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How to Keep the Spirit

For me it would be arrogant to think that I don’t need to be a nun in order to practice Dharma, in order to get realizations, in order to live a beneficial life, when our teachers such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and so on are all ordained. It’s like saying…

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Sojong as Skillful Means for Building Community

Sojong as Skillful Means for Building Community By Bhikshuni Thubten Saldon Today more than ever, I am deeply reassured about the potential of Sojong for the Western Sangha. The practice of or Sojong supports both the individual and the community by the dismantling of harmful karmic conditionings. Again and again, I have experienced the huge potential…

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On the Rule of St. Benedict

The Benedictines view monastic life as a project in itself. They do not think you become a monk in order to do something else; you become a monk to live a monastic life. This is sufficient. This turning away from the things of the world and turning towards a spiritual life is all there is. Ven.…

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Shasta Abbey—A Western Zen Monastic Community

Meditation is the foundation of our religious practice; through it we can discover the Truth directly for ourselves. In meditation one learns how to accept oneself and the world as it is. Profound transformation becomes possible once we know things as they are. Ven. Chantal Dekyi Shasta Abbey—A Western Zen Monastic Community Ven. Chantal Dekyi For over thirty…

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Plum Village: An International Monastic Community

There is an emphasis on building trust and support so that the Sangha are confident enough to share both the positive and negative things in their lives, which in turn leads to closer relationships with the people around and a flowering of love and compassion. Ven. Thubten Kundrol Plum Village: An International Monastic Community By Ven. Thubten…

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Training for Community Life

When we ordain we commit to becoming enlightened through the monastic vessel, and this means you will need to be trained. The Buddha created a Sangha as a fast track to Enlightenment. Sister Jotika Training for Community Life An Interview with Sister Jotika IMI spent time with Sister Jotika to reflect on what motivates her commitment to training…

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Shifting the Attitude—Embracing Community

Although the majority of the millions of Buddhists are lay people, it is taught that the ordained Sangha are crucial: The existence of the Buddhadharma in any one place depends upon the presence there of at least four ordained Sangha practicing the full extent of the vinaya, Buddha’s guidelines on moral conduct. Lord Buddha himself…

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Ordination—Caught Between Two Cultures

As you know, just because you’re a monk or nun does not mean that you’ve reached enlightenment. It simply means that you have gained an understanding of the nature of samsara and have decided to work continuously to develop within yourself the everlasting, peaceful path of liberation. That’s all. Getting ordained doesn’t give you immediate…

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Listening, Thinking, and Meditating

There are two basic types of meditation: stabilizing meditation to develop single-pointed concentration and analytical or checking meditation to develop deep understanding of the topics. Until higher levels of the path, these two types of meditation are done alternatively. Khensur Jampa Tegchok Listening, Thinking, and Meditating By Khensur Jampa Tegchok Scripture states that first we need to abide…

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