Author Topic: What are some of the ways that living in community plays a role in Buddhism?  (Read 1316 times)

Offline draining12

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Hello everyone, I am beginning to study Buddhism and am curious about how communities and Buddhism interplay; what effects does being in a community have on Buddhism?

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Good morning, draining12.

According to The Suttas, in the original sangha, while Buddha and his closest followers were still alive, the community was the provider of food, clothing, shelter, and additional members of the monastic community.  Donations were made in real products, not currency.  In some Eastern countries, these traditions still continue, especially in Southern Buddhism.  In the West and Japan currency has almost completely replaced commodities, following Judeo-Christian custom in the West and Shito custom in Japan. 

There is no comparison to be made in Islam, the Middle East as defection from Islam is seen as intolerable and may result in violent consequences.  In all the years I have been practicing Buddhism, I have only been in communication with one muslim peer, an architect, who unfortunately was trapped in Syria, despite my advice to him to flee with his family early in the conflict, the reason for which we have seen, and you can observe for yourself in the daily world news.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.


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