A Sangha is a community of friends practicing the Dharma together to bring about and maintain awareness. The essence of a Sangha is awareness, understanding, acceptance, harmony, and love. When you do not see these in a community, it is not a true Sangha, and you should have the courage to say so. But when you find these elements are present in a community, you know that you have the happiness and fortune of being in a real Sangha.
The FCM Sangha Harmony Guide has been developed to support our Sangha’s aspiration to be true community dwelling in harmony and awareness. It presents guidelines and expectations around how we aspire to be with each other, and how we can practice to resolve conflict and disharmony. It is intended for all participants in our Sangha: members and non-members, teachers and students, staff and selfless-service volunteers, brothers and sisters both local and geographically distant. It is grounded in the Five Mindfulness Trainings of the Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh.
FCM's Sangha Harmony Committee, comprised of members of the FCM Elders Council, assists Sangha participants in dealing with conflict or the potential for conflict in order to maintain FCM as a community of refuge and safety. Together with the Dharma Teacher, the Committee facilitates interpersonal communication within the Sangha in order to support harmonious resolution of conflict while creating opportunities for transformation, healing, and the cessation of suffering. Current members of the Sangha Harmony Committee are Alex Lerner, Charlie Stewart, Darlene Stewart, Diane Powell, Marilyn Warlick, and Sam Warlick.
Watch Fred's August 2, 2021 Talk: Nurturing Community and Harmony: The FCM Sangha Harmony Guide