Sangha Update - September 23

practicing total relaxation under a shady tree in summerBeing Peace at a Day of Mindfulness

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. —Jimi Hendrix

I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it. —Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dear Friends,

Happy Autumn!!!! Happy Peace Month!!!! I hope you are celebrating by being just that!

Thanks to all of us who came together to celebrate our continuation day last Sunday! Photos below! The Clear Heart Sangha turned 20, and it was such a joy to be able to be together and to see how the community we have all co-created has grown and strengthened over time. It is also wonderful to know that many who have moved to other parts of the world continue to be with us in spirit . . . We shared this beautiful letter from Carol Craig at our gathering and wanted to pass it on to those of you who were not able to be with us.

Dear Joanne, Richard, and the entire Clear Heart Sangha,

I am with you in spirit, if not in body!

I am here in Nairobi, Kenya enjoying the wonderful Kenyan people. They are so positive in the face of adversity, it is enlightening! My husband has commented that it is causing him some suffering knowing that his race is so miserable back in Trinidad compared to these similar looking people . . . he is wondering why the people at home can't be happy like the new friends he is making here. I have advised him to observe them and to try and figure out their secret. I did this when I first came to Kenya in 2005 and found that "less is more" and that being grateful for every little thing was a big part of their happiness.

I had the exact same experience when I first came here and still suffer upon my return to the U.S. as I wonder the same thing. And then I come to the Sangha and realize that there is a group of people who are doing their best to alleviate suffering and to be happy and peaceful as often as possible and it gives me hope and a feeling of peace.

Thank you to the Clear Heart Sangha for changing my life and to you, Joanne, for all that you do to help others realize how important mindfulness is.

Love to all, Carol

We also used the occasion of our continuation to celebrate Thich Nhat Hanh's upcoming continuation day in October. Thanks to everyone's generosity, we were able to send a contribution of $300 to the foundation which has been set up to help our monasteries continue to share our practice well into the future. Thank you, thank you!

A special thank you to Carol Robinson who had a yard sale and put out a bucket and a sign that said " if you take something, please leave something . . . it is Thich Nhat Hanh's birthday! " She contributed all of the donations to our collection!

In honor of Peace Month I have included below . . . A Great Question . . . a call for peace from General Douglas MacArthur! See what John Lennon and General MacArthur had in common . . . Enjoy!

CLEAR HEART SANGHA - will meet tonight at the Van Horn's home at 6 PM. There will be sitting/walking/sitting and sharing of the Dharma. I hope that you will be able to attend. Directions and parking info below.

MIND TAMERS SANGHA - will meet on Tuesday evening at 6:30 at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in West Barrington. We will have sitting/walking/sitting meditation, and I will be sharing more of the Fourteen Trainings and their application to daily life. Then we will have a Dharma sharing and be joyfully together!

CLEAR PATH SANGHA - will be meeting on Wednesday evening at 6 PM at Westminster Unitarian Church on Kenyon Avenue in East Greenwich. We will have sitting/walking/sitting, and we will also be sharing more of the Fourteen Trainings. Summer attendance was very low . . . so we can look together at what might be helpful for the group. I hope you will be able to be with us.

There are lots of opportunities to come together to practice.

SATURDAY, SEPT 29 - 10 AM - 2 PM—DAY OF MINDFULNESS FOR ALL AGES at the South Kingstown Land Trust. Peacefully Together: Mindfulness Practices for Cultivating Peace in Ourselves, Our Families, and the World this is part of the Peace Month Celebration. We have been so fortunate that our anonymous benefactor has once again come forward to pay our rent . . . so finances need not be a factor. Everyone can participate . . . but . . . space is limited, and registration is necessary! For info and registration forms please go to or contact Ann at

OCTOBER 12 - 14—SENEXET HOUSE RETREAT - in Woodstock, CT - Riding the Waves of Change Fearlessly: Maintaining Our Balance in Turbulent Times. This retreat is being offered by the New London Sangha. Senexet House is a beautiful place to be at a beautiful time of year. I hope you will be able to join us. Again . . . the registration info is available at

OCTOBER 27 - There will be a Day of Mindfulness in West Hartford, CT.  All of the info and registration [details are] available at . . . you guessed it . . .! A deep bow of gratitude to the website Bodhisattvas for making all of this info so easily accessible in one spot!

Also at that site you will find a link to all of the wonderful events that are being offered to celebrate the Month of Peace!

I am sorry to say that I will be needing knee surgery—which is tentatively scheduled for November. So I will be out of commission for a bit while I get some rehab. I hope that each of you will help to keep the sanghas flourishing during that time. We will be talking about that during these upcoming meetings.

Before then, I hope you can join us for some of the above activities and that you are all enjoying this first full day of Autumn and being peace!

with much love, many hugs and the deep peace of the dawning day for you, Joanne

twenty years of being joyfully together!

Happy Continuation Day !!!

Walking the Path Together


In honor of Peace Month

The Great Question

The great question is: Can global war now be outlawed from the world? If so, it would mark the greatest advance in civilization since the Sermon on the Mount. It would lift at one stroke the darkest shadow which has engulfed mankind from the beginning. It would not only remove fear and bring security—it would not only create new moral and spiritual values—it would produce an economic wave of prosperity that would raise the world's standard of living beyond anything eve dreamed of by man.

The hundreds of billions of dollars now spent in mutual preparedness (for war) could conceivably abolish poverty from the face of the earth It would accomplish even more than this; it would at one stroke reduce the international tensions that seem to be insurmountable now, to matters of more probable solution. This would not, of course, mean the abandonment of all armed forces, but it would reduce them to the simpler problems of internal order and international police. It would not mean utopia at one fell stroke, but it would mean that the great roadblock now existing to the development of civilization would have been cleared.

You will say at once, that although the abolition of war has been the dream of man for centuries, every proposition to the end has been promptly discarded as impossible and fantastic. But that was before the science of the past decade made mass destruction a reality . . . now the tremendous evolution of nuclear and other potentials of destruction has suddenly taken the problem away from its primary consideration as a moral and spiritual question and brought it abreast of scientific realism. (The abolition of war) is no longer an ethical equation to be pondered solely by learned philosophers and ecclesiastics, but a hard-core one for the decision of the masses whose survival is the issue . . .

Many will tell you with mockery and ridicule that the abolition of war can be only a dream—that it is but the vague imagining of a visionary. But we must go on or we will go under. And the great criticism that can be made is that the world lacks a plan that will enable us to go on. We have suffered the blood and the sweat and the tears. Now we seek the way and the truth and the light. We are in a new era. The old methods and solutions for this vital problem no longer suffice. We must have new thoughts, new ideas, new concepts . . . We must have sufficient imagination and courage to translate this universal wish for peace—which is rapidly becoming a universal necessity—into actuality.

—General Douglas MacArthur, 1961 from General MacArthur: Speeches and Reports 1908-1964, Edward T. Imparato, ed.

Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one. —John Lennon


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!!