11/21/14

Sunday, November 23

Here is a message from Marge about our practice this Sunday:
Impermanence is one of the 3 Dharma Seals, one of the 3 key teachings of the Buddha (along with non-self and nirvana). In the sangha gathering this Sunday we will contemplate impermanence and see what this teaching has to do with our daily lives. We will also continue to practice our mindfulness as we hold Thay in our hearts to support his healing from his brain hemorrhage.

11/12/14

Sunday, November 16

Dear brothers and sisters,

This Sunday I will facilitate Sangha from 4-6PM. The topic will be impermanence, non-self and continuation. 

We have recently lost a Sangha sister and our teacher Thay has been hospitalized for a week. How do we use this to fuel our commitment to practice rather than as a source of sadness or despair? Please come back to the breath as we have practiced. Surf the wave(s) of emotions and dare to open the heart even more. We can honor Linda, Thay and all our ancestors in this very breath. Even in the midst of a tornado there is calm at the heart. Grounded in mindfulness we feel the feelings and think the thoughts but are also the awareness of feelings and thoughts. The thoughts and feelings do not define us, are not a destination. Touch the awareness of what is good and beautiful in this world, the many gifts our friends and loved ones have shared. How do we honor them in the way we live?

Thay has repeatedly said the best gift we can offer him is our energy of mindfulness. Our practice. He wants us to practice now. To breathe wholeheartedly with awareness. To take refuge in the Sangha, trusting the Sangha and our own Buddha nature. As we generate the energy of mindfulness we are Thay and Buddha’s continuation. They live in us, right here and now.  That is a precious condition for happiness, a source of great dignity and purpose.

Some of you may remember when Thay was hospitalized in Boston a few years ago and scheduled to lead a retreat in Colorado. My friend Mitchell reminded me of a letter he wrote at that time, I share part of it with you now. The book “One Buddha is Not Enough” was the result of that retreat.
“When the Sangha is a true Sangha, the Buddha is also there, because the Buddha is a human being like us. If you want to look for the Buddha, the safest place to look is in a human being. The Buddha is not a god. The Buddha is a human being, who has suffered, who has practiced, and who has developed his understanding and compassion. He has proved that understanding and compassion are possible, that happiness is possible . The Buddha is someone who has practiced the true Dharma. Since every member of the Sangha is trying to practice the true Dharma, everyone in the Sangha is a Buddha - if we're not yet a full-time Buddha, we're a part-time Buddha. So the safest place to look for a Buddha is in the Sangha, because the Sangha is made of human beings.
In Colorado (when Thay was unable to attend the retreat), people had to look for the Buddha in places they did not expect They found the Buddha in themselves and in the Sangha around them. One lesson we can take away from Colorado is not to look for your happiness in one person or one set of conditions. Your happiness is there in the community around you, your happiness is there inside of you. It is available any time. It is available right now." Thich Nhat Hanh

I hope to see you Sunday. Bowing,

Pete
True Ocean of Joy

11/6/14

Sunday, November 9

Dear Sangha,

I will be facilitating this Sunday and I look forward to practicing with you. Please come 5 to 10 minutes early so we are all settled, concentrated and ready to contribute to the collective mindfulness of the Sangha when we invite the bell promptly at 4:00.

To prepare for facilitating and to prepare to send something out to you in advance I meditated this morning and then did some writing. Below is the final paragraph of what I wrote.

I am smiling and looking forward to being with you this Sunday,

Keith
True Enlightenment Garden
Universal Emptiness of the Heart

We come together as a Sangha to awaken to the wonders of life and to discover our true nature, as Ultimate Reality manifesting as our unique and wonderful individual selves, as well as every other being in the universe. We come together as a Sangha for the support of the Sangha and to contribute to the healing and transformative power of the Sangha. We come together as a Sangha to heal and transform ourselves, our Sangha brothers and sisters, and all the beings and communities of which we are members. Ultimately we are members of the community of all beings, integral to the evolving universe and even the Ultimate Mystery, which birthed the universe. We come together as a Sangha to remember and celebrate our unbelievable giftedness and to help a hurting world be able to enjoy the immense gifts of being human, and to help all beings in the earth community, and the cosmic community, be well.

10/30/14

Sunday, November 2

Dear Thay, Dear Sangha,

You are warmly invited to join us at sangha this Sunday for a modified version of the “Ceremony for the Deceased”. We will be honoring the life of our beloved sister, Linda Gail Walters, whose physical body died on October 26 due to congestive heart failure. While we will no longer feel her physical presence, she will continue in our hearts and minds. We will have some poetry of Thay’s, do sitting and walking meditation, sing some songs of practice, and have an opportunity to share our experiences with Linda or reflections about impermanence and living fully in the present moment.

Please be aware that parking will be limited due to many activities happening at the church where we meet, including a memorial service for a church member, starting at 3:00. If the parking lot is full, you may need to park in the parking structure at UCSD, or on the streets nearby. Public transportation or carpooling are encouraged. Please come early to allow time to park and arrive before we invite the bell to ring at 4:00. Thanks!

Bowing,
Your Facilitators
Loretta, Embracing Peace of the Heart
Marge, True Crane Garden

10/17/14

Sunday , October 19

Linda will facilitate about our spiritual ancestors, in honor of the Thay Giac Thanh memorial weekend.

10/12/14

Sunday, October 12

Keith will facilitate our practice and offers us this question:  How do we practice so that we bring happiness and healing to ourselves and to the world?​

10/2/14

Sunday, October 5

Karen will facilitate our practice together and will include a guided sitting meditation.

9/17/14

Sunday, September 21

Linda will facilitate taking care of the Earth from Thay's book "Love Letters to the Earth."

9/13/14

Sunday, September 14

Dear Sangha,

We are so lucky. We have a teacher, a practice and a Sangha with which to practice and with whom we can share our practice with the world. The fundamental practice is mindfulness. We practice mindfulness together, which is wonderful, and we learn how to apply mindfulness practice to every moment of our lives. That is the means and that is the goal, applied mindfulness. When the means and the goal are the same you know you might be on to something. How do we apply mindfulness to every act we make? How do we keep steering ourselves toward well being and cultivating mindfulness when distraction and negative thinking are so pervasive? We’ll explore what our practice offers us in regards to this on Sunday. I look forward to being with you and facilitating.

Keith
True Enlightenment Garden
Universal Emptiness of the Heart