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19 November 2009



Maybe the emphasis is where it should be - on practice rather than institions?


Certainly, the emphasis on practice is right. But why should work on maintaining institutions not be right practice? Institution is of course a loaded word. It carries a sense of authority, conservatism and for me a sort of oppresiveness. If I use the word 'Sangha' or 'Community' or 'Charity' instead of institution, would the generous offer of time to these be considered right practice?


Talking only for myself I'm perfectly happy not being associated with something structural. It was a breath of fresh air visiting a monastery where nothing was asked of me other than to practice.

I've had enough with status and personality based structures. In some of the organisations I've come across before it certainly seems that ego based on those is not in short supply.

If it is possible to have the positive qualities you mention then that does sound helpful though.


I understand the delight of being a participant with nothing expected of one. There is everything right about this. However,there is a structure and organisation behind the events or groups you experience, and this requires to be maintained by someone. And we cannot simply pretend that good Dharma centres, groups and retreats and so on, simply happen by magic. They depend upon a lot of effort, often voluntary, to make them happen.

I am sorry that you find ego to be linked with the provision of Dharma, but is this inevitable? Surely not. Although with any organisation, decisions have to be made, and with decisions comes differing views, and with differing views comes 'politics'. This is inevitable. We just have to learn to live with it and strive to create healthy and open organisations.

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