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The mission of the Columbus Open Sangha is to provide an opportunity for people to practice and study Buddhism and the teachings of the Buddha without the constrains of sectarianism or the historical lines between the many traditions of Buddhism. Rather, we will examine and reflect upon the differences in doctrine and practice between different schools of Buddhism and discuss whether they are products of culture and history or inherent to what Buddha taught. We respect that his successors continued to develop the Dharma, creating new schools of thought and practice. These are all valuable teachings, regardless of the school or tradition of the teacher.

Individual members may embrace one or more (or none) tradition of Buddhism or may be seeking for the path that calls to them. The intent of this group is to provide an open space for people of a variety of Buddhist traditions to gather and practice together.

We are a lay lead group, meaning we have no single monk or priest running the sangha. The Columbus Open Sangha will be a place to share the message of Buddhism, from both known and respected teachers (both local and out of area) as well as from each other.
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Statement of Principles for Open Sangha

  1. "The teaching of the Buddha should be offered freely". Nothing that the Open Sangha does will include a fee, charge or a 'required donation'. Open Sangha is not a part of a larger organization. Any donations collected stay with the Open Sangha. There is no membership fee or charge for being part of Open Sangha. Although we will offer a dana box to assist in keeping the rent paid, no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
  2. The purpose of Open Sangha is to explore and share the teaching of the Buddha. It is not to determine the 'right' path or 'correct' tradition.
About the facilitator
I've been a practicing (lay) Buddhist for some time now, and have tried the various traditions as I can in Columbus (and a few others via a bit of travel). Although I took refuge via a Tibetan tradition, some of the things that we focused on just did not feel like they were increasing my connection or understanding of Buddhism and how to live now and be happy. As I continued to exploring other traditions in town, none feel like home. And I found I am not alone - I've encountered many fellow seekers who seek the Dharma but are not feeling connected to the offered traditions. 

A trip to San Francisco and visit to the
Insight Meditation Center confirmed for me that I am on the right path, and that there is a style of practice that seems to match what I sought.

As time went by, a space opened up to my use and it struck me that instead of attaching to what I could not find, perhaps I needed to help it come to fruition.

Thus, after some research and examples of how others have done similar setting, Open Sangha came to exist. My hope is that I won't have to be in the 'admin' chair long, and if this one day allows us to bring in someone as a resident teacher, then that would be very satisfying. 

As of 2014, I became a precept and then novice monk in the
Order of Pragmatic Buddhism. This does not impact how Open Sangha has been run but has been of benefit to my personal path.
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