What is the spiritual community?
Buddhism is often imagined as a solitary religion. Monks meditating alone in caves or in the forest is probably the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Buddhism.
Practicing Buddhism isn’t really like that.
The spiritual community or “Sangha” has a primary place on the path towards Enlightenment.
You can be more yourself in a spiritual community
It sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? Surely you need to be on your own, or even lonely, to find yourself?
Buddhism teaches otherwise. You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with. It’s best to choose those people carefully!
A spiritual community is about hanging out with people who have similar values as you, so that you can support each other in keeping to those values.
You don’t need to do it alone
Let’s be honest, being a Buddhist is pretty countercultural. Buddhist practice goes against the grain of society with its emphasis on simplicity and kindness.
As a result, it can be quite difficult to keep going when you keep being told to buy more, do more, experience more.
Being in a supportive community can make or break your success on the path towards a better life.
Community is spiritual practice
Our Western culture is becoming more individualistic by the day. We are told to focus on ourselves, and care only about ourselves. Skills like communication and empathy have only really gained popularity in the workplace, but not in everyday life.
While individualism is sold by Western culture as a good thing, in reality it makes everyone feel more sad and less supported.
If you are part of a spiritual community, you can practice communication, empathy and sensitivity with people who let you make mistakes.
We help each other be more human, and better humans.