Tibetan Buddhists have an expression to describe life in a spiritual community. They call it “the Feast of Dharma.” In this Feast, what gets eaten is you. One’s whole being in all its redeemed and unredeemed aspects is offered up to the sangha to be torn to shreds and devoured. This is my body: take and eat of it. This is my blood: drink of it. Each member of the community is chewed up, swallowed and processed in the digestion of the others. It is a Eucharist both savage and ecstatic.
Catholics have a gentler phrase that carries much the same idea. They speak of the community as “the Mystical Body of Christ.” This body is crucified at the meeting point of vertical and horizontal, and there, too, each member is nailed. The vine and the branches and also the descending roots, sunk beneath the surface of the earth, metabolizing rot into nourishment with the aid of the sun.
(from “Work On What Has Been Spoiled” – http://members.aol.com/kitmac/workon.htm)