4/8/15

Sunday, April 12

Pete will facilitate this week, where we will have the opportunity to study and reflect on Thay’s translation of “Sutra on the Net of Sensual Love”. This little known Sutra was initially taught by the Buddha to monastics. Thay insists it is relevant for everyone.

“Mindfulness practice doesn’t sweep away or bring an end to sensual desire. To bring such a thing to an end would make us no longer human. We practice in order to have the capacity to deal with desire, to smile with desire, so that we may be free of it.”

“Love can bring us happiness and peace as long as we love in such a way that we don’t make a net to confine ourselves and others.”

“Love can be our greatest joy, or - when it gets confused with craving and attachment - our greatest suffering. By understanding the roots of our suffering and learning how to develop deep understanding of ourselves and our loved one, we can enjoy the relaxation, joy and peace that comes from true love.”

4/2/15

Sunday, April 5

Karen will facilitate on selective seed watering.

3/24/15

Sunday, March 29

This Sunday, we will recite the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings, which will include some of the ceremonial chanting (Incense Offering, Opening Verse, The Three Refuges, Closing Verse) in the Plum Village tradition.

3/12/15

Sunday, March 15

Pete will facilitate on getting back to basics and focusing on Sitting meditation practice. Those with a copy of “How To Sit” are encouraged to bring it.

3/3/15

Sunday, March 8

Dear Sangha,

Our practice is designed to help us enter reality deeply, with openness, mindfulness and concentration to generate the ultimate fruit of our practice, insight and wellbeing. Buddhism is the practice of salvation through insight, through our own direct experience of awakening. Our practice aims at ultimate knowing which is the intuition of inter-being. The idea of inter-being is not too difficult to understand. Everything is made of everything else in the cosmos and the cosmos as a whole, including the source of the cosmos. It is not too difficult to understand the flower is made of sunshine, rain, clouds, ocean, soil, water, etc. It takes a whole universe to produce a flower and the same is true of us. We can understand this. But to have our experience of ourselves and our world transformed so that this becomes how we experience ourselves and our world, that takes skillful practice, and that is our practice. Enlightenment is the direct intuition of wholeness, the direct “grokking” of reality, unfettered by concepts. It is to be able to maintain this mode of experience as we go through all our activities, not being caught by ideas or pulled out of our absorption in the wholeness of being by fears, worries, memories or anticipations. It is simple, this practice of mindfulness of the present moment in its wholeness and unfolding particulars, but it requires training and practice to overcome deeply ingrained habits of thought and reaction. That is why we need a community of fellow practitioners (Sangha) and a practice (Dharma). It doesn’t just happen. Fortunately we have a great Dharma Teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay), a beautiful Maha-Sangha of monastics and lay practitioners around the world and a thriving, wonderful, local Sangha, the Open Heart Sangha, to share the adventure of a lifetime with. How wonderful!

I look forward to being with you and facilitating our Sangha this Sunday. I will share with you a beautiful teaching from Thay, which he gave at the 21-day retreat last June, on the structure of our mind and how we can do our part to help our mind to generate deep joy, happiness and insight. In the process we will also generate love and compassion to transform the suffering of ourselves, other people, other creatures and the whole earth, who is our mother, our body and our home.

Smiling,

Keith
Universal Emptiness of the HeartTrue Enlightenment Garden

2/18/15

1/29/15

Sunday, February 2

Pete will facilitate this Sunday:Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something. This week we will discuss “appropriate attention.”

1/21/15

Sunday, January 25

This Sunday Marge will facilitate sangha and we will recite the 5 Mindfulness Trainings. As preparation for Sunday’s gathering, if you have time, please read through the 5MTs and consider which one speaks most to you this week. Then, as you go about your daily life between now and Sunday, see how you can practice with that one to make it more a part of your life. We’ll have a little bit longer Dharma sharing time so people may share how we are integrating the 5 Mindfulness Trainings into our daily life.