Communities of Love as Healing Sources
Br. Phap Ung talks about the community’s love as like an ocean embracing all beings. In the spirit of meta-ethic, Suffering can be embraced by the community and be a source of growth and practice to see that we are not separate from each other. When we ourselves suffer, we do not have to withdraw from the community, but can ask to be comforted, to cry and feel understood by our brothers and sisters. Like flying geese, we take turns to support one another. Br. Phap Ung also talks about the place of seniority and democracy in the Plum Village community as a spiritual family and how both aspects enable us to maintain the essence of Buddhism and also renew it.
Br. Phap Ung then moves on to talk about original fear and original desire, and how it is that the root of suffering is actually our idea of a separate self, rather than our sense of being and non-being, existence and extinction. Extinction (of species) can be very painful when we see it as a separate self entity. Human beings are also not separate from other being and deserve compassion rather than blame. He teaches that in the ultimate dimension there is no being and no non-being. In essence, the historical and ultimate dimension are also not separate. Br. Phap Ung asks, “Can we take care of our idea of a separate self?”.