Choosing Bodhisattvas as Traveling Companions

The practice of walking meditation opens your eyes to wonders in the universe. It turns samsara into the Pure Land. It lets sorrow and worry fall away, and brings peace. But walking meditation also helps us to see pain, anguish, and suffering.  When we are aware we can see clearly what is happening in life. I often tell meditation students, “If you can’t see what is happening in front of you and around you, how can you understand your true nature? It is not by closing your eyes that you see your own nature. On the contrary, you must open your eyes wide and wake up to the real situation in the world to see completely your whole Dharma Treasure, your whole Dharma Body. The bombs, the hunger, the pursuit of wealth and power - these are not separate from your nature.

Scented paths across the rice fields, shady bamboo-lined dirt roads, parks covered with dark colored dry leaves - these are your paths for walking meditation: please enjoy them. They should not lead you to forgetfulness, but should bring you the necessary mindfulness so that you can see the real dramas of the world. Then every path, every street - from the back alleys of Beirut to the roads of Vietnam where mines still explode and take the lives of children and farmers - every path in the world is your walking meditation path. Once you are awake, you will not hesitate to enter those paths.

You will suffer, but your pain will not come from your own worries and fears. You will suffer because of your kinship with all beings, because you have the compassion of an awakened being -a Bodhisattva. Then all your companions on the path you take will be invincible Bodhisattvas.

from “A Guide to Walking Meditation “ by Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Dear Friends,

I hope you are well and happy and experiencing interbeing with invincible Bodhisattvas!

I apologize that this is a bit late...I have been shutting down my computer during each wave of thunderstorms...so it has taken a bit of time!

We have a couple opportunities this weekend to put ourselves in the company of many wonderful beings.

Tomorrow, there will be a half Day of Mindfulness for Order members and aspirants as well as anyone who is interested in learning about our Order and about facilitation- which will be the topic for our gathering. We will have a Recitation Ceremony for the Fourteen Trainings and a Dharma Sharing and discussion about facilitation and sangha building. This will be followed by a vegetarian potluck lunch. The day will go from 10:30- 1:30 or 2.

I hope that you will be able to be with us.

On Sunday evening we will have our 3rd Sunday meeting at our home at 6 PM. We will have sitting/walking (outside, weather permitting)/ sitting meditation, a brief Dharma talk  followed by Dharma sharing. PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS NO PARKING ON THE STREET. (It has been re paved and the shoulders are just getting filled in but are incomplete) It will be lovely to be able to be together again...I hope you can come!

Last Saturday we had a meeting of our Care Taking Committee. It was lovely. The notes from that meeting are below. There are several suggestions for ways to support and strengthen the Sangha... and the need for more to become involved... I hope you will read the notes and perhaps discover ways you might support the Sangha. There are several interesting projects in the works. For example.....

JUNE 25TH  DAY OF MINDFULNESS FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES. This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to get together and enjoy each other. It will be held at the Providence Friends Meeting and should be a lot of fun. Click here for information. Please register now by emailing Janice Kissinger at janice@janicekissinger.com. Also, if you can help with the day, please contact Janice.

SAVE THE DATE!!! There will be a Day of Mindfulness at the Land Trust in South Kingstown on Saturday, July 16th. Stopping, Calming, Resting and Healing....in a beautiful setting!  This is the first one we will have in the summertime. The location is very near the beach. Please come and plan on spending the day...we will end at 4 PM ...bring a picnic supper for the beach afterward! A flyer (please share it with others)  can be found at joannefriday.com Information and the registration form is here.

Also below you will find a thank you note for the sangha from Clare and a participant in the Nonviolence Potluck at URI.

And, as if that were not enough...also below you will find another note from our friend Dennis from the Brooklyn Sangha who sent us another link for a talk about Sangha from Thay. A deep bow of gratitude to Dennis. Enjoy!

Also movie recommendations from me....“Bill Cunningham: New York” and “I AM” both are beautiful examples of non-attachment and freedom.

Enjoy!

I hope you can be with us for all of these events and in the meantime, I hope you will be placing yourself in the company of Bodhisattvas and enjoy every single moment!

with much love and the fragrance of brugmansia flowers perfuming a silent night for you,

Joanne

 

CARE TAKING MEETING NOTES

We went around and shared what  we enjoyed about the Sangha and how it was of benefit to us:

• I love being intentionally in  a mindful loving community.

• Leaving my angers and concerns out there and coming in here to focus on kindness and the bell.

• Supports my practice in daily life. — Beginning Anew — Carrying the Trainings into the outer world

• Can’t think of a way it has not enhanced my life

• Being introduced to the Dharma

• Having Joanne’s presence and teachings

• I feel gratitude for the sangha — it has helped me to realize my real life.

• I love the Sangha!

Things that need strengthening:

• Everyone felt that they would like to see wider participation in our meetings for planning and serving the Sangha.

• Some  would like to have tasks — Projects that we can work on together

• I think that separating it from Joanne is good. Having it in different locations has helped that

• Newcomers aren’t well informed as to how to get involved with Bell inviting, facilitation, dana, etc.

