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Individuality: Self-Contained and Boundless (Online Order/Mitra event from Adhisthana)
Led by Ratnaguna and Saddhanandi
Am I an individual, or just part of the group?
This is a question we need to keep trying to penetrate more deeply whether we are a Mitra or an Order member. It is a question that is central to the development of a saṅgha, a spiritual community, no individuals, no saṅgha. Any consideration of what the saṅgha is must therefore include as full an understanding as possible of the nature of individuality. So – what is an individual? On this retreat we will try to bring more understanding to that question by exploring Sangharakshita’s teachings on the individual, the group, and the spiritual community.
These are teachings not found in any traditional Buddhist texts. In fact, it’s unlikely that you will find them in any other account of Buddhism, apart from those given by his students. They are a ‘restatement’ – as he puts it – of the Buddhist path for the contemporary world. Many Buddhist traditions that have come into being, all of them are adaptations of the Buddha’s original teachings for people who lived in different societies and cultures from those of the Buddha. In fact, we could view the whole 2,500 history of Buddhism as a succession of glorious and creative restatements of the Buddha’s Dharma. Sangharakshita’s teachings on the individual, the group, and the spiritual community are one of his restatements of the Buddha’s teaching, and they seem to be even more pertinent now than they were when he first introduced them, in the 1960s.
Using presentations, reflection, discussion and meditation, we will explore the theme of individuality – a theme of inspiration and challenge, based as it is on our personal and existential concerns and on the penetrating teachings handed down from the Buddha.
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