As the sanga (meeting) was about to start among us (there’s eighty of us monks), a note was passed over to me by one of the more jovial monks.
“Why are you cranky?” was the hand-written message. I didn’t think I was but, again, he’s jovial.
“Because…” I wrote in response, passing it back.
“Because of the meetings?” he sent back.
“No!” I responded. “I’m happy.”
“Let’s walk to Vaikuntha (the spiritual world),” he added onto the note.
My response, which ended the back-and-forth was, “Can’t walk, seriously. I’ve got gout.”
With that I revealed my inflamed left foot.
Jolly Swami (the jovial one) bulged his eyes in surprise, and then the meeting began. So, hush…
The above light exchange may be typical behaviour from some of us, but when required, everyone becomes grave. Our topic was a look at four generations among spiritual groups. Statistics and surveys have been done (research) of groups who didn’t survive and those who did. We viewed trends. We identified some challenges that make it hard to pass the torch onto what’s now a third generation. It was quite the eye-opener.
Somehow, substance must be passed on and less so, form. In other words, essence is stronger than structure; relationships are more than rules and formalities.
It was felt that a body does not surpass the soul, however, the two must function together.
May the Source be with you!