3-24-14 Taming Tomorrow

It’s spring again.
The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.
Rainer Maria Rilke

Dear Friends,

I hope you are enjoying every single minute of springtime’s unfolding. Yesterday…the second day of spring… we saw two honeybees visiting our winter aconite, the woodcocks are doing their mating dance each evening and a pair of Cooper’s Hawks have returned. What an amazing design!

This is just a short note to let you know that there will be a gathering tomorrow evening at St. Matthew and Mark Church in West Barrington at 6:30 PM. There will be sitting/walking/sitting meditation and as we spoke about last time, the focus for the next few meetings will be the Mindfulness Trainings (see below). Tomorrow the Second Training will be the focus of the talk. Don will facilitate and Ellen will accompany him on the Bell. I hope you will be able to come.

Please remember that there will be a meeting of the RI Community of Mindfulness Care Taking Council…on Saturday the 29th at 10 AM at the Bell Street Chapel. If you would like to join us and help support the sangha, please come.

Remember that you can access Thay’s talks at tnhaudio.org and some of the monastics have been offering Dharma talks during this Winter Retreat at Blue Cliff Monastery…you can access them at bluecliffmonastery.org. You can also access their retreat schedule.

The Aldersgate Retreat is filled. If you have not registered, but were planning to, please send in your registration as soon as you can. The registrar is being kind enough to maintain a cancellation list….there are usually a few as the retreat draws near….the sooner you get your form in the higher on the list you will be.
Retreat in Rhode IslandMay 16-20, 2014
Coming Home: Cultivating Fearlessness, Freedom, and Joy
Camp Aldersgate, North Scituate, Rhode Island
Offered by the Rhode Island Community of Mindfulness
Informational flyer and registration form:
Please don’t be deterred by financial concerns. We have some funds for scholarships.

Engaged Practice…..
I have also included a link to a ProJo poll as to whether folks would want gun regulations. Up until now results are 10-1 against any regulation. If you would like to take part, the link is below.

I hope you will be able to be with us tomorrow and until then, I hope you are enjoying this peaceful evening.

with much love, many hugs, and the miracle of a sparrow building a nest for you,
Joanne

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FIVE MINDFULNESS TRAININGS

The First Mindfulness Training: Reverence For Life
Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating the insight of interbeing and compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, or in my way of life. Seeing that harmful actions arise from anger, fear, greed, and intolerance, which in turn come from dualistic and discriminative thinking, I will cultivate openness, non-discrimination, and non-attachment to views in order to transform violence, fanaticism, and dogmatism in myself and in the world.
The Second Mindfulness Training: True Happiness
Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I am committed to practicing generosity in my thinking, speaking, and acting. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others; and I will share my time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need. I will practice looking deeply to see that the happiness and suffering of others are not separate from my own happiness and suffering; that true happiness is not possible without understanding and compassion; and that running after wealth, fame, power and sensual pleasures can bring much suffering and despair. I am aware that happiness depends on my mental attitude and not on external conditions, and that I can live happily in the present moment simply by remembering that I already have more than enough conditions to be happy. I am committed to practicing Right Livelihood so that I can help reduce the suffering of living beings on Earth and reverse the process of global warming.
The Third Mindfulness Training: True Love
Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I am committed to cultivating responsibility and learning ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families, and society. Knowing that sexual desire is not love, and that sexual activity motivated by craving always harms myself as well as others, I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without true love and a deep, long-term commitment made known to my family and friends. I will do everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse and to prevent couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct. Seeing that body and mind are one, I am committed to learning appropriate ways to take care of my sexual energy and cultivating loving kindness, compassion, joy and inclusiveness – which are the four basic elements of true love – for my greater happiness and the greater happiness of others. Practicing true love, we know that we will continue beautifully into the future.
The Fourth Mindfulness Training: Loving Speech and Deep Listening
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening in order to relieve suffering and to promote reconciliation and peace in myself and among other people, ethnic and religious groups, and nations. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to speaking truthfully using words that inspire confidence, joy, and hope. When anger is manifesting in me, I am determined not to speak. I will practice mindful breathing and walking in order to recognize and to look deeply into my anger. I know that the roots of anger can be found in my wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and in the other person. I will speak and listen in a way that can help myself and the other person to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to utter words that can cause division or discord. I will practice Right Diligence to nourish my capacity for understanding, love, joy, and inclusiveness, and gradually transform anger, violence, and fear that lie deep in my consciousness.
The Fifth Mindfulness Training: Nourishment and Healing
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. I will practice looking deeply into how I consume the Four Kinds of Nutriments, namely edible foods, sense impressions, volition, and consciousness. I am determined not to gamble, or to use alcohol, drugs, or any other products which contain toxins, such as certain websites, electronic games, TV programs, films, magazines, books, and conversations. I will practice coming back to the present moment to be in touch with the refreshing, healing and nourishing elements in me and around me, not letting regrets and sorrow drag me back into the past nor letting anxieties, fear, or craving pull me out of the present moment. I am determined not to try to cover up loneliness, anxiety, or other suffering by losing myself in consumption. I will contemplate interbeing and consume in a way that preserves peace, joy, and well-being in my body and consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family, my society and the Earth.


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