Thich Nhat Hanh
I have been sceptical of this concept in the past, failing to see how such a sangha (of even highly spiritually developed people) could avoid the politicking, corruption and power grabs that seem to beset even the best-intentioned communities and thereby ruining any hope of a transformative, equitable, sustainable, communal teaching model.
There has recently been a revolution in my thinking however that has opened my mind to ‘The next Maitreya will be the Sangha’ as not only a possibility (and a wildly successful one), but also potentially inevitable.
This new teaching model depends at a foundational level on the selfless service and individual/collective ‘enlightened mind and heart’ of the group. Up until now there has been little evidence that such an individual/collective/selfless ‘enlightened mind and heart’ existed/was sustainable, but I believe that is no longer the case, and that we are now experiencing the beginnings of a new and much-needed leap in the evolution of spiritual development/transmission.
There are individual points of light across the globe these days: people awake to themselves and their own nature, who are not necessarily teachers but who feel the call to share their understandings and realizations with others. These same individuals are often disenchanted with the state of the current spiritual environment/marketplace and the long-problematic teacher-student relationship and are looking for new ways to express the timeless wisdom and come together with others doing the same. I believe these people are slowly starting to find each other and beginning to form the basis of such an international ‘enlightened mind and heart’ community.
When this international community establishes itself (not as a fixed organization, but as naturally expressed ‘structures’ of this new evolutionary development), it will organically attract seekers and inquirers drawn to and ready to participate and become creative partners in this new transformative entity.