‘The vortex in a stream is a structure that is created out of the swirling gravitational movement of water. All living things are flowing structures like this. Our identity, sexuality, economics, and relations are all temporary and flexible. One of the aspects of practice in the context of community (sangha) that I’ve deeply appreciated is the way people can relate to one another with less competitiveness, less egoic strategizing. With a focus on practice and expressing this practice in everyday situations, we can dismantle the prominence of individual egos pursuing individual ends, replacing it with a more inclusive and community-based understanding. Watch people change over time; it’s interesting to see how elastic our egoic habits are, and also how spiritual practice on the context of sangha supports and cares for others.’ (Awake in the World)
When we chant the Three Refuges as a part of our morning practice – usually one of the first things we articulate in the day, we ‘take refuge in sangha as the perfect life.’ Of course, while you are a part of the community, it may not always appear so, as the petty aggravations of being around others can unbalance you, but there is so much truth in what Michael says here.