Showers turning into Flowers...What a Cosmos!

“When we look deeply into a flower or into ourselves, we can identify elements of the Kingdom of God that are available in the here and now. To me the Kingdom of God or the Pure Land of the Buddha is not a vague idea, it is a reality. Your beautiful child with her fresh smile belongs to the Kingdom of God and you belong to the Kingdom of God...If we are capable of recognizing the flowing river, the blue sky, the blooming tree, the innumerable wonders of life as miracles that belong to the Kingdom of God, the Pure Land of the Buddha, we will do our best to preserve them.” —Thich Nhat Hanh, The World We Have

Dear Friends,

During this wonderful season of Passover, Easter and Earth Day, I hope this finds you well and happy and enjoying every precious wonder of life.

There will be a meeting this coming Tuesday evening at St. Matthew’s Church in West Barrington at 6:30 PM. George and Don and Linda will be co facilitating and it is my understanding that you will be continuing to look at the Five Mindfulness Trainings. I hope that you will all be able to be Joyfully together!

A number of announcements have to share some videos of Thay in a Bell shop in Taiwan..and one asking for help in preserving the land adjacent to our monastery in Deer Park. If you can help, please do. Also, don’t forget that Thay’s talks from Taiwan are available at

I hope you will support each other on Tuesday evening and I will look forward to being with you in May.

In the meantime, I hope this finds you singing and dancing in the rain.

with lots of love and the freedom of a raindrop becoming a tulip for you, Joanne

NOTE: The following message is from Elizabeth Hospodarsky, co-chair for the Deer Park Ridge Campaign. This is a very important message. Please respond directly to her.

Check out the video of Thay visiting a bell workshop in Taiwan — it’s really fun!! Then, head over to the second link and learn about the the documentary. The donations are really a win-win if you’re planning any trips to monasteries — your donation is given to the documentary and you stay free at the monastery. Pretty sweet, eh? OK, enough of my chatter. Here’s the links: Visiting the Bell Workshop in Taiwan: Documentary Information:

Dear OI brothers and sisters,

As we wrote to you a couple of months ago, there is a current effort amongst Deer Park monastics and practitioner volunteers to protect the peaceful integrity of Deer Park by preserving the land around the practice center. Today I am appealing to you, once again, for your help and support as OI members in reaching out to your sangha members during our Sangha Circle campaign.

The valley and hillside that you view from the meditation and dining halls does not belong to Deer Park and now the land is up for sale. It has been divided into housing lots and may soon be cleared for houses – like many of the developments that are seen on the drive up to Deer Park. If we do not act, Deer Park will become more of an urban practice center and lose the tranquil setting that is so special to us all.

The Abbot of Deer Park, Brother Phap Dung, has identified this as Deer Park’s most pressing need for support. In response, we have been working for the last year to raise the money needed to purchase this land and place it into protection. Now Brother Phap Dung has asked us to take this preservation effort into our local sanghas so that we can come together in community to protect our monastic center.

As an OI member, we need your help and leadership to help save Deer Park Ridge.

Ron Forster (Co-Chair of the campaign committee) and I have created a Deer Park Ridge toolkit that includes everything you’ll need to SIMPLY present this important project to your members.

Please contact me if you are willing to help with this worthy effort or if you have any questions. Here is a link to more information on this project at the Deer Park website: .

Elizabeth Hospodarsky (co-chair of the Deer Park Ridge Campaign committee) 520.299.1903

Peace, joy and good health to you, Elizabeth