The minimal condition for Buddhism in the twenty-first century is that it be open to humanity and the world.
Buddhist true compassion goes beyond mere "tolerance", and is always ready to work as an antidote against abusive power that inflicts sorrow on ordinary people. The dynamic spirit of a Bodhisattva (or "spiritual warrior") is in fact a form of compassionate movement that integrates open-heartedness with passionate actions, to battle and pacify sufferings and dis-eases of the world, mindfully and tirelessly.
We must neither avert our eyes from harsh realities nor turn a deaf ear to the agonized voices of the real world.
We cannot project what Buddhism’s message will be forty years in the future without acknowledging the living experience and necessary transformation of Buddhism today. What must be addressed is a paradigm shift that reflects an inclusive Buddhism, one that values the collective as well as the individual, that promotes healing as a necessary first step to awakening. It is a Buddhism that is inspired by Buddhist tenets, but also by diverse voices that mirror practitioners’ right to be seen and heard.
In order to live in a pluralistic and successful society, the only real way to accomplish that is by embracing different views of religion, and not favoring or imposing a single one. In today's world people of different religions work together and even form friendships and intimate relationships that cross religious and sectarian boundaries.
Sangha is a Sanskrit word that can be translated as ‘practice community’ or ‘spiritual tribe’, and often refers to a group of committed practitioners of eastern philosophies or religious faiths.
In modern contexts, Sangha refers to any genuine and harmonious co-existence amongst all Dharma practitioners, be it laity or ordained monastics, whether male or females, teachers or students - they are considered to be an important part of the Big Dharma Family that we call “Sangha” .
As Thich Nhant Hanh said:
"A sangha is a community of friends practicing the dharma together in order to bring about and to maintain awareness. The essence of a sangha is awareness, understanding, acceptance, harmony and love. When you do not see these in a community, it is not a true sangha, and you should have the courage to say so.
But when you find these elements are present in a community, you know that you have the happiness and fortune of being in a real sangha."