There is a term that i stumbled upon in this book im reading now. “Sangha” Wiki(thanks to Google define:) defines it as “Sangha (Pali: सन्घ ; Sanskrit: संघ ; Wylie: ‘dus sde) is a word in Pali or Sanskrit that can be translated roughly as “association” or “assembly,” “company” or “community” with common goal, vision or purpose.” – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sangha
What Sangha means(and from what i understood from the book im reading) to me is a community of like minded people that come together to meditate, chant, and discuss the Dharma. In other words, it is a group of people that come together to support each other and learn from each other. The book im reading also mentioned that the Sangha is more than just a group of ppl that go into the temple and meditate together, it is everyone around you, everyone that has touched you, that you have learned from. Everyone you see on a daily basis, because lets face it, more often than not we see them a lot more than we see people at any religious ceremony.Take the Catholic Sunday Mass for example, which could be considered a form of Sangha, they come together to Worship and support each other in their spiritual growth.
Yet, there are a lot of ppl in our lives… Friends, Family, Co workers, People we pass on the street. And every single one of these ppl that cross our paths everyday are important to us. They are there to teach us something, to show us the way to true awakening and compassion. Through the simplest to the earthshaking acts that they do, they are always there to teach us and show us that there is no other time but now. nothing else but this moment.
They are our teachers, or guides on this journey we call life. Something that we should always be grateful for, no matter what they do or how they do it, be it ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in our eyes, it is always something we need to accept, learn from , let go, and just love them and shine with compassion and understanding.
Yes, there are special people in our lives, special people that hold a special place in our hearts. The one’s we run to when we ourselves are tired and drained, when we need a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen to, for we are still human after all. These should be cherished and appreciated. They are a gift to us, and not something to cling onto, but something we appreciate as they are there, and bid a fond loving farewell if their paths ever move away from ours.
Yet, everyone we see, meet, and interact with should be special to us. They are there to show us the way, to help us wake up to the present moment, to be aware of the beauty and wonder of reality. To let go of expectations and just take things as they are, to be at peace and hold joy and love in our hearts.
So the next time we walk down the street or corridor, The next time we see a co worker or a friend or even a total stranger, no matter who they are, or what they are doing. Be it helping us out in some small way, just passing us on the street, getting in our way as we walk, doing something that annoys us, or makes us laugh, or cry. Let us ask ourselves, what is it they are trying to show us? to teach us? how can i use this to wake up more to the present?
Let us look around with eyes that have been opened a little more, and not regard ppl around us as just ppl, just there to fill the empty space. Let us regard them as wonderful Beings, full of the potential to love and shine with compassion, to show us that love and compassion even if they do not know it themselves just yet. To keep in mind that we are also a part of their lives, that we are there to help them wake up even just a bit. Be it a smile, a kind word, or help in some small or big way.
Everyone and Everything is a part of our lives, a part of who we are, to help us grow spiritually and wake up to the perfectness of where we are at the moment. All we need to realize and keep in mind that they are our support, our community, an integral imporant part in our growth and awakening, our Sangha.
Ever had one of those days where you felt like everything was just piling up and you just kept on getting hit in the gut and pushed in the mud over and over again? Like all those little things and problems just keep on coming and coming and no matter how much you struggle and fight they just seem so overwhelming that it feels like you drowning in them?
Be it a lot of small little annoyances and problems, or one major huge problem, we all have something that stresses us out or annoys us or swamps us everyday. It happens to me all the time and you know what? Lately, ive been realizing that maybe, we should be grateful for these things that happen.
Of course, im not some masochist that wants to suffer and get hurt and be in pain all the time. I just try to view these occurences not as something that is negative that needs to be avoided and fought against, but something more. Because think about it, they are there. No matter how much you refuse to accept it, how much you fight against it. It will always be there. It just and always will be there. It is.
So why do i think we should be grateful? As i said, these are a part of reality, a part of our lives, a part of who we are, and we should always be grateful for all things that happen to us, because they are us in a way.
