Over the years I’ve often heard people make statements along the lines of, “I just can’t see spending all that money to go to the Bridge Walk; I’d rather give it to the project.” Now, in no way am I questioning the sincerity of the sentiments behind such a statement nor am I saying the money wouldn’t be welcomed. What I do want to question is the logic.
When the Buddha left us with Bodhi, Dharma, and Sangha he did it for a very good reason. It takes an extraordinary person—a Buddha actually—to follow the path he laid out and attain liberation without a great deal of guidance and support. It can be done, obviously, but it’s way on the other side of unlikely for most of us mortals.
We need the encouragement, inspiration, and assistance of everyone who has ever attempted the demanding, fascinating, joy-producing practice of awakening and end suffering. That’s why we come together for workshops, retreats, and celebrations; there’s an intimacy that comes with presence together in the privileged environment that we cannot achieve through even the finest technology.
Egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate works to get us alone, isolated, preferably believing stories of not belonging. We need to be together to strengthen our resolve NOT to live in that closed little Dark Room. When we don’t spend time with Sangha, it gets easier and easier to believe those sabotaging whispers of, “That’s not for you, you don’t fit in there, nobody cares if you don’t go,” and before long “our” Sangha becomes “their” Sangha.
So, get that plane ticket or fill that gas tank and make your way to Crissy Field. Go to Living Compassion, order a t-shirt and lunch, and meet us there. Here’s the promise I make you: We’ll be happy to see you, you’ll have fun being with your Sangha, and, over time, the inspiration you find through participation will generate a whole lot more funds for those folks in Kantolomba than the price of the travel! I promise.