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Creating Sangha

Stephen Batchelor

Wisdom Collection

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Few would disagree that monasticism, with its vows and disciplines, provides the time and freedom to reflect on the dharma and a conducive framework for cultivation of concentration and insight. For this reason, since the time of the Buddha, the survival of the dharma has been seen as dependent upon the survival of a monastic community. ln most Asian countries, the very term "sangha" (community) excludes the laity and has come to refer to the monastic com­munity alone. While a sympathetic laity is required to support the monks and nuns, the laypeople's limited opportunity for realizing the scholarly and contemplative goals of Buddhist practice has led to their assuming an inferior status to monastics.

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