I am slowly learning to accept them, to not judge them as good occurence or bad occurence, i just look at them and say to myself that this is what is happening right now, it is neither bad nor good, it just is. If we stop trying to fight it, to keep on thinking and wishing that it didnt happen, that it could have been different. If we just accept it with a loving and open heart. Accept the now, Embracing the reality and what this moment truly has to offer. I can learn how to let these things go.
I believe that in accepting these problems and annoyances, in embracing them, in taking a deep breath instead of holding it all in, in relaxing into them, acknowledging them, looking at them with love and compassion, i, and you too, can rise above it all.
That these will cease to become ‘problems’ or ‘annoyances’ or ‘bad things’ and will just become things. It will transform into something that kicks us down, and throws us in the mud and dirt and muck into something that just is, its there, and i am there, and everything fits into place.
We will be able to see it as it truly is, a learning experience, a way for us to grow, and wake up to the reality that is surrounding us, wake up from the sleep that we have put ourselves in, to shake off the dream we have spun around ourselves with our minds and finally open our eyes.
When our eyes are fully open, when we shake off the cobwebs of illusion and dreams that we have created ourselves, we will see that there everything is at it should be. That things are just the way they are because they are. With no judgement of good or bad. That everything is as it should be, and our hearts will open up like a flower, shining with the peace and love and compassion of the knowledge that everything is just… Perfect in their own little way, that there is a greater picture and purpose in everything, and we are a part of that great picture, and everything comes together to form something just wonderful, and magnificent, and perfect.
Tonight is Sat night, where everyone looks forward to going out and having fun with their friends, or spending a quiet night at home. Everyone is filled with excitement and expectation with how this night is going to be, or should i say how it is supposed to be?
People are always filled with desires and expectations. I want things this way, i want this, i want that, i want this to happen, this is how i want my day to be. There is a slight problem with that though. That is that things will never come out exactly like you expect them to be. When that happens our minds are always filled with thoughts like “This isnt what i wanted”, “this isnt how it was supposed to be!” “this shouldnt be happening” “my day is now ruined!” sounds familiar? It does to me.
Will we always suffer and rile against the unfair-ness of life? How life and the Universe or God doesnt give us what we want? CAN we do anything about it in the first place?? The answer is, well, No. There is nothing you can do, you can wear yourself down trying to control everything in your life but that just wont work. Its like trying to hold back the tides, or keep the earth from spinning on its axis, or keeping the sun from rising, or the moon from changing phases, or the rain from coming, or… or… well, you get the picture.
So what can be done? Well, from my experience, what can be done is just accept. We need to learn how to let go of our expecations of everything, who says what we want is the best for us in the first place? I am pretty sure that most of us have had something really bad (or so we thought at that time) happen to us but then in the end it turned out to be the best thing that happened to you. It is exactly that that we need to keep in mind. How do we know that this thing that, at least in our heads, isnt supposed to happen is not the best thing that can happen to us?
Good thing? bad thing? who knows? all we have to do is accept that they are there. There is nothing that we can do about it. When we stop fighting reality, stop fighting what is around us, always trying to say no, its not like that! no! i refuse to accept! and just let go, accept, and realax into the what is instead of living in our head and clinging onto the what should be, then we can truly be alive.
So this sat night, let us make plans, yes, but let us say to ourselves ‘these plans are nice, but if it doesnt happen, if something else happens that totally goes against these plans, i will accept it, love it, and live it because that is all that there is, because this is who i am, , the present” . We accept, we embrace, then we let go, with love and acceptance and compassion in our hearts. Then can we trully be alive and live, able see the glory and the wonder of where we are at the moment. Then can we slowly realize that there is nothinbg but this moment, and it is good. and wonderful and perfect.
So this sat night, let us go out with a smile on our lips, a twinkle in our eyes, and a shine in our hearts and bring this light and love and happiness and joy into the world. Let us shine like the bright stars that we are.