The valuable gift of COMMUNITY

By Joseph Mishan

Joe meditating in front of a police line

Actually what stays with me from the April 2019 rebellion when this photo was taken (that’s me sitting), is not the lines of police, the arrests or even the powerful meditations I engaged in. It was the experience of community. I have never before been a part of such closeness, passion and just overall love and good-will in any community or group. It is this that has endured in my memory and heart; and  have heard this echoed by many rebels after each rebellion.

The Buddha’s response to his cousin Ananda’s suggestion that the sangha was ‘half of the holy life’ was to say “do not say so Ananda; the sangha is the whole of the holy life.’ I feel greatly privileged to be part of the XR and XR Buddhists community; it has helped me – perhaps forced me –  out beyond my small sense of self, into a profound sense of interconnection with others and with this precious planet of which we are all part. This is an incalculably valuable gift.

Joseph Mishan is a mindfulness teacher in the Vipassana tradition, a psychotherapist and the coordinator of Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement in London and a joint coordinator of XR Buddhists UK. 

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