Agreements – XI

April 27, 2010

A Mutually Supportive Community

On January 25, I started a series that explored the agreements that the residents of Easton Mountain have made with each other, the first of which reads:

I agree that the purpose of my time as a resident at Easton Mountain will be to support the mission and vision of Easton Mountain, Inc., to nurture my own spiritual growth and to contribute to forming a mutually supportive community with the other residents.

From February 2 through April 5, I continued this series with postings that explored the mission and vision of Easton Mountain – a total of ten postings that discussed only the first twenty-six words of the Resident Agreement

This posting reflects on the “mutually supportive community” addressed by the last phrase of the first agreement.

No one would claim that Easton Mountain is a perfect community. We who are in it are not perfect. Sometimes we forget that it is this brokenness that leads us to seek for the mutual support found in of a community. We all have our inner criticism, “this man is too cynical” – “that man talks too much” – “this man doesn’t do his job well.” All of these criticisms are just a way of saying “this man pushes my buttons. And when someone pushes my buttons, I have to own that they are my buttons.

The Buddhists have a concept of the Sangha – usually interpreted as a community of monastic Buddhists. The Sangha shares with the Buddha the quality of being an agent of spiritual growth. Even in its imperfections, I recognize Easton Mountain as my Sangha, as an agent of my spiritual growth. I’ll explore this concept in future postings.

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