Reflections on Sangha
While "sangha" usually refers to a spiritual community associated
with a particular tradition or religion, people who make up
our sangha are from various backgrounds—Buddhist, Hindu,
Christian. The spirit of our sangha is a mutual interest in
the exploration of spiritual truth outside of the context of
a particular tradition, religion, or teaching. There is an openness
to it. These teachings seem to resonate with those who want
to get to the real core of spirituality and are looking beyond
exterior trappings for a more unencumbered expression of Truth.
Our sangha is, of course, made up of people who are interested
in my teaching and the way it expresses itself. But my viewpoint
is that I’m not really into me; I’m into the Truth.
The teaching is pointing to a more universal Truth and toward
an experience of sangha that is beyond all the particular expressions
or forms that Truth can take. To me, real sangha is whatever
is in service to the silence of the heart—wherever it
One of the most beautiful inquiries is, “What does my
life serve?” This is a big question. It’s not asking,
“What form is my service taking?” It doesn’t
particularly matter what form our service takes when we are
serving the silence of the heart. The only thing that’s
important is, “What is my life really serving?”
All of us are servants, are we not? From the cradle to the
grave, in some way we’re a servant of something. We can
be a servant to many things: our minds, our desires, our fantasies,
our ideas, our beliefs—and we’ve all been in service
to all of those at some point in our lives. When we have some
awakening to Truth—to what we actually are—then
there is an opportunity to be a servant of that. When we realize
what we are, we can serve what we are—instead of serving
what we aren’t. To me this is what real sangha is.
What does it mean to be in service to the Truth right now? One
of the most wonderful things about this sangha, and also one
of the most challenging things about it, has been a continuous
exploration of what it actually means to serve the silence of
the heart—not only individually, but collectively. What
does it mean to be in service of the Truth when one of your
buddies woke up on the wrong side of the universe that day?
What does that look like? It’s always asking us to put
our realization into practice, into movement, into motion, into
this world that will forever be perfectly imperfect.
Serving the Truth becomes our life instead of just an isolated
event. It takes the abstractness out of spirituality. That’s
the opportunity of real spirituality: to be in service to the
silence of the heart.
Read Adyashanti's Reflections on Volunteering
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