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December 19, 2011

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Ben

Barry -

I haven't seen HIGHER GROUND yet, but I'm curious as to the ways in which it might reflect the functioning of a Buddhist sangha. I would have thought the differences would have been as apparent, or more so, than the similarities.

Barry Briggs

Ben,
In my experience, Buddhist sanghas are just as prone to mythologizing, group-think, and collusion as any other Buddhist community. As usual, my post goes at this in a pretty oblique way - it's a topic that deserves a much more detailed discussion. If you're interested in this, you might read Stuart Lachs' 1999 paper on the topic on The Zen Site.
Barry

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  • Zen teachers sometimes use the Ten Ox Herding Pictures to describe the path of awakening. Within this metaphorical framework, the ox symbolizes the secretive, unruly human mind.
  • Ox Herding reflects my ongoing pursuit of the ox. You can reach me (Barry Briggs) at oxherding [at] me.com.

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