Venerable Ananda said to the Blessed One, "This is half of the holy life: admirable friendship, admirable fellowship, admirable camaraderie."
“Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that! Admirable friendship, admirable fellowship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life.”
—Upaddha Sutta (SN 45.2)
We can’t do it by ourselves, and nobody else can do it for us.
—GBZC Sutra Book
I take refuge in the Sangha, the interdependence of all.
—GBZC Sutra Book
Admirable friendship, admirable fellowship, admirable camaraderie—as manifest in admirable community, our beloved and deeply admirable Sangha—this is indeed the whole of the Dharma life. Without our community, none of us would be able to make our way in this life, let alone walk the Path. We need each other; we rely on each other; and we must entrust ourselves to each other.
The Sangha Care and Connection initiative at the Greater Boston Zen Center is part of the means through which we are able to care for each other and our community outside the Zendo and beyond our meditation cushions. It is primarily a means for community members to communicate with each other, supporting one another in times of need. Some community leaders volunteer as leaders in this capacity (and more leadership support is always welcome), and all community members are encouraged to consider becoming involved.
This initiative will evolve over time, and all are encouraged to explore and expand how it can function and bring us together as a relational community. Sangha Care and Connection can function from leadership to community, but most important is the way it is enacted and lived-into peer-to-peer.
Here are some ways it can function:
- You can reach out to SCC in times of crisis, hospitalization, or grief, when you may need the support of your spiritual community.
- You can reach out if you are temporarily homebound, and need support or provisions.
- You can reach out if you are looking for a ride to the Zen Center, or to a doctor’s appointment, or to a residential retreat.
- You can reach out to find a place in-town to stay during a non-residential retreat at GBZC.
- You can reach out to request someone or something be added to the Special Dedication list used in our services.
- You can reach out for social reasons, to find a companion for a visit to a museum or a lecture or another Dharma center.
- You can reach out to find and coordinate with Sangha members to create your own virtual sittings in Zoom.
- You can reach out to communicate when you are sick or unable to come to the Zen Center as you usually do, and don’t want people to worry.
The possibilities here are truly vast and manifold—and the actualization of it depends on each of us together.
Email us at [email protected] to share your idea, request, or offer of support to your dharma siblings, or use the forms below:
- Make a request for support or connection by filling out this Google Form.
- Offer support or connection by filling out this Google Form.
See also our COVID-Related Help page.