Dear ones, I write from the vast ocean of my heart, thoughts arising and falling like waves.
- I am growing older, my body more fragile. In a few years, I will age out of Wake Up San Francisco (currently 32 years, 6 months old). As I approach 35, I will begin to step back from caretaking and facilitating in Wake Up spaces. I must step back to make space for other young people to step into positions of leadership and care.
- I will be ordaining as a layperson into the Order of Interbeing next year. My commitment to sangha and peacebuilding is growing and deepening in my heart, and I am ready to build a lasting spiritual home and community.
As I prepare for this transition, I am considering where to devote my time and energy. My heart keeps returning to one beautiful vision: building a sangha for all-ages rooted in inclusivity, care, and wise action.
- I imagine a sangha composed of at least 50% Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and 50% young people (35 years and younger), which also includes those that identify as white, middle-aged, or old. This sangha honors our spiritual elders and uplifts the voices of youth. We facilitate spaces accessible to those with disabilities and access needs.
- I imagine a sangha which holds each other accountable to power and privilege, that distributes leadership and facilitation equitably, regardless of who wears a “brown jacket”. A sangha that invites everyone to contribute gifts in line with their deepest aspirations. This sangha actively develops agreements and rituals that empower us to be together in harmony, where we are able to make mistakes, be vulnerable, and to find space for forgiveness and healing.
- I imagine a sangha where we are woven harmoniously into each other’s lives, caring for each other as human beings in addition to sangha friends – sharing meals, childcare, transportation, and other kinds of resources.
- I imagine a sangha that is an active presence in the community, a sangha that volunteers together as one body, manifesting compassion and love in action. This sangha supports the Indigenous peoples that call this land home, and cares deeply about race and climate justice.
In alignment with this vision, I am exploring the following.
Community volunteering: Plum Village sangha sibling Dylan Tweney and I have identified two community-based organizations led by people of color that we’d like to support. These are both on the theme of race and climate justice.
Deep listening: I am curious to hear from others in the Plum Village community about their aspirations for sangha. If you’re aging out of Wake Up soon, or already have, how do you envision continuing to participate in the Plum Village community? I would like to imagine the future of sangha together.