Who are we and what if the purpose of the fellowship?
The Salt Lake Fellowship is a diverse group of people who come together to study the teachings and various practices of Buddhism. With wonder at the wisdom and compassion that lie at the heart of the teaching of Buddha, and at life itself, we seek to explore ourselves deeply and to cultivate our connection to one another and all of life and to attend to the totality of our lives just as they are. Our open, eclectic approach concentrates on individual spiritual growth and practices that support this aspiration.
The heart of our fellowship sangha is inclusivity demonstrated by our invitation to come as you are and our practice of non-judgmental deep listening. We understand that much suffering is caused by biases and prejudices against any race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, sexual identity, political party, or other belief or position, we affirm and welcome anyone willing to join us and is ready to practice respectful, non-judgmental acceptance of others. Our practice is not to fix anyone but to harmonize the one and the many in purpose and awakening.
Secular and Devotional
Divisions can be caused by biases or prejudices regarding different forms of Buddhist practice. The cultivation of our everyday practice defines us as followers of the way and our participation in the fellowship more than our secular or devotional perspectives. As in the early day of Buddhism when Nikāya and Mahayana monks lived and practiced in the same temples, SLBF provides spiritual support to both secular and devotional practice, offering both perspectives through dharma talks and regular practice.
We envision the Salt Lake Fellowship as a diverse, all-inclusive and mutually supportive lay community dedicated to the spirit of “come as you are”, practicing the Buddha’s teachings in daily life, through deep listening, ethical conduct, and traditional and non-traditional approaches, seeking to cultivate compassion for ourselves and for our all people.
The purpose of the Salt Lake Fellowship is to embody and communicate the teachings of the Buddha in the tradition of the Salt Lake Buddhist Fellowship and to share an Everyday Buddhism envisioned by Reverend Gyomay and Reverend Koyo Kubose, that helps all people find freedom of mind and heart, deepen their wisdom, and manifest compassion. Our aspiration is that together, we will attain enlightenment; the Buddhist non-dual awakening to the oneness of all things for the benefit of all. We call this the Way of Oneness.
We will accomplish this in the following ways.
- By providing safe refuge and community where there is learning, openness, vulnerability, humility, acceptance, and the realization of interdependence. A safe place where one can cultivate, deep listening, compassion, love, wisdom, and understanding for oneself and others.
- By offering a welcoming, regular spiritual practice for Buddhist and non-Buddhists alike.
- By offering instruction on Buddhist teaching and for the sharing of the teachings and practice of an Everyday Buddhism inspired by Pureland and Bright Dawn Buddhist views of radical acceptance, naturalness, selflessness, interdependence, improvisation, and oneness.
- By offering a sanctuary of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha and giving participants regular opportunities to recite the refuge prayer.
- By promoting a life of Nembutsu ( through gratitude, acceptance, transcendence, and wonder) found in the personification of Amitabha Buddha and by so doing, accomplish the realization of the oneness of all things in our everyday lives.
- By promoting lay practice and giving opportunities for compassionate service, environmental stewardship within the community, and the broader community of our localities. In addition to education and annual retreat participation.