Community is Sweet—but it’s Fickle, too.
Sangha. I loved my Buddhist community, growing up. They’re heart friends. The best, the truest, the noblest, such joy and laughter and genuine connection.
But too, you know–they’re not there for you, not practically, not when it counts. The sangha is a popularity contest, a shallow pool. The sangha is a stuck-up, high-on-itself community who thinks it’s better than other communities, who seeks to take advantage of its own, who promotes those who play the game, and ignores the wholesome, caring bulk of itself…except when it comes to fundraising season.
I appreciate nothing more than non-sectarian community, too. It’s a salve, a blessing, uplifting when I’m burnt out.
But community is fickle, too.
Community, often, isn’t there for you when you’re down and out. It’s a busy world, and when we’re busy…we don’t see each other. We forget to feel. We don’t reply to texts. We let friendships die on the vine, and don’t have time to give a care—about the homeless, about someone having a rough time in a relationship, about the elderly lady who needs help around the house, or someone sick who needs some soup and a (masked) hug.
Meditation, for me, is a tonic to my own speediness. My own tight-chested close-mindedness, when I feel hurt or offended. In meditation, we breathe–and our breath breathes through us, easing us back into this moment, and from this moment, naturally, into caring.
On Losing Heart:
It’s good for us to feel this broken heart, a little—that’s where the light gets in, as a wise man once put it.
Feeling that sadness, that openness, that fresh air—gives us the gift of empathy, which grounds us in this present moment, instead of habitual fantasy or arrogance.
And then, now, for the first time—we have the chance at genuine relationship.
…and that relationship? It’s with ourselves.
And then—now—maybe—for the first time, we’ll be ready to commit fully.