Why You Should Start a Learning Circle?
There are three components within the heart of Buddhism:
Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.
Buddha refers to the enlightened mind of the Buddha that is brought forth through meditation and practice.
Dharma refers to the teachings of the Buddha: the “map.”
Sangha refers to a community of like-minded people who are pursuing their journey together.
While all three of the jewels are essential on the Buddhist path, at Namchak, we bring a special focus to the jewel of the sangha, or community, providing tools for people to come together, form groups, and relate to one another in a deep and harmonious way.
We provide Learning Circles with the support and tools they need to create truly fruitful learning environments, apply spiritual insight in a group-oriented and practical way, and ultimately, make the world a better place by beginning with the world of sangha.
Personal, Community, World
We believe that in order to live fulfilling and meaningful lives, it is not enough to just focus on our own personal well-being. We also have to feel our connection to others, those both near and far, living our lives in harmony with the greater whole. This involves focus on three connected spheres: personal, community, and the world.
Personal refers to our time on the cushion (or in the chair) as we meditate.
Community refers to our sangha, the rich connections we share with those closest to us. This can include our families, our co-workers, our neighbors, and those in our Learning Circle.
World refers to our awareness of the events of the world, and our active engagement to make the world a better place. Learn more about taking your practice into the world, what we refer to as Engaged Bodhicitta below.
Widening the Lens
In the West, with our individualistic society, meditation and spiritual practice is often considered something we do on our own. However, in the East, where these practices originated thousands of years ago, the practices were designed to support healthy relationship with others and with the world around us. As you use the Learning Circle Toolkit, think about the ways you, and members of your Learning Circle, can widen your lens beyond your Circle, perhaps through doing a service project in your community or supporting people living in other parts of the world.
At Namchak we encourage our Learning Circle members to contemplate how they might take their meditation practice off of the cushion and into the world. Through regular meditation practice we might feel naturally inspired to help alleviate the suffering of the world and act with love and compassion. Learn more about Engaged Bodhicitta and taking your practice into the world.