Times of crisis are when the strength of Sangha, spiritual community, often becomes apparent. If at a given moment we have no refuge in the Buddha, or clear awareness; no sense of the truth or Dhamma, then we can turn to our refuge in Sangha. This can be all we have. Right now in the monastery the whole community are cut off from their families due to border closures, we have only each other and the extended family of the lay community, we are thrown together as brothers and sisters in the Dhamma and find a way to get by.
Our refuge in Sangha can also mean contacting a spiritual friend for help or advice. It can mean chanting or bowing to a shrine, many things. There were many times in my early days of practice where I felt lost, not seeing anything that could be done. Then to light a candle or chant a familiar chant could be a refuge.
This was not empty consolation but to feel part of something greater, or a reminder of better times. It was to continue the practice in some form and not give up, to connect with the good practice-karma made in the past. To smell the incense burned on that special retreat or from the favourite monastery can take us right back there…
These are the kinds of things we can do no matter what may be happening. This is the strength of such a refuge in Sangha.
I offer this for your reflection