“It is possible that the next Buddha will not take the form of an individual. The next Buddha may take the form of a community practicing understanding and loving kindness, a community practicing mindful living. This may be the most important thing we can do for the survival of the earth” .
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
The whole idea of this community is for people to come together who really want to become Free. So the first step is to decide if you really want to become Free. And if you do want to be free then you’ll say to yourself, ‘Okay, I’m here, I’m going to give this a go…’
To live in a community, with other people around, has the advantage of constant energetic support. If you are someone who sees the benefit in getting support to see the structures of your mind then, as an alternative to a cave, I would say that spiritual community within society is quite a good option.
Of course the whole effort is to come to silence. A spiritual community provides the space and encouragement for you to become aware of the unconscious mind structures that govern your life.
For example, if you have the idea ‘I’m not intelligent enough’ then in the workings of daily life you’re confronted with this idea and encouraged to become aware of its affects.
By looking at these structures and shining light on them we begin to be less affected by them. This is the transformation that you’re talking about. The movement is to become more and more open and aware so that these old structures are no longer what we identify with.
Love in Action
Some years ago in our community, Open Sky House, we made a decision that we would like to be self-supporting. It’s rather a powerful situation because it means that the community has its destiny in its own hands, you could say.
From that decision we developed four businesses: a seminar business, a guesthouse, an art gallery and a publishing company. Inevitably, that creates a busy, getting-things-done environment.
We also have three periods of meditation each day, and then often in the evenings we have some meetings. So there’s a lot of impetus to be silent and at the same time there is a lot of busy-ness involved in running the businesses.
But whatever we are doing, our focus is to investigate, without judgement or expectation, the reality of our inner life. We begin to see just how brilliant the mind is in creating worries, fears, anxiety and desires.