The community of practitioners – the sangha – is a crucial aspect of the dharmic path for secular Buddhists. But what do we mean by community? How is a community different than other forms of collective organizations? How do we create a true community of practitioners that help each other develop their practice and contribute to a ‘culture of awakening’?
Stephen Batchelor explains how ‘community is not something you join or something that you find. It’s something you create. Community is a practice of … forging and developing connections and friendships and relationships.’
Check out the list of secular Buddhist groups and communities in Europe and South America.
Check out the list of secular Buddhist groups and communities in the USA.
Take a look at the secular Buddhist groups and communities in Australia
Check out the variety of secular Buddhist groups and communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Martine Batchelor discusses the four bonds of fellowship that help build community at a Gaia House talk. What are these four bonds? Generosity, kind words, beneficial help and consistency.
Winton Higgins has written extensively about democratic communities and the development of secular Buddhism. In this article Winton offers some defining characteristics of a democratic sangha.
… Winton Higgins writes ‘When western societies imported various strains of Asian Buddhism from the 1960s on, few converts noticed the organisational culture that came with the imports. Rather like the tarantula that arrives in the crate of imported bananas…’
Winton Higgins urges secular Buddhists to be active citizens and contribute to social and political change. Given the crises facing our society, ‘nowadays politics matters like never before!’