Weathering Life’s Storms…
the flowers are still blooming,
we have the blue sky and the white clouds
and practices to help us to transform our suffering.
We are very lucky. — Thich Nhat Hanh
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” — Winston Churchill
“In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
I hope that you are well and happy and have weathered Irene and any other storms in your life with equanimity.
I was happy to be invited to offer a retreat over the anniversary weekend of 9/11 — one of the worst storms our nation has experienced. It was a horrific example of untransformed hatred, anger and violence. To be able to be in silent reflection with 50 people, practicing deep listening and deep looking, all doing our best to transform the seeds of hatred, anger and violence in ourselves seemed to be a perfect observance . It is wonderful to have practices for transformation. It was also wonderful to come home to practice being peace with some of you at Carol’s beautiful home ( a deep bow for her generosity) and walk along the harbor at sunset last Sunday.
with much love and the deep peace of a cricket-filled evening for you,
MIND TAMERS UPDATE
I hope that you are well and happy and have weathered Irene and any other storms in your life with equanimity.
I was happy to be invited to offer a retreat over the anniversary weekend of 9/11 — one of the worst storms our nation has experienced. It was a horrific example of untransformed hatred, anger and violence. To be able to be in silent reflection with 50 people, practicing deep listening and deep looking, all doing our best to transform the seeds of hatred, anger and violence in ourselves seemed to be a perfect observance . It is wonderful to have practices for transformation. We can continue Tuesday September 13 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Church in West Barrington. We will practice sitting/walking/sitting and I will offer a talk about transformation at the base, and we will enjoy a dharma sharing. I hope you will be able to be with us.
As always there are lots of opportunities for all of us to deepen our practice and enjoy each other.
CLEART HEART UPDATE
Sunday, September 17 Meeting At 3 p.m. Sunday there will be a gathering of the Order members and aspirants and anyone else who is interested in learning about our Order and about facilitation -which will be the topic for the dharma sharing. This is a continuation of a conversation which we began in July. At 4:30 p.m. there will be a vegetarian potluck. At 6 p.m. we will have our mid month meeting. Sitting/Walking (outdoors, weatherpermitting…for probably the last time this year!) and Sitting…followed by a short talk and Dharma Sharing.
I apologize for the late notice. I was hoping to offer the aspirant/OI meeting next Saturday, but that is day of the Peace Walk and my responsibilities for that have increased and I will need to conserve my energy so that I will be able to do what I need to do that evening. I hope that you will all be able to come and be peace with me. I ask for your understanding and support.
If all of you Bodhisattvas who are organizing and hosting our meetings …the UU, Carol Robinson’s, the third and fourth Sundays, could be with us this Sunday, it would be good. We can check in ….get contact info…..and see how we can support each other. If you are not able to be here on Sunday, please send me an email with all of your contact information, what help, if any, you are in need of….etc.
REQUEST FOR HELP
Good news!!! Elsa is home! She is strong enough to continue her chemotherapy…which will be every week. She and Alberto are in need of a couple of meals a week. Clare is helping to set up a site where this can be organized and they can be supported. If you would like to help…please contact Clare at firstname.lastname@example.org
SAVE THE DATES
I have been invited to offer a talk after the walk at 8:30 ….it will be on …Creating Peace in Ourselves, Making Peace in the World: When Turning Inward Isn’t Turning Away. This will be in Memorial Hall at the RI School of Design. 266 Benefit St. Providence.
I hope that you will be able to join us for both of these events.
Please bring your family and friends to both as well!
Thanks to Ellen and Shana all the information and flyers for these events are available at http://joannefriday.com/calendar/
I am also including some information about opportunities for engaged practice.
THAY OFFERS A RETREAT FOR U.S. CONGRESS
Thay will be offering a one night retreat for members of the US Congress. October 27-28. I am including a sample letter to send your Representatives and Senators to invite them to take advantage of this opportunity.
•There is an impending execution of a man named Troy Davis, there is a lot of doubt about his guilt. Seven of the nine people who testified against him have recanted. There is more information about this below…and a link to an amnesty petition if you feel moved to help. This is truly time sensitive….the execution is scheduled for this coming week.
I also hope that you will be able to be with us this Sunday. It will be wonderful to be together again.
SAMPLE INVITATION FOR YOUR REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATORS
Dear Senator ,
I appreciate all your hard work and diligence. I am proud to have you represent me. Thanks for all you do. I want to let you know about a retreat being offered to members of Congress and their families on October 27 and 28th by the respected Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.
As a constituent I encourage you to attend. This is the second retreat he has done for Congress and it will be held in a beautiful facility in Washington DC.
