6-27-15 Sangha Update

photographer: unknown

Envisioning an Age of Enlightenment!

Dear Friends,

I hope you are all well and happy and enjoying this beautiful summer day.

What an amazing time it has been….the Pope’s encyclical made me feel that the Sangha has grown by 1.2 billion! Then the Supreme Court’s decisions on health care and marriage equality….give me hope that we are awakening to our state of interbeing. May it be so.

There will be a gathering tomorrow evening at 6 PM at the home of the Van Horn’s. Directions below.
There will be sitting and walking meditation, a talk and sharing of the Dharma. I hope you will be able to attend.

The Pope met with Buddhists to discuss social action..youcan see some of his comments….
http://www.romereports.com/pg161925-pope-francis-meets-with-buddhist-leaders-oethese-small-gestures-are-seeds-of-peace-en#.VYyYSbppmOF.facebook

President Obama’s eulogy for Rev. Pinkney was very moving. If you cannot watch the whole thing, you might like to listen to the last 10 minutes or so…he speaks about what we learn and where we go from here. It sounds like Thay or the Buddha! May we be able to look deeply at the root causes of hatred and the illusion of separation and realize our true nature of interbeing….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDXMoO9ABFE

Please go to joannefriday.com/calendar…if you would like to be put on the waiting list for the Cape Sangha retreat….or to bluecliffmonastery.org or morningsuncommunity.org to learn about the retreats they are offering.

I hope we will be able to be together soon…and in the meantime, I hope you are singing in this summer rain

with much love and many hugs,
Joanne

Directions to and Parking for the Van Horn Home Address: 24 Mallory Lane Wakefield, RI 02879
 Phone: 401-871-1838

From the North: Take US 1-S to RI-138
Turn right onto RI-138; drive for about 3.5 miles
Turn left onto RI-108 S/Kingstown Rd.; drive for 2 miles. You will pass the SK police station, then later a pond, and the Pump House Restaurant on your right.
Take the next left onto Rodman Street. (Street sign is hard to see; Dennis Moffit Painting is on the corner and the Peace Dale Mill is on the left.) You will pass the bike path and one stop sign.
Mallory Lane will be on your left. Our house is the second on the left.
See below for parking.

From the South/West:
Take US-1/N past the Matunuck exits
Take the Pond St. exit. (right after an exit for Post Rd.)
Turn left onto Pond St. Continue until Pond dead ends onto Main.
Turn right onto Main. Drive a short distance.
Turn left onto High St. Drive past town hall.
In about 0.6 mi, turn left onto Allen.
At stop sign, turn right onto Rodman. Continue past one stop sign. Mallory Lane is on the right. Our house is the second on the left.

Parking: 
Our street is narrow, so we ask that you not part on the street. 3-4 cars will fit in our driveway. If there is no space left in the driveway, you can park on Jennifer Dr. Turn left back onto Rodman, and make a quick right onto Jennifer Dr. Thank you!!!

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6-20-15 Sangha Update

It’s solstice….a time for stopping and bringing our world into balance!

Breathing in, I calm myself
Breathing out I smile.
Breathing in, I see clearly that without the earth, sky and rain the flowers don’t exist
Breathing out, I see clearly that without the earth, sky and rain we don’t either.
-me

The following is from Sister Renee Yann a former Sister of Mercy from Philadelphia who is now retired -

Sent: Friday, June 19, 2015 10:09:29 AM
Subject: Just Stop!

“Siste!” – “Just Stop!”

It is waning June. Up and down the long valleys of time, the earth moves toward Solstice, a word taken from the Latin “sistere” – to stop. In southern lands, winter begins its slow climb through the cold. In the North, summer rolls lazily through the heat toward the respite of autumn.

It is this beautiful magical earth that, just yesterday, Pope Francis tenderly placed once again in our hands with his encyclical letter “Laudato Si”.  Attentive to his challenge, I hold the earth this morning like a rosary, drawing its broken surface between the fingers of my prayer. Every bead is a country, a culture, a people, a species, an environment – a life – riddled with a corresponding violence. My fingertips ache with the pain of war, greed, violence and hate weeping from every bead.

And then my fingers pause on Calhoun Street and my soul kneels down in sorrow beside the brutalized Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Early Charleston summer fills the air with a soft scent of magnolias. History hangs in the fragrance – a history of immense courage against domination, of profound faith beyond oppression. Even the morning quiet suggests the mournful spirituals of the sainted generations who also invisibly weep within the now bloodstained sanctuary.

The hate which, for a moment, has violated this holy place is born of the same sin Pope Francis has placed squarely before us. It is the sin of believing that we are separate from one another. It is the sin of acting from the false superiority such pretense allows. The man who carried this sin to Calhoun Street found an evil nurture in the diseased moral culture for which we all have some responsibility.

As I pray this morning to be enlightened toward my own response, I ask the earth itself to teach me. I hear the wisdom of solstice suggest itself to my soul: “Solstice = Sol + Sistere; Sun + Stop”. If the earth did not choose to stop each June and each December, the world would careen into a devastation of heat or cold. But, by an exquisite self-awareness, our earth chooses its perfect balance. She enlists me to do the same.

Might that be enough to begin this journey into the fullness of “Laudato Si” – just to stop those tendencies and choices in my life which place me in domination of any other creature? Might this have been enough to prevent the slaughter on Calhoun Street – just to stop the rhetoric and behaviors which feed separatism and prejudice?

Just to stop. With the solstice, it is at least enough to begin.

Dear Friends,

I hope you are all well and stopping on  this summer’s eve to enjoy interbeing with all that is.

It has been a very intense week, with the heartbreaking shootings in South Carolina. To see the horrific outcome of a mind conditioned with so much hatred, anger and violence will hopefully help us wake up to our true nature of interbeing. Sister Renee said it much more eloquently than I can.

It was helpful to me that in the same week, the Pope offered his encyclical on climate change which sounded
very much like what Thay has been teaching us for many years and what the Buddha taught 2600 years ago. A powerful warning of the consequences to our species if we fail to cut through our illusion of separateness and  wake up to our state of interdependency with each other and all that is.

It is also, of course, Father’s Day. We will have an opportunity to stop and deepen our experience of interbeing on Sunday evening at 6 PM. We will be gathering at our home at 725 Matunuck School House Rd. in Wakefield and enjoy sitting meditation honoring the father in us and outdoor walking meditation -if it is not pouring with rain…I will offer a short talk on  transforming our unskillful states of mind and freeing ourselves from the delusion of our separateness… based on this quote from Albert Einstein

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest -a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

…and we will share the Dharma. I hope you will be able to be with us.

The Cape Sangha Retreat is now filled for all of the residential spaces. There are still a few openings for commuters and they are maintaining a waiting list. So if you would like to join us, please go to joannefriday.com/calendar as soon as you can, and you will find all of the registration forms and information.

Please remember to check out bluecliffmonastery.org and morningsuncommunity.org for other retreats being offered this summer and fall.

I do hope that you will be able to be with us tomorrow evening and I offer a deep bow to all of you who are fathers and to the fathers alive in all of us.

with much love and gratitude for interbeing with all of you,
Joanne

 

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