As we have seen, Buddha established two kinds of communities for his followers: monastics (monks and nuns) and laymen. Review the different vinaya for each:
Lay Precepts (for every Buddhist)
The Vietnamese Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh has written that, “Sangha building is crucial. If you are without a sangha you lose your practice very soon. . . If you practice without a Sangha you are abandoning your practice.”
Laity and monastic communities essay
After watching the entirety of the film, “Amongst White Clouds,” in which Buddhist monks and nuns of various schools are interviewed, revisit the concept of Sangha. When a dedicated monastic chooses to retreat to the mountains and live as a hermit, away from both the lay and monastic communities, is this an abandonment of the sangha? Of Buddha’s teachings?
If living a solitary life is contrary to the teachings of Buddha – or an abandonment of the concept of sangha – explain the hermits’ motivations, making specific references to film content.
If living a solitary life is NOT contrary to the teachings of Buddha – or NOT an abandonment of the concept of sangha – or NEITHER – explain why not, making specific references to the film content.