OUR SANGHA

If you're not familiar with the term Sangha, it's just a fancy word for a community of friends practicing mindfulness and mindful living in order to bring about and maintain awareness.

I had never heard of the word before my trip to Plum Village in 2016 for a "Mindful Health and Wellness" retreat. I know from my discussions with people in Berlin that it's not a common word or concept. However, after seeing how powerful a group of people can be when exploring the topic of mindfulness, I made a commitment to find a Sangha in my area or start one.

 

Since there aren't any in English in SW Berlin, my friend Celina and I decided to start our own.  We had our first meeting in April of 2017 and are called the Mindful Living Berlin Sangha. We have a page on Facebook where future meetings and events are posted here.  We can also send you information via email:  MindfulLivingSangha(a)Outlook.com. You are very welcome to join us!

...From Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh, also called Thây (Pronounced Tie...meaning teacher), wrote in Good Citizens: Creating Enlightened Society:

It is difficult to make a change alone. In the Sangha there is a powerful collective energy of mindfulness and concentration. It can help us make a breakthrough; it ignites our insight. Our practice together of walking, sitting, breathing, eating, is very important. When we practice with the Sangha, it’s easier than practicing alone. Sometimes something may carry us away...but thanks to the collective practice, we can regain our solidity.

Upper Hamlet, Plum Village

Even if we’re distracted, our Sangha can help us remember to come back to the present moment, to touch what is positive, to touch our own peace, to see how to undo the difficulty. The Sangha doesn’t need to be Buddhist. Buddhism is made of non-Buddhist elements anyway. When I met Martin Luther King Jr., in 1966, we spoke about Sangha building. We spoke a few times about the beloved community. The beloved community is the Sangha.

Everybody contributes their part. You don’t need to be exactly like others. This is true whether you are thinking of your family as your Sangha or of the larger beloved community. Everyone has their own abilities.You don’t need to be like others; you just need to be yourself. You don’t need to have perfect health or a perfect mind without any worries and anxiety. You can still have some pain in your body or some pain in your mind. But thanks to the practice, you can create more joy, peace, and understanding that nourishes you, nourishes the Sangha, and nourishes the world.

The Sangha is therefore an important support in your [mindfulness] practice. Thây considers it so important that he often says, the future Buddha is a Sangha.

If you are interested in learning more about Thich Nhat Hanh, I invite you to watch an interview from a few years ago with Oprah.

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