Sangha Practice Groups

On Tremper Mountain and beyond, we are exploring ways we bring the sangha closer together and build community.  For the 2020 Spring Ango training period we are excited to invite the entire sangha to participate in a series of discussions about the global climate crisis, ways to strengthen our practice of Earth awareness, and take necessary action. In these six Sangha Practice Meetings we’ll read and discuss David Loy’s Ecodharma, one chapter at a time.  

Ecodharma offers a close examination of how we as Buddhists in these times can use our practice to take responsibility and channel concern, worry and despair into possibility and hope, which is at the very heart of the Four Noble Truths. How do we do this as individuals, and even more powerfully, as a community, is the work at hand.  

We will open the events as a sangha gathered together, in person and via Zoom, followed by peer facilitated discussions live at the Monastery or Fire Lotus Temple or using Zoom video conferencing. Each session will begin with opening remarks offered by Shugen Roshi and will then transition into smaller breakout groups, either live or virtually, via Zoom. Moving forward, the format may shift slightly as we develop this way of being in community together. 

Please be sure to read the practice notes/tips for joining these discussions remotely at the bottom of this message. These will also be posted on the Sangha Practice Groups webpage. 

Our next Sangha Practice Group gathering will take place on April 2nd at 7pm EST. We will be working with David Loy’s second chapter. Please use the following links to register, if you did not participate over Zoom for the first session. You will then receive information on joining the meeting.  For those who are not able to attend due to scheduling conflicts, there will be a Zoom session on Monday, April 6. Please register using the link below.

Live and Zoom Sangha Practice Group Dates/Times:

Thursday, March 12th at 7pm
Thursday, April 2nd at 7pm
Thursday, April 16th at 7pm
Thursday, April 30th at 7pm
Thursday, May 21st at 7pm
Thursday, June 4th at 7pm

Alternate Zoom Sangha Practice Group Dates/Times:

Practical notes for those joining remotely: 


“As a student living far from ZMM in northern Maine, our Zoom practice group has helped me broaden and sustain my connection to the sangha. It has provided a unique opportunity to explore the teachings within the growing intimacy of a small group of committed practitioners. I have been inspired by the scope and richness of others’ practice. The caring and wisdom expressed during our discussions and in our communications with one another has become an important source of support for my own practice.”  —Bruce Getsudo Glick

“My participation in our sangha practice group has provided me with so much that it’s difficult to summarize it. I am blown away by the breath and depth of offerings from the other participants and how their perspectives have helped me to better understand the teachings and their practical application. Having “virtual” access to MRO sangha more frequently then once or twice a year (at the monastery) is invaluable to me living in British Columbia, Canada. It truly feels like community!”—Carol Mosseau

“At the beginning I was really unsure whether a virtual sangha setting could work.  But I am so glad and full of gratitude that we did have this opportunity. I felt inspired when at home I was tempted to skip the ango art practice. I felt much warmth and support from the group that helped me overcome my occasional grumpiness and doubts. I learned much from insights others had when we discussed the readings and the dharma, and most importantly I feel a deepening relationship and friendship to everybody in the group.”—Renate Genjo Gebauer

“… not sure where I would be without this opportunity to be with the sangha in this most intimate of settings in this most intimate and vulnerable of times.” —Maire Tosho O’Brien

“Most Angos start strong, with the best of intentions. I maintain a few commitments, but others fall by the wayside. Regularly meeting with the sangha practice group helped me recommit  again and again. The bond we formed helped my practice stay strong even after Ango ended.” —Jennifer Seiren Sanford

“I am grateful for the intimacy of this ardent and steadfast group. I’ve chanted many times I take refuge in the Sangha, and now this changes and grows for me every time we meet. Thank you for this.” — Annelisse

“Since I’m normally at the monastery during sesshin, and of course we are in silence, I feel like this group has allowed me to really connect with the Sangha on a deeper level and really get to know some of the community. Every time we meet feels like a treasure and I always learn and grow from it.”—Ian Proctor