“Sangah” is the name for “a community” in Buddhism.
2600 years ago, Buddha himself understood the need for a community for people to practice with, and the powerful effect of one, on people’s lives.
As an Israeli, I arrived in this country with very solid feelings and ideas about what a ‘Community’ is about. It took me 23 years to let go of what I thought was “Right”.
In Israel we “live and breath community” - Israelis are there for each other for better or worse. All the time. We know each other inside out, we know - becasue we constantly share or inquire - about each others joys and pains. Hebrew was the only thing one really needed in order to belong in that community. For a while I considered this as the only form of a community there is.
As I grew older, I realized I belong to many different types of communities, all are wonderful and important even if very different then that one certain type of community I come from. I go to my Buddhist Sangah every Sunday to meditate together and get the Darmah (Teachings) from our teacher. There are around 80 of us. We don’t know each other personally but we feel as one. I feel fully connected to the group and I know that my meditation practice would not have developed as much if I had practiced only on my own.
This is a community! We are there for each other. I finally let go of my perception of a ‘right’ or a 'wrong’ way to “be a community”. There are many different ways, to be a community.
Now I can feel that sense of community in many other places: Even at my gym, with this small group of people that come every Monday and Wednesday to that same Pilates class and we each have our regular spot. I make an effort to show up, not just for the physical benefits, but to maintain the community. For me and as a group.
And there’s my community at work. My Customers. My employees and me. We are one. Making our little ship float with mutual efforts. With the people whom we have sometimes daily contact with but have no idea who they are or what their story is. The woman who makes my coffee in my favorite Cafe, the guy who sells me lunch every day, my dry cleaner and the Chinese guy in the only Deli left in my neighborhood. We only have a smile and two words connecting us but they are, as well, very important community.
WE ARE ALL ONE.