Reflections by Thay on the Order of Interbeing

These notes were taken by Therese Fitzgerald at a gathering in Virginia, following an ordination ceremony for eight new members of the Order of Interbeing Core Community. The Order of Interbeing needs minimal organization, so it can grow organically. A meeting of the general assembly should be convened in North America. The Fourteen Precepts and the Charter should be amended every three years. In particular, the Fourteen Precepts should reflect what we have learned about the need for deep listening and knowing our limits in regard to suffering. Order of Interbeing members should report on the activities of their Sangha in The Mindfulness Bell. Local Sanghas can, like the Community of Mindful Living, incorporate as a church, and sisters and brothers of the Order of Interbeing in the Core Community who are not necessarily monks and nuns can function like Protestant ministers. Once one has been in the Core Community and practices well for five years, one can become a Dharmacarya. A Dharmacarya can ordain people in his or her own name after five years. Before five years, he or she can ordain people in Thay's name, with four Order members present. Lay members are a bridge, a link between monks and nuns and the world, informing the world about monastic joys, and informing monks and nuns about the real situation of suffering in the world. While putting on his or her brown robe, an Order of Interbeing member can raise it up saying, "How beautiful is the robe of an Order of Interbeing member. It is a beautiful field of merit. I vow to wear it life after life." The jacket symbolizes the precepts.

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