To strengthen our planetary network, ZPI will feature newly affiliated groups. Join HERE to explore some of the offerings of the organizations affiliated with ZPI, and visit here for a full list of these groups. Following is an introduction to the One River Sangha Community in Cambridge Ontario, Canada.
What is your organization’s name?
One River Sangha
What is your mission?
End suffering of all kinds and to promote awakening in everyday life.
Where is your organization based?
Cambridge Ontario, Canada
How many regular members do you serve?
Tell us a bit about how the group was conceived?
After completing a seminary program, I conceived an ecumenical based Zen group. I wanted to bring Zen out of the monastery and into the everyday world.
Tell us about one exciting project, program, retreat or other offering you are currently working on?
Currently, we are hosting a shoe drive for the Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank. We are aiming to gather at least 40 pairs of shoes, winter boots, work shoes, etc.
How do the Three Tenets inform your social engagement?
In order to bring bodhisattva practice to the streets we have to go beyond our fears and judgments. The “Not Knowing” mind leaves room for compassion to arise. The drug and homelessness epidemic we are facing in our community means working with criminals and sex trade workers. In doing so we put away our fears and judgements in order to bear witness with an open heart and mind. It wasn’t easy convincing some members that these people are Buddhas as well. To practice the bodhisattva path we have to serve all beings first and foremost. Without taking action, our practice only serves ourselves. Our intention is to run programs that aim to end suffering of all kinds. We also run a Shiatsu Therapy clinic for pain.
We are hoping to host a Refuge Recovery group in the future as a Buddhist based 12-step program. Additionally, one member is working with Indigenous women at the local prison. Conflict resolution skills workshops are also in the works. One’s bodhisattva practice can be very limited if we don’t get out of the meditation hall and into the everyday world. This is our taking action.
What is the most meaningful challenge your organization faces?
Sources of funding has been one of the biggest challenges for or community.
Your main website URL:
Your main contact email address for members:
Learn more about One River Sangha by visiting their website.