Community & Buddhafield
Buddhafield has been and will continue to be a refuge for many people. It is a place of peace where we can allow, our community, to care for us. Since the early days of Buddhafield, people have come together to create events, systems, communities, meals, songs, and many more collaborations. A commitment to working and practicing together is a natural part of this.
How will community manifest at Buddhafield Base?
There will be a small community of permanent residents and their families at Base. Initially, we imagine that these will all be people who are actively working on helping Base reach its full operating capacity. Within a few years though, we hope that people will be able to start their own enterprises and. Or work externally and live at Base.
In addition to the permanent community, we will be offering long-term Dharma life volunteer places so people can join the community for seasons of practice and working together. This will be an extension to our existing Anuruddha Project – where people live and work together while supporting the Buddhfield season.
We will also create temporary communities through our events, volunteer days, visitor days, online events, and team gatherings. The golden thread of intention toward authentic community runs through these offerings. The hope is that people can then take the resources they have gained back to their homes and local areas so that we can join all our definitions of community together.
Sangha exists not as a concept but as a potential that must keep manifesting over and over within our world.
The very act of meeting for friendship and sharing is a radical, creative and subversive act in itself. It challenges the views of nihilism and cynicism. Friendship needs no justification.Danaraja
The word Buddhists traditionally use for community is sangha. Along with Dharma (the teachings) and the Buddha himself, sangha is one of the three jewels of Buddhism.
Engaging with the three jewels is expressed in the phrase ‘going for refuge’: to ‘go for refuge’ to the three jewels is, effectively, to practice Buddhism. The phrase “taking refuge” also speaks to that fundamental human experience of needing some relief, some safe place where we can be free of suffering, free of dukkha (sufering).
Equally, though, the sangha is a challenging place. Authentic relationships are hard, and they ask a lot of us. We take refuge in the three jewels as we walk the path towards enlightenment, but we do not pretend that this path is easy. But, that hard work is worth it!
The Buddha teaches that we need the sangha. We cannot achieve freedom from suffering on our own. For it is not just our own freedom from suffering that we hope for, but freedom from suffering for all beings, individually and collectively. This is the way of the Eco-Sattva. As long as one of us is suffering, we all suffer, so we must work and live together.
Authentic community speaks to an important truth – we imagine a social order where, individually and collectively, we are committed to deepening our connections with each other. We seek to cooperate, rather than compete. We wish to creatively work together. We see our manifold differences as a source of resilience, from which we can rise to meet any challenge.
Buddhafield is already an authentic community, practicing all of these crazy, impractical, romantic, radical ideas in the mud of our everyday human experience. Buddhafield Base will be an opportunity to deepen our experience of this.