practice can be thought of in terms of developing positive qualities within ourselves. But in a very real sense it also consists in creating sufficiently beautiful conditions within our minds so that something from outside us may be invited in.
Subhuti considers the significance of Sangha day falling on the cusp of winter, and the importance of the seasons in human life. He recalls the genesis of Sangha day from the time of the Buddha, and considers it’s relevance for us here in the 21st century.
Ultimately Subhuti focus on the Sangha jewels itself; its vital importance for the individual practitioner and as a real sign of hope for this world.
Most of our life strategies are to avoid pain. We can ask ourselves - Do I want to be bound by suffering, or free from suffering? Aryajaya describes the movement towards the Three Jewels as a development of faith and effective Going for Refuge.
The social and political landscape is changing. Societies are, on the one hand, fragmenting whilst, on the other, unifying within a growing culture of consumerism and individualism. How can we create a community that is unified and diverse, exemplifying real values and being a force for good in the world? Suryagupta, current chair of the London Buddhist Centre, inspires us all to shine the light of the Dharma in the world.
Here Sangharakshita explores the Four Reliances as he distinguishes the meaning of vijnana (Discriminating Consciousness) and jnana (Transcendental Awareness) and then further distinguishes prajna-paramita (Perfection of Wisdom) from jnana.
Launching his book entitled Wisdom Beyond Words, 1993.
Vajradevi introduces the idea of ‘talking meditation’, where we carry the thread of awareness through verbal communication. This extends beyond awareness of the speech precepts to being aware of the texture or tone of our own and others’ voices, using a ‘settled back’ stance and giving priority to the thread of awareness/knowing over the content of what’s being said. She gives tips for the practice: staying aware of our own minds, aiming to let go of trying and...
Kuladharini explores what it’s like to be an example of the fourth sight in the world, to be a visible embodiment of dharma practice. Using the metaphors of the begging bowl, robes and shaved head she shares three ways in which she has gone forth as a visible example of a dharma farer.
How do we go beyond the duality of subject and object, self and other, to experience the true nature of reality?
There is no real Buddhism if it’s all about self liberation. We have to see other people as like ourselves. Jnanavaca, telling the story of Meghiya, unequivocally draws out the importance of sangha and kalyana mitrata as the means to bring the Dharma to life in the world.