This is the first episode of two on the Buddha’s 45-year teaching career and the establishment of the Buddhist community. I’ll talk about the Buddha’s first sermons, the enlightenment of the first disciples, the first lay students of the Buddha and how lay practice figures into early Buddhism, and the initial formation of the ordained Sangha and how they practiced on a daily basis.
Is it really necessary to participate in a Sangha, or Buddhist community? What are the benefits, joys, and challenges of doing so? You may be surprised by some of the aspects of Sangha practice I talk about in this episode (it’s not all about enjoying the pleasant company of enlightened people!).
For over 2,500 years, in every form of Buddhism, you formally become a Buddhist by stating, “I take in the Three Treasures of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.” What are the Three Treasures, and what does it mean to take refuge in them?