The Group

Sangha, some call it. Community. The group following a common path. On the second day of the retreat, Thich Nhat Hanh speaks of the importance of this on establishing the path. Indeed, people are far more likely to make deep spiritual progress in a group than alone. I have seen dozens of people awaken in the context of a group, only a few solo. But even those had been in group. Many had been “ripe” for some time.

The ego sees itself as separate so encourages independence. But this vision looses sight of our commonality and the deep value of community. If you are traveling on a journey to oneness, do you think you will best find openings alone? Or as one, where you can taste the wholeness?

Find a group you feel a sense of resonance with and make a point of being with them. Even on a long distance call – consciousness has no spatial boundaries. Pay attention to how it makes you feel. The teacher may facilitate or amplify, but the group itself is key. At some point, you may outgrow the group, need a new message. Staying will keep you stuck. But don’t use this as an excuse to ‘flutter’ from one set of concepts to another. Oneness is inclusive of all things and can be found anywhere.

Consciousness also has no boundaries in time, so a memory of silence can help. Self can be returned to through memory. But careful with experiences of not-self. Of form. Memories of illusion create grasping and ideas of truth. Hold your experiences lightly.

As the closing of the Rig Veda reminds us:
“Go together, speak together, know your minds to be functioning together from a common source…”

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5 Responses to The Group

  1. Ariel Bravy says:

    Are you part of any groups?

  2. Davidya says:

    (laughs) Yep.
    Used to work in a job that encouraged workaholic tendencies. After I left that I made a conscious point of ensuring I had a social life, a spiritual community, and was less in my head.
    I monitor a bunch of groups, go to various talks and retreats when certain teachers come through, am in several online groups, a few things I go to sporadically, a local ‘church’, a weekly discussion group, and regular conference calls with a very awake couple.

    The last is the most important one by a long shot and curiously reconnected me with people I’ve known for over 30 years. Our paths reconverged.
    They don’t want publicity so I don’t link them but do sometimes refer to the retreats or quote them. They’re the ones I’ve seen dozens awake through.

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