4-4-14 Sangha Update for Month of April

 

They’re Coming!

“It is not about ‘doing’ something, it’s about ‘being’ something – being peace, being hope, being solid – every action will come out of that, because peace, solidity and freedom always seek to express themselves in action.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh



Good Morning, Dear Friends,

I hope  you are all well and happy, enjoying this spring morning and being peace!

This will be an update for all of the Sanghas so please read over it….

I am very happy as I write this as we have had two gatherings for those who wanted to support our community as a Care Taking Council….in all, twenty one  people participated. It has been so moving to watch the community grow over the past 22 years, with folks always thinking about the whole community and working together cooperatively from the awareness of interbeing, rather than as individuals or separate sanghas. Truly being joyfully together and interbeing! Thay tells us to “Go as a River” and we are!

That is why I was inspired to use Thay’s quote today…“It is not about ‘doing’ something, it’s about ‘being’ something – being peace,being hope, being solid – every action will come out of that, because peace,
solidity and freedom always seek to express themselves in action.” That is just how are gatherings felt…our practice has deepened and our actions are motivated by our being. It is very beautiful.

A very deep bow of gratitude to all who have stepped forward to help and to every one of you who attend the sanghas and support each other in strengthening our practice. You are Bodhisattvas every one!!!

There was a lot of happiness about how the sanghas are flowering, how practice is deepening, etc…and there were lots of good suggestions about how we could become even more supportive of each other and our community. I will send out all of the info as soon as the minutes from the last meeting are approved. For now I can share that a number of committees have evolved to take care of certain aspects of our practice….ie, Sangha Activities (DOMs, Retreats, picnics, etc.) a Committee for Engaged Practice( to explore opportunities for social, environmental projects, etc.) Communications (to develop a method for all of you to directly communicate with one another!) a Committee to help those who would like small group activities (for  music, crafts, etc.) You can all be thinking about which of these you might be interested in and ideas you might offer….and I will send out all of the contact info shortly.

FOR NOW, HERE IS THE UPDATE FOR APRIL

Saturday, April 19 – there will be an OI/ Aspirant  gathering at the Bell Street Chapel at 10 AM (immediately following the Radiant Bell Sangha, which you are welcome to attend also from 8-9:45) This meeting is open to everyone who is interested in learning more about our Order and deepening our practice. I hope you will be able to join us.

CLEAR HEART SANGHA

Sunday, April 6 – There will be a gathering of the Clear Heart Sangha this Sunday at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of South County at the Lily Pads on North Rd in Peace Dale at 6 PM. There will be sitting meditation, Cindy West will facilitate the Dharma sharing about Right Concentration from the “Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching”. There will also be a recitation of the Five Mindfulness Trainings. I hope you will be able to attend.

Sunday, April 13 – There will be a gathering at the home of Cindy and John West at 6 PM at Plantation Drive in Kingston. There will be a sitting meditation, and a reading from Thay’s book, “Fear”. There will be a sharing of the Dharma facilitated by Cindy.  For info and directions, please see below…and you can contact Cindy at westnest5@verizon.net,
Sunday, April 20 - There will be a gathering at our home at 725 Matunuck School House Rd in Wakefield at 6 PM .  We will have sitting/ walking(outdoor, weather permitting) /sitting meditation. I will offer a brief talk, we will share the Dharma and enjoy being together. I hope you will be able to be with us.
Sunday, April 27 – There will be a gathering at the home of the Van Horns. There will be sitting/walking/ sitting meditation, we will listen to a talk by Thich Nhat Hanh and enjoy sharing the Dharma. I hope you can attend. Directions and contact information are below.

MIND TAMERS SANGHA

Tuesday, April 8 – There will be a gathering at Sts. Matthew and Mark Church in West Barrington at 6:30 PM. We will enjoy sitting/walking/sitting meditation.  There will be a Dharma sharing on the Third Mindfulness Training – True Love (see below) . Jess will be facilitating accompanied buy Libby on the bell!
Tuesday, April 22, – Again at  Sts. Matthew and Mark in West Barrington at 6:30.
There will be sitting/walking/sitting meditation and a Dharma Sharing on the Fourth Mindfulness Training – Loving Speech and Deep Listening. Margaret will facilitate accompanied by Lorraine on the Bell and as always everyone will be joyfully together!

CLEAR PATH SANGHA

Wednesday, April 9 and Wednesday,  April 23 – There will be gatherings at the Westminster Unitarian Church in East Greenwich at 6 PM. Wendy, Deb and Paul have volunteered to facilitate these gatherings. There will be sitting, walking and sitting meditation and  a sharing of the Dharma. At the meeting of the RI Community of Mindfulness it was shared by other sanghas that it was helpful to meet weekly. Wendy will bring this idea to all of you so you can all look together as a group at this possibility. It has been very beautiful to see everyone deepening their practice of mindfulness and becoming freer and happier…keep up the good work!

SAVE THE DATE….

Saturday, May 3. Day of Mindfulness, Orleans, Massachusetts  May 3, 2014

Change Your Mind, Change Your Life
Offered by the First Light Sangha of Orleans on Cape Cod
Registration: sueeitel@mac.com
For more information, email Patty Tun at labs4cape@gmail.com

or at joannefriday.com/calendar
 


As you can see, there are lots and lots of opportunities to deepen our practice and enjoy one another.
I hope you will be able to join us.

with much love and the deep joy of being a drop in this lovely river with you,
Joanne
DIRECTIONS TO THE WEST HOME
We live about 2 miles from URI.  From rt 138, go north onto Old North Rd.  (across the street from  big sign ““Kingston Hill Store  Books  Used and Rare””.  Also, just a smidge west of the 138/108 traffic light).  Old North Rd starts off as a one way, continues on as a two way street, and finally ends as a T.  You will see our corner property from there.  Go left at the T (Old North Rd meets Stoneyfort Rd), and then a quick right onto Plantation Dr.  We are the first home on the right (2nd driveway is easiest).  Come on in the side door (porch/kitchen)!

DIRECTIONS TO THE VAN HORN HOME
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!!!
The Five Mindfulness Trainings
Sisters and brothers in the community, this is the moment when we enjoy reciting the Five Mindfulness Trainings together.  The Five Mindfulness Trainings represent the Buddhist vision for a global spirituality and ethic.  They are a concrete expression of the Buddha’s teachings on the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, the path of right understanding and true love, leading to healing, transformation, and happiness for ourselves and for the world.  To practice the Five Mindfulness Trainings is to cultivate the insight of interbeing, or Right View, which can remove all discrimination, intolerance, anger, fear, and despair.  If we live according to the Five Mindfulness Trainings, we are already on the path of a bodhisattva.  Knowing we are on that path, we are not lost in confusion about our life in the present or in fears about the future.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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

__________________________________________________________
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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