main | books | meditation | Buddha | dhamma | saṅgha | personal


The Pāli word "saṅgha" (literally "assemblage") is commonly used to denote the practitioners of Buddhist meditation in a more or less strict sense. Depending on context it can refer to the Noble Ones (who reached the transcendental path), the community of monks, or the larger community that also includes the lay practitioners.

In an even wider sense, although the word is not commonly understood in this way, it could also denote the multitude of people who adhere to certain values, such as

Of course these values are utterly incompatible with the values that are cherished in our present culture. A cynical view would be that one who adheres to the above values is naive at best and an outcast at worst. However, are those who live a life full of competition and striving for material goods really happy? Look at the faces of the rich and successful. Do they look happy? Maybe turning one's back on the present culture is the only sane thing that is left to do in this world.

The only road out of the unhealthy ways imposed by our culture seems to involve becoming a recluse in one or another way. Being a recluse, though, brings its own problems, most of all loneliness. Loneliness in this case does not mean the absence of people, but the absence of likeminded people. The presence of people who do not share one's values only aggravates the feeling of loneliness or even estrangement.

Being a recluse is not that hard, though. In fact many people who adhere to the above values already are recluses in our world, because their intersection with the people around them is small. Some of them try to adapt, some fight, some resign, but they are all lonely already.

They are not alone, though! There might be another one of their kind in the same town, maybe multiple ones. They often keep quiet, though, because they know that their views are not popular. Therefore, it is easy to assume that they do not exist, but they do.

The question is: how can they find out about each other?

contact | privacy | changes