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Join us every Sunday for our Insight Meditation sitting at 11 a.m. and our Dharma Study group at 12:30 p.m. at The Insight Center, 2 Oakway Road, Timonium, MD 21093

Pre-sectarian Buddhism

Pre-sectarian Buddhism was practiced by the Buddha himself.  This is the fundamental stream of Buddhism.  In other words, this is the origin of any school (branch, sect) of Buddhism.  Sometimes, this is called the earliest Buddhism, the original Buddhism, and the Buddhism of the Buddha himself.

Pre-sectarian Buddhism refers to Buddhism in the period between the first discourse of Gautama Buddha until the first enduring split in the original Sangha (community) which occurred between the second Buddhist council and the third Buddhist council.

Pre-sectarian Buddhism is the Buddhism presupposed as existing about one hundred years after the death of the Buddha. There was a rough body of sacred literature that a relatively early community maintained and transmitted.  Pre-sectarian Buddhism was formulated by the Buddha and his immediate followers.

After the early Sangha split due to disagreements about how Buddhism was to be practiced, many “schools” (sects) began to arise with their own beliefs, opinions, interpretations, special rituals, dogmas, religious texts, and practices.

The Shingyo Pre-sectarian Buddhist Sangha aspires to return to basic Buddhist practice. It is important to see that the main point of any spiritual practice is to step out of the bureaucracy of ego. This means stepping out of the ego’s constant desire for a higher, more spiritual, more transcendental version of knowledge, religion, virtue, judgment, comfort or whatever it is that a particular ego is seeking. One must step out of spiritual materialism.

The Buddha was not a god; he was a great and enlightened teacher. His teachings, “The Middle Way“, show us how to live in this world without constant suffering. His is a practical, pragmatic, and experiential approach.

The Buddha’s teachings, the Dharma, is applicable to every age, to every person; it is alive. We do not believe it has to be the special property of an enlightened master or guru that you can only “receive” through esoteric rituals and practices. Nor is it the special property of any specific sect of Buddhism. We do not believe you are required to meditate a certain way, hold your hands a certain way, recite a certain mantra, or practice in a certain way to live The Middle Way.

While there are certainly many many learned and enlightened Buddhist individuals and practices, historically and currently, that we can learn much from, we believe that fundamentally we are all teachers and students to one another, and we are learning from the greatest teacher himself, the Buddha.

We are not claiming we have the only way, or the right way. Nor do we expect you to agree with us. If you are  comfortable with one of the many schools of Buddhism and you find it is supporting your practice of The Middle Way we encourage you to continue it.  Each individual must find their own path.

You are also welcomed to join us on the journey.  FACEBOOK


Rev. Ed Geraty; Dharma name: 妙慶 (Myo-kei) which means “a person with the wisdom of the Buddha’s teachings.”                                                              Shingyo Sangha Maryland