So here we have our second monthly newsletter!
This month, we turn our attention to the Mahayangana (MYG).
Lama Shenpen often mentions The Mahayanagana, and I’m sure that some of you wonder what that is, or what we do. The Mahayanagana are a group of committed students, who have made the Awakened Heart Sangha their spiritual home. We aim to engage in and support Lama Shenpen’s teaching activity and the work of the AHS. There are about 50 of us, from all around the world, but this physical distance makes no difference to our connection or commitment with one another, it somehow seems to add a quality of vastness!
At the moment we meet twice a year, either online or in person at the Hermitage, to discuss the ethos and direction of the MYG and the sangha itself. We all care deeply about the ensuring that the teachings and the AHS continue and are willing to help in ways that our personal circumstances allow for.
All MYG members have been through mentoring training and many volunteer their time as mentors to help guide students through the DHB and THB courses. In fact, in all aspects of sangha life there’s a MYG member helping with the organisational and student facing areas. It’s remarkable, the energy and enthusiasm that we all have for supporting Lama Shenpen, Lama Tara, Lama Dashon and Lama Agnes, by helping to create a sangha that embodies the Dharma.
Everyone in the MYG has two partners and we each meet once a month around the time of the Full Moon. These conversations are where we discuss our practice and it’s a genuine way for us to connect with each other. We also commit to the Full Moon Feast, as a monthly practice, where we participate in the liturgy of renewing our commitment. Some of us join in with the Hermitage’s monthly feast or we do it from our homes.
We recently held the Autumn MYG gathering online, where we discussed, amongst other things, what role the MYG plays in the wider sangha and what practices we’d like to develop to further our connection and mission. We are continually evolving around the core principle of Openness, Clarity and Sensitivity. The way we meet is very important, it's probably as important as the topic of the meeting. We aim to give each other and ourselves space and time to connect to the wisdom we carry, which makes for a deep sense of connection, understanding and sharing within the meeting. It’s very different to the ‘usual’ way meetings are conducted.
We are about to embark on a stage of revisioning the MYG, which I’m personally very excited about. We’ll be collaborating to feel our way towards a sense of where to turn our attentions and how to carry that through 2024, this is a process which requires genuine openness to different possibilities to create a clear vision. We have already begun these conversations and we’ll continue meeting over the coming weeks, working to draw out the wisdom within ourselves and each other. I really feel a sense of deep connection when we meet like this, it’s sangha building in the making! If you’d like to know more about the MYG we do have a booklet, which can be obtained from Student Support, firstname.lastname@example.org@troppus .