…just this kind of gathering, a regular daily gathering to do the morning chanting, the evening chanting, doing walking meditation at the same time, sitting meditation at the same time, is that a good thing?
Yes, it’s good. It helps encourage a peaceful mind… In fact, you just see what it’s like, the difference when you do something as a group. You get such encouragement from it. When you’re alone, you know what it’s like. If it’s a little bit cold you say, “Okay, that’s enough.” Or if it’s too hot, “Okay, that’s enough.” But if there’s a group, somebody to follow, say, like the all night sit, it’s so difficult to do on your own. When you have a group, then, those things that you wouldn’t do, you do. Those things that you don’t yet understand, you come to understand. And those things you don’t know, in time you come to know.
So, Luang Por Chah encouraged us to gather and do things together. Sometimes people would complain and say, “Oh, it’s not the good way to practice.” He’d say, “How’s that not good? Tell me. How is meeting and chanting, praise to the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha not good?” But it wasn’t always like that. Sometimes, he’d say, “Take a break. Maybe have time for private practice.” Seven days or ten days at a time. Whatever… Ultimately though, the principle is that the harmony of the Sangha is a good thing. Happy is the harmony of the Sangha…
This reflection by Ajahn Jundee Kantasaro is adapted from the talk, Harmonious Dhamma.