Br Phap Huu gives encouraging words to the Plum Village aspirants who are about to enter the monastic community. When we enter the ordained community, we do not do so only as individuals but we bring our whole ancestral lineage with us. It is important to have the aspiration to help other beings and we need to keep the fire of our aspiration alive daily.
His advice to living happily in the monastic sangha include 1) recognizing our spiritual lineage 2) learning to be flexible with oneself and the community 3) knowing that there is no ‘perfect’ sangha, thus accepting both the flaws and goodness of the community 4) having humility and simplicity.
He then goes on to talk about some difficult times the Plum Village sangha has gone through, with the illness of our teacher, and misperceptions between hamlets. With consensus as the basis for decision making in the community, understanding each other is more important than trying to fix the problems right away.
We should all aspire to enlightenment on a daily level and have a vision for our spiritual life. How do we align our individual aspiration with the community aspiration?
What does it feel like to receive kindness, from a loved one or even a stranger? What does it mean to have kindness in our own heart, and to be a true friend to ourselves and others? How can we cultivate these qualities, to help build a kind community...