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Practice without sangha- Community

  • Practice without sangha- Community

    Posted by Slavib on February 5, 2019 at 5:09 am

    Is it possible to become a ‘normal’ Buddhist or a practitioner if there is no community actually presented in the location where you live in ? What are the dangers of not having a community? Is it possible to practice at all?

    monlopfer replied 4 years, 1 month ago 4 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • northernchai

    February 7, 2019 at 6:09 am

    Hi Stanislav, that is a very good question.

    In my experience it is not impossible to be a lone buddhist practitioner.
    When I was living in the north of Sweden I had the good fortune to be able to call a Dharma center, be connected long distance and sometimes travel for retreat. But there was no center where I lived and I practiced alone.

    The dangers are that we don’t always see our faulty thinking and judge experiences in practice in unhelpful ways. We might think: Wow, this is such an experience in meditation. I must be so far along the path. I’m amazing.
    When really we might have gotten attached to a blissful feeling without realising it.
    This is where other more experienced practitioners and teachers come in very handy 🙂

    But as long as we have some contact with our fellow Dharma brothers and sister (in some way) who can help us along the Path we can be  “normal Buddhists” as you put it 🙂

    Hang in there and practice.

  • hilaryherdman

    February 8, 2019 at 9:26 am

    Hi Stanislav,

    Thanks for asking a great question–and also Kris for a thoughtful and helpful response.  As Kris suggested, as long as we have some sort of support community–even if that is virtual, we can indeed practice authentically.  We do benefit from discussing our practice, sharing our experience, and asking questions of more teachers and more experienced practitioners.  So please join in global discussions, and reach out to share thoughts and raise questions.

    It is always wonderful to practice together in group situations.  But these days that is not always possible in person.  That’s why we encourage you to join group and course forums here on the Samye Institute site.  In our courses, we also offer some videos and audios of group practice sessions so that you can have a taste of that experience when you practice alone.

    And, please know that if you need to speak with an instructor, we can also help set up a Skype call with one of our senior students.

    Warm wishes for your practice!




  • monlopfer

    February 8, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Hi, Stanislav, Kristoffer and Hilary!  I agree, when it is not possible to practice as a group in person, the virtual world is always a great tool. I love to read these group discussions, and it is great to have our profiles with our pictures. When I do my practice, I try to think of all my dharma brothers and sisters there with me, including you, Stanislav, now that I can see your picture 😀  I will do aspirations for you to be able to join a group soon, whether it is in your country or you get to travel to attend some teachings with one of our great masters.

    Hang in there and keep the aspiration!