Monday, April 27, 2009

E-Sangha's - Coins in the Donation Box

There has been much discussion on some more trafficked blogs about the value and perils of e-sanghas. I'm not trying to swallow the whole fish here [wink] , just provide a small comment on a complex issue.

While I don't live terribly far from a brick and mortar zendo. To participate fully in a zazen session or service, including some interaction with the fine folks there, would take several hours out of a schedule already packed with responsibilities. While I believe I should try and visit there occasionally, this little corner of the blogesphere has proven very useful to my practice, and I appreciate very much all of the Dharma friends who drop by with a kind or supportive, or even critical word from time to time.

It makes me think of the delightful pa-tunk a coin makes when you throw it in the donation box (saisen bako) at a Japanese temple. A little gift of just 10 yen or so helps keep the temple going. In the same way, a few words in a comment can help someone's practice keep going.


Jordan said...


Anonymous said...

pa-tunk :-)


Uku said...

Right on!

Harry said...


Congrats on 'getting made'. I hope you're feeding that bird.

I generally agree with the sentiment of your post. On the other hand: don't let the crucial matter of your practicing enlightenment for *all beings* depend on the internet, Mr. Bodhisattva!!!

Now, that seemed like a balanced post (helpful/critical).

Maybe you have read it already, but try some of the Kodo Sawaki Roshi stuff, he had a way of cutting through all the nicey, nicey cosy little idea of 'supportive sangha' bullshit (where 'supportive' means 'dependant'). He was a real adult, very independent:

"There’s nothing more funny than old women looking for “inspiration”. Everything for them is “inspirational” even if it’s only worth as much as pigeon shit. Anyway, this idea of inspiration is mistaken: isn’t it just personal inspiration they’re talking about? They’re only taking refuge in Buddha because they hope to get something out of it."




Harry said...


Have you ever considered that 'taking refuge' is giving refuge to everything?



Lauren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lauren said...

Jordan, Glenda, Uku

Thanks for the coins!

Reposted with typo fixed---

Yes, I've got a definite dharma-crush on Sawaki. And I really need to get fresh dose these days. I have been struggling quite a bit between the "real matter" and the nicey-nicey.

Graham Chapman in drag comes to mind "oooh Buddism's alright I guess, but the chris'tians have such nice churches, I mean..., and me bum keeps fallin' asleep and all."