Week 12

The Arya Sangha

Videos of Meditation and Presentation

Truth and true meaning in the realm of the imagination: Bodhisattvas and the Arya Sangha

Meditation: Breath Centred Metta Bhavana and the Triratna 7 Fold Puja if desired.

The Arya Sangha: – The Sangha of the Spiritually Wise

  • Experiencing the Arya Sangha.
    • – Like angels and devils in medieval Christianity – It’s a world view. Question: Is it helpful?
    • We can view any individual or group from a spiritual perspective.

It may be helpful to consider the Arya Sangha as ‘States of Mind’ that are free from the following 3 poisons and 10 fetters and accomplished in the following 6 perfections. It is part of the Buddhist tradition and practice toimagine, come into relationship with and even identify with such states of mind. Its a bit like inventing your own gods. Its quite hard work to get it right. If done with good intent we can sit down , so to speak, with our imagined minds and resonate with them.

  • In Buddhist tradition the (minds) in the Arya Sangha have overcome the 3 poisons of
    •  Greed,
    • Hatred
    • and Delusion (wheel of life)
    • and   have insight into the 4 Noble Truths.

  • In the Nikaya tradition (Teravadin, Hinyana)

Ten Fetters hold (the minds of ) us back.

      1.  Self-illusion (self-identity views; belief in personality)

      2.  Scepticism (uncertainty)

      3.  Attachment to rules and rituals (grasping at precepts and practices)

      4.  Sensual lust (craving)

      5.  Ill-will

      6.  Craving for fine-corporeal or material existence (passion for form)

      7.  Craving for incorporeal existence (passion for what is formless)

      8.  Conceit

      9.  Restlessness

    10.  Ignorance use

Here is an interesting youtube video form the Buddhist Society. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ47doUkGlg&vl=en-GB

The Arya sangha consists of

  • Stream Entrants, – Those assured of not retreating on the path
    • Once Returners – Those with just one more lifetime before enlightened
    • and Arahants. – Enlightened in this life

In the Mahayana tradition

  •  The emphasis is different. It is much more on ethics and ultimate compassion.
  • This is expressed in the 6 Perfections:
    •  generosity,
    •  morality,
    • patience,
    • energy,
    • meditation,
    • and wisdom

You may recognise these as: ethics, mediation and wisdom,

Again, there is a hierarchy, The Hierarchy of Bodhisattvas

It starts with

  • The Novice – who has taken the ‘Bodhisattva vow’ sincerely.

To lead all sentient beings to enlightenment before leaving Samsara

  • Of the Path: there is a progression through the 10 bhumis (States of direct experience )
    • Starting with: The joyous (Pramudita)
      • Seeing reality as it is (The arahant?)
    • Culminating with The cloud of Dharma (Dharmamegha)
      • Being in communion with all the Buddhas, beyond the conditions of  -Time, Space ,Form etc, The unconditioned , the Dharmakaya. realm

Talk by Sangharakshita (1969) on the stages of the Boddhisatva path https://www.freebuddhistaudio.com/talks/details?num=71

Here are a few references that provide very helpful background on the Arya Sangha by Vessantara

  • In the Triratna Tradition

6 levels of Going for Refuge.

Cultural    – Born in a Buddhist tradition, socially part of a Sangha

Provisional – Have a definite practice that is dependent on support of a Sangha.

Effective – Have a definite practice that contributes and sustains personal and Sangha practice.

Real – Self-sustaining practice, capable of developing and maintaining self and sangha.

Absolute – Mind abiding with the Arya Sangha.

Cosmic – Mind abiding with the cosmos

 The seven Fold Puja

  • As if in the land or realm of the Arya Sangha.
    • Worship
      • Mantra and Offerings
    • Salutation
    • Going for Refuge
      • Refuges and Precepts
    • Confession of evil
    • Rejoicing in Merit
    • Entreaty and Supplication
      • The Heart Sutra
      • Often a mantra
    • Transference of merit and self-surrender
      • Concluding Matras

More on the Seven fold Puja from the Buddhistcentre.com

https://thebuddhistcentre.com/triratna/sevenfold-puja

Discussion:

Groups – How have we found the course? Do we know what we want to do next?   

Possibly a center based on-line feedback form?