What Happens at the Sangha? Somebody asked me this question recently, so I thought more people might like to know the answer. Firstly, Sangha is a word in Pali and Sanskrit meaning "association", "assembly," "company" or "community". It brings together a gathering of people who share a particular interest or outlook usually associated with religion and or spirituality. In relation to the Sangha that meets at Adforton Church twice a month it means a group of people who feel they benefit from shared contemplative silence in which ‘another Voice may speak’. We begin at 10.00 with what we call a ‘stilling’ that lasts for about ten minutes. In the silence we consciously gather into each other’s presence and into the Presence, frequently referred to as ‘God’. Someone has usually offered to guide the Sangha through the morning by choosing a particular theme to present, often with its roots in Christianity but not always. This presentation, which may be in words, or art or music, is usually about ten to fifteen minutes in length. We then enter into the main part of the morning consisting of twenty five minutes of contemplative silence in which we ‘sit’ with what has been offered in the presentation. After this we break for refreshment (tea/coffee/biscuits) for a further twenty minutes. We end the morning by giving everyone an opportunity to share anything that has arisen for them out of the contemplative silence. This is not a time of discussion, but of listening to the wisdom that each person offers to the whole group. The one rule is that what is said in the Sangha stays in the Sangha. We finish our morning promptly at midday. If having read this you would like to know more then you would be most welcome at the Sangha (we currently have a core group of six people) or you can contact Mike Catling for more information. Mike Catling
PARISH of WIGMORE ABBEY
The Sangha