Building community is a big part (I could almost say the only part, if we weren't also trying to open people up to the Buddha's love!) of running the temple here. We've run book groups for 8 months now and the format is you comment on what OTHER people thought of the chapter - what you liked about what they said, what helped you learn. It really builds fond connections between people. We all want to be appreciated so much, I think! Thank you for your piece both!

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Hi Robyn and Betsy, I like this cross post. Robyn, I lived and taught in Madison for two years, loved it, and some of our dear family is still there. Also, I wrote a piece about my Zumba community and I also referenced Buffy- 🤣

As a teacher, building community is key. My students are doing book clubs right now and before they can have hard conversations about the book, they need to connect with each other. I help support this by organizing team building exercises like who can build the tallest tower out of paper and having them play games with one another. Now that we are a few weeks in...some groups prefer to jump right into the conversations about the book. In a time, where lots of folks seem to be freaking out about what is taught in schools, I am so proud that we are teaching kids how to dialogue rather than debate how to converse rather than argue. They do it better than most adults and it is hopeful.

This week I’m reflecting on what Audre Lorde said about community. I’m hoping to write about it in more depth sometime soon. “Difference is needed for community, community is collective power, collective power is needed for liberation, liberation is the celebration of difference. Some may think that different is counter productive when building community…”

Community is not about ignoring difference but rather embracing it and learning the ways that we can connect.

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I don't have anything to say about building community, but I enjoy reading about it. I live with my daughter, and rarely see anyone else other than a friend or two, and family. I do get out to review plays and opera, but I'm not really part of that community any more.

I finished reading "Demon Copperhead" by Barbara Kingsolver and I was enthralled throughout. I can't stop thinking about the book, about Appalachia, about the way in which Kingsolver brought that part of our country to life in the form of one boy. As a person born and raised in the Ozarks, I know how real the discrimination is against poor people. This book provides a way to deeper understanding of the underlying reasons for the poverty and all it brings to Appalachia. I recommend it highly.

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I've just been down the awe rabbit hole, as well. Henry Wismayer's brilliant piece is worth your time, as is Keltner's On Being interview. I've linked both on my newsletter in the past few weeks - awe is having a moment! As I wrote recently, "Remind yourself of the “significance of insignificant things” (to quote Dacher Keltner quoting Kierkegaard)."

Henry's essay is here - https://www.noemamag.com/finding-awe-amid-everday-splendor/?src=longreads&mc_cid=0d4fb872b0&mc_eid=c03dfce211

The On Being interview is here - https://onbeing.org/programs/dacher-keltner-the-thrilling-new-science-of-awe/

(We can't do the lovely linking in the comments - Substack wish!)

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