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Entering the Sangha

by Sangharakshita

In 'Entering the Sangha', Sangharakshita goes to Buddhafield! A first for him, and a first for the fabulous Buddhafield Festival that takes place each year at the height of the English summer. This talk was given in a tent in Devon - and the sounds of this great Dharma celebration are everywhere around as Sangharakshita marks his entry to the 'Dharma Parlour' with a rolling set of thoughts and reminiscences and encouragements to practice. We move from India at the time of the peaceful revolution of 'untouchable' caste Hindus, to the famed hot-tubs of the festival itself. And we are introduced to the first 'three fetters' from the Buddha's teaching, the breaking of which will set us free. This is classic Sangharakshita - plenty to challenge and plenty to talk about around the fire afterwards.

With an excellent and thoughtful introduction by Kamalashila.

Talk given at the Buddhafield Festival, Devon 2007

Tracks (click play to listen)

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1. Kamalashila - Introduction: what is Buddhafield? Links with the founding of the FWBO - the radical exploration of alternatives; Sangharakshita's name - 'protector of the Sangha', 'protected by the Sangha' (4:07) 
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2. Sangharakshita - Sangharakshita's first time at Buddhafield; 'dharmapala' and 'dharma parlour' - the spider and the fly; Buddha, Dharma and Sangha together (3:44) 
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3. What is Buddhism and the Dharma? 'Dhamma-vinaya' - like the ocean, like treasures; the taste that sets you free; levels of meaning of 'freedom' (5:12) 
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4. 'Untouchables' in the Hindu caste system; Dr Ambedkar and the mass conversion to Buddhism; Sangharakshita's time amongst the new Buddhists of India (5:13) 
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5. Feeling free; the hot tubs of Buddhafield; a place where children can be safe and free outdoors (3:36) 
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6. Limitation and restriction - life as a prison; the simile of the cave from Plato's 'Republic' - shadows on the wall (2:49) 
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7. The Buddha's teaching on the 'fetters' (samyojanas); 'sakaya drishti' ('fixed self-view') - identity, limitation and change; a creative attitude to self; transexual change and spiritual change (5:28) 
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8. 'Silavrataparamarsha' (Sanskrit) - 'silabbataparamasa' (Pail) - 'going through the motions'; doing things with your whole heart (2:36) 
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9. 'Vicikiccha' ('sceptical doubt') - not making up your mind; Sangharakshita's positive counterparts to the three fetters - being creative, committed and clear (4:11) 

Total running time: 36:56