Thich Nhat Hanh is a world respected peace maker who offers the practice of Mindfulness for stress reduction, insight and understanding and conflict resolution.
I hope you and your family will attend. If you are unable to attend the overnight retreat I hope you can at least attend one of the talks.
For more information or to RSVP please contact: Nelson Watkins at (202) 546-1299 email@example.com. Thanks for your hard work and integrity.
Congressional Retreat 2011
This fall we have an extraordinary opportunity. Thich Nhat Hanh, a world respected peace maker, will share the practice of mindfulness with members of the United States Congress in Washington, DC. He will be offering a unique overnight retreat for members of congress in the House of Representatives and the US Senate.
Members of Congress, their spouses and families, and Congressional staffers (both current and former) are invited to attend an overnight retreat on Thursday evening and Friday, October 27th and 28th.
The retreat begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday evening and concludes after lunch on Friday. It will be held close to DC at a campus-style conference center. It is a beautiful facility with superb meeting space and a picturesque campus on which to walk and enjoy a wide array of trees and flowers.
Members of congress and other invitees can register to attend by contacting:
Nelson Watkins at (202) 546-1299 or firstname.lastname@example.org
To RSVP, or for more information
Prior to the overnight retreat Thich Nhat Hanh will give a private lecture for members of congress, their families, staff and other invited guests.
On Wednesday, October 26th, he will deliver the Annual Walter Capps-Bill Emerson Memorial Lecture, “Path Toward Peace: Cultivating Clarity, Compassion, and Courage in Political Life”. at The Library of Congress. Contact information is the same as above. These events are co-hosted by the US Institute of Peace and the Faith and Politics Institute.
Troy Davis is set to be executed by the state of Georgia on September 21st for a crime he may not have committed. Georgia’s District Attorney Larry Chisolm has the power to stop this injustice, but has so far failed to intervene. His inaction leaves Troy’s fate to be decided by the Georgia Board of Pardons & Paroles, who will hold a clemency hearing on Monday, September 19.
Davis was convicted on the basis of witness testimony – seven of the nine original witnesses have since recanted or changed their testimony. Troy has survived three previous execution dates, because people like you kept the justice system in check! Let Georgia authorities know you oppose the death penalty for Troy Davis!
IN THE NEWS
Largest Bronze Monument in the West Unveiled; Honors 25 International Humanitarians
Ruby Bridges, Donzaleigh Abernathy, Ambassador Shabazz help City of Oakland celebrate country’s first monument to diversity
OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Remember Them: Champions for Humanity, a world-class monument featuring 25 humanitarians, was unveiled during a ceremony this week in Oakland. The monument honors 25 humanitarians, including Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Chief Joseph, Susan B. Anthony, Oskar Schindler, Thich Nhat Hanh, Elie Wiesel, Helen Keller, Shirin Ebadi, Nelson Mandela and others.
The event on Tuesday featured Remember Them Humanitarian Ruby Bridges and family members of honored humanitarians, including: Donzaleigh Abernathy, Guy Johnson, Marlena Kiteley, Julianna Roosevelt, Ambassador Attallah Shabazz and Alice Withers. The celebration also included actor Peter Coyote, Michael Morgan & the Oakland East Bay Symphony, and Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Title sponsor, Kaiser Permanente, was represented by George Halvorson, chairman and chief executive officer, and Bernard Tyson, president and chief operating officer.
“I’m privileged to be included in this monument with some of my heroes: Dr. King, Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa,” said Bridges, who in 1960 became the first person to integrate public schools in the United States. She is depicted in Norman Rockwell’s famous painting, “The Problem We All Live With.” “It is incumbent upon those of us here today to continue to strive for justice and quality for all,” Bridges said. “We must remember them.”
Halvorson told an enthusiastic crowd of approximately 1,000 people that, “this site is a celebration of 25 healing people — 25 very real people who made real choices in the real world to make the world better and healthier. The 25 people celebrated in this place of healing were people who reached out in enlightenment and love to their fellow human beings.”
Oakland native and master artist Mario Chiodo developed the project following the fateful events of 9/11 as an expression of how difficult times can call forth humanity’s best efforts.
The Remember Them monument is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit project of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Phase I of the monument was installed, which includes three of four sections. The completed sculpture will stand 52 feet wide by 25 feet tall, cover 1,000 square feet and use more than 40,000 lbs. of bronze. A fourth section is slated to be installed next year, along with a special feature that will allow the visually impaired to explore life-sized bronze busts of each humanitarian.
Visit Remember Them: Champions for Humanity at remember-them.org for information and images.