• Clear Heart is being reborn and needs TLC

• More teaching from Joanne... perhaps 1st and 3rd of the month meetings... with the meetings in between to be for practicing?

Suggestions for meeting these needs...

• Instruction on inviting the bell....that will happen on Sunday and you can go to youtube and type in Bells of Mindfulness or use this link www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6aYE3irqFQ to see Sister Dang Nghiem offer bell instruction.

• Instruction on facilitation...that will happen tomorrow.

• announcement needs to be made at each meeting explaining dana

• Clare will create a handout to explain our basic practices to newcomers.

• In terms of sangha projects, Carol announced that she was organizing some food for the potluck that Clare had

announced for those attending the nonviolence conference at URI..She would be making frittatas for 80 and asked     for some help - Sue and I couldn’t resist and volunteered....It was fun! More projects like this for the Sangha would be wonderful!

• Ann Moore is interested in organizing a 5 day retreat for the sangha and is looking for helpers.

• Ivan is creating a blog for the Sangha so that we can all communicate with each other and organize projects for group participation! Thank you Ivan!!!

• Radiant Bell is organizing a Day of Mindfulness for the Land Trust on July 16th information below and at joannefriday.com

•East Side Sangha is organizing a Day of Mindfulness for Families and Individuals on June 25th..information below and at joannefriday.com

•Perhaps have mini days of mindfulness ...until 12 noon> which could be at individuals home and open to all

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THANK YOU NOTE FOR THE SANGHA FROM CLARE
Dear Joanne,
I am sending this from the library in Bellingham. Please express my very deep bow of gratitude to all those involved in helping to host the dinner for the URI Students in the Nonviolence Summer Institute. Particular thanks may be extended to Carol who stepped up to the plate by hosting a frittata making party (10 frittatas!) including both you and Susan Morgan at her home. Carol also  arranged to have lettuce contributed from Belmont's Market. Linda and Renee arrived early to help with the set-up and brought delicious food. Ivan was there with his wife, guitar and famous cookies. Ann Galkowski arrived at the end and offered considerable support cleaning up afterwards. Ann Moore contributed a dish and so many others were supportive as well.
At the event, a young man from Ghana was recognized for his work in a non-profit that brings in sports and rock celebrities to encourage children to read and play sports together on teams comprised of warring ethnic groups. They have released a song to encourage young adults to become active in the political process.
Following this, there was a very touching presentation by a Bosnian woman who brought in slides of childrens' artwork that heart-breakingly depicts the trauma they have experienced due to the war there. They have developed healing approaches using Nonviolent Communication as well as theatre and other forms of artistic expression.
It was quite an amazing night and many participants were even able to take leftovers home. This sangha shows very tangible ways of supporting our principles on nonviolence and mindfulness. Much love to everyone,
Clare
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Clare,
Kay tells me you are the organizer of the Pot Luck we enjoyed on Monday evening, along with the Clearhearts Sangha group. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to that wonderful meal.  It was so nice to have so many delicious dishes to choose from.  I really appreciate the effort everyone went to.
I thoroughly enjoyed the pot luck last year and was wishing I had shown my appreciation then.  I understand how much work goes into making those lovely meals for such large groups of people, and I appreciate that you are all willing to do it.  It's a wonderful chance to be together as a group. Please extend my thanks to everyone involved.
Amy Dillon
Kingian Nonviolence Level II Trainer
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LETTER FROM DENNIS AND LINKS TO THAY'S TALKS
Dear Friends in the practice,
Another dharma talk from the "Eye of the Buddha" 21-day retreat in the year 2000 is available to our sanghas.  It is suggested to listen to the other two talks on sangha prior to this one, which if memory serves me correctly confused many folks (in Plum Village Upper Hamlet) at the time.  The talk relates sangha and the six harmonies or six togethernesses.  After the dharma talk, many people in Upper Hamlet (where I was staying) asked Monastic brothers about the talk, "Does Thay really mean that lay sanghas should practice like this?"  We were told that no, Thay did not mean the talk for the lay sanghas, but was addressing the Monastic sanghas.  News of the confusion must have gotten back to Thay because in the very next dharma talk, Thay told us that yes, he did intend the talk on the six harmonies for the lay community!
One of the harmonies that Thay discussed was the need to be physically present with one another: he stresses to live together.   Another harmony was the harmony of sharing all material requisites.  A decade later, I personally think that as lay people, we might want to take the harmonies as guidance, as a North Star, similar to the Mindfulness Trainings.  What does it mean to spend time physically together?  How much time can we spend physically present with one another?
It is my belief that at the very least I need to try to attend sangha each and every week, to be nourished by the sangha, so the wisdom of the sangha eye can manifest.  Perhaps I can also look in the direction of gently exploring the idea of living with one another, at least keep that in mind as a possibility somehow.
How can we share all material possessions with one another?  For me, the way in which we can share all material goods, or the way we can grow in that direction is quite provocative, a real koan.  I still respond to many of these ideas  with a resounding:  "Yes, but ....." :-)  See what you think.
Here is a link to the talk:
the links to the previously-posted talks are:
May the fruits of our practice benefit all beings,
dennis