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Lions Roar : May 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2008 111 Three Jewels continued from page 63 uncomfortable, you haven’t understood them well.” It is in community that our commitment to kindness and openness is challenged, that we begin to understand that generosity and forgiveness require letting go. Nowhere else in our lives are we so vulnerable as in our relationships, so the Buddha’s teaching encourages us to cultivate a wise vulnerability. To learn how to speak truthfully, to listen without defensiveness, to learn how to offer and receive kindness, to let go of our personal story and listen deeply to our universal story, are all lessons of wise community. As our practice deepens, we increasingly understand the truth of our interconnect- edness and interdependence. All beings long for happiness, to be understood, and to be protected. All beings long to be free from pain, struggle, and fear. In a very real way, both my happiness and sorrow are linked to yours. We cannot seek our own awakening; we can only take part in the awakening of all beings. The cultivation of community, or sangha, is ultimately to commit ourselves to respectful and appreciative relation- ships. It is a commitment to discovering the buddhanature in all beings and to embodying our dharma, our own under- standing. It is not always possible for us to connect with and be part of established dharma communities, yet it is always pos- sible for us to nurture community within the relationships already present in our lives. We can all learn what it means to be a true friend to another, offering kindness, honesty, and understanding. Making time for friendship to develop—persevering with the challenges that relationship in- evitably brings—respects the value that community plays on our path. The triple gem is three parts that are completely interwoven. They hold within them the whole of the teaching and path of liberation. We call Buddha, dharma, and sangha the three jewels or treasures because they have profound and endur- ing value. Nurtured together, they lead to unshakeable liberation. ♦ Mondays at 6 Beginning Instruction Monthly All Day Retreats July 23- August 24 Summer Ango at the Grail The Village Zendo 588 Broadway, suite 1108 New York, NY 10012 www.villagezendo.org