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 Connecting, disconnecting and reconnecting

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aylwin



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Join date : 2010-09-12

PostSubject: Connecting, disconnecting and reconnecting   Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:40 am

OBC Connect: the process of connecting, disconnecting and reconnecting.

My name is Aylwin Nissen and I have been a part of the Throssel Sangha since 1979, and was an ordained monk for about 15 years, before returning to lay life some 10 years ago.

I would like to explore here the connection and the process of disconnection, to a form and expression of something that is unconditioned.

At my first encounter with the OBC, I disliked a lot of the form but had an unexplainable connection with something that bypassed all normal senses. This ‘something’ seemed to have a life of its own and was brought forth by some quality in the monks. I would now describe this ‘something’ as Buddha recognizes Buddha, and Buddha bows to Buddha.

It is this connection that I would like to explore first. The essential connection seems to be to something beyond form, and it is expressed through and not separate from form. The form here in this forum, that we all have or have had to a various degree of connection, is the OBC.

The OBC and its wider Sangha I see as a Mandala, and by taking refuge in, and feeling a sense of connection and belonging, one has already taken a place in the Mandala. This Mandala is only a small particle in a much larger Mandala, emanating from Shakyamuni Buddha and the Buddhas before him. What is at the centre of this OBC mandala? Is there a centre or just glue that holds it together or both? Is it Rev Master Jiyu’s teaching which are an expression of Rev Master Keido Chisan Koho’s teaching?

Does this Mandala have an inner circle, arranged in ever increasing circles or something much more multi dimensional? Although it is perceived differently by each person I see it not in its conventional form, more as an ever-changing orb without an inside or outside, not unlike a Mandalaic form of the Plate LXV, in How To Grow a Lotus Blossom, by Rev Master Jiyu Kennet (see page185) . The degree of primary connection we have effects our interconnection with others and our position within this mandala.

There may come a time when this form and expression no longer seems to serve as a sufficient conduit and we explore other means of connecting. This does not make the existing model wrong. People who return after a long absence to practice in our sangha often comment on its deepening training both individually and collectively, and how the feel of the temple has changed. The community does change, often unperceivably: compare what is now with what Rev Master Jiyu encountered while training in Japan. We can’t insist that training be reasonable: we can, but it won’t get us very far. If we get overly fixated on the form we often lose sight of our original quest. This does not mean backing off from a full on participation and taking responsibility for the form, in fact, we are always an expression of the form, whether we like it or not.

For people who take a step back or leave the order it can be helpful to be heard by someone who is familiar with their background. It is not always easy hearing criticism of one’s tradition, practice and teachers, but it is important to be open and hear what is said. This includes reading some of the postings on the OBC Connect website.

I am quite reluctant, for some reason, to engage with dialogue on this site, however can see a need for a form of open forum and for people to be heard. I don’t wish to seem to belittle people’s concerns and can see that they come from a place of caring. A lot of these questions are raised and discussed in the OBC and it is my sense that there is reasonable ‘in-house’ awareness.

I get a slight sense that a part of ‘OBC Connect’ is like a club of ex’s, giving a running commentary on a marriage that they are no longer part of. There is a lovely part of the ordination ceremony for a monk, which involves making bows before an altar representing your past beliefs and teachers. This is an expression of gratitude of the help given and acknowledging that we are now moving on. I think that the process of disconnecting should not be underestimated: in some cases I don’t think disconnection is possible, in some way we retain a sense of connection to the Mandala.

Looking honestly at the threads that bind us, is part of the connecting, disconnecting and reconnecting process. For example why are you logging on to this site? Adjusting to a new place within the Mandala is not always an easy thing, but where else can you be other than where you are.

We take refuge in the Sangha treasure for all that it is and this acceptance lets us see its true heart. Standing somewhere in the Mandala we are an expression of its form and have a responsibility of participation, even if thats just standing there. We tread kindly and as mindfully as possible and at the same time have the courage to engage with what is before us.
Most of all, connecting with our own practice.

In gassho.
Aylwin.



Last edited by Lise on Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:34 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : moving thread, updating description)
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Jimyo

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Posts : 172
Join date : 2010-09-24
Age : 69
Location : Peak District, England

PostSubject: Re: Connecting, disconnecting and reconnecting   Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:56 am

Aylwin, good to see you! I said publicly on here a few days ago that I was leaving, because I wasn't enjoying the dialogue that you're reluctant to join. However, I've been lurking to see if anyone else came along. I came on here to chat to old friends basically - simple social being, that's me! And I agree with a lot of what you say. People find different paths in life at different times, which doesn't necessarily make any of them right or wrong.
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Isan
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Posts : 917
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: Connecting, disconnecting and reconnecting   Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:06 am

aylwin wrote:


I get a slight sense that a part of ‘OBC Connect’ is like a club of ex’s, giving a running commentary on a marriage that they are no longer part of. There is a lovely part of the ordination ceremony for a monk, which involves making bows before an altar representing your past beliefs and teachers. This is an expression of gratitude of the help given and acknowledging that we are now moving on. I think that the process of disconnecting should not be underestimated: in some cases I don’t think disconnection is possible, in some way we retain a sense of connection to the Mandala.

In gassho.
Aylwin.

Hello Aylwin,

Welcome to the forum. I see that you are of a poetic bent - I like the mandala metaphor. The light and the darkness are inseparable after all. Although many of us are "ex's" in a practical sense we still feel connected at a deeper level and we long for the circle to be unbroken. What is possible in this life is very much limited by human nature, yet the Buddha Mind speaks the promise that one day all of this separation will be gone. There is a deep and good intention here and the fact that the posts may appear negative at times doesn't contradict. I hope you will stick around and wield the sword of Buddha's wisdom.

By the way, the forum Admin might move your post to the "Introductions" section so that your arrival is not missed by the welcoming committee sunny


Last edited by Isan on Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:06 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : refinements)
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Lise
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Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 43

PostSubject: Re: Connecting, disconnecting and reconnecting   Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:35 am

Hi Aylwin, and welcome!

Thanks Isan Smile
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sugin

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Join date : 2010-06-15

PostSubject: Re: Connecting, disconnecting and reconnecting   Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:57 pm

A totally inspiring first post.
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