5-4-13 Sangha Update

Spring has sprung! It is hard to believe that the sun, the rain, and the earth can look like this!

Even After All this time The Sun never says to the earth, "You owe Me." Look What happens With love like that, It lights the Whole Sky. -Hafiz

Dear Friends,

I hope you are well and enjoying every minute of this miraculous unfolding of springtime. I also hope that you are cultivating a love that lights up the whole earth!

We will have a chance to do that this Sunday at 6 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of South County at the Lily Pads Complex on North Road in Peace Dale, RI. There will be sitting meditation, a recitation of the Trainings and.....

Here is a note from Clare about the gathering....

This Sunday, Renee will facilitate the dharma discussion. She approached me with her experience of reading The Grapes of Wrath and seeing many parallels with Buddhist practice. I informed her we would have a joint sangha and I will introduce the Four Noble Truths and she will talk about the book..

Many have been curious about the new book for the dharma sharing of the first Sunday of the month. We returned to the basics: The MIracle of Mindfulness which we read slowly to absorb the practices. Then we spent time with the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Many people expressed appreciation for these basics.

It would be beneficial for us as a sangha to explore The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy and Liberation. This book covers the basic tenets of our practice. We will focus the discussion on how the concept is applied to our daily lives, so it's deeply woven into our practice.

My suggestion is that we begin with the first four chapters in June, chapters 5 & 6 in July, chapters 7 & 8 in August, then monthly chapters for each step of the Noble Eightfold Path beginning in September. We'll take one month for each chapter of the next section (Other Basic Buddhist Teachings). May 2014 would be chapter 17 the Two Truths, June 2014, the Three Dharma Seals, etc...

These principles are new to many of our sangha. I appreciated the ideas for books that many proposed and encourage them to see where they may draw parallels to the teachings from the Heart of the Buddha's Teaching. The sangha benefits so much from involvement by many, so I am hoping people will be excited to delve into the book and help fellow sanghites to understand the teachings. I would be willing to assist them in this service at any time.

It should be wonderful. I hope you will be able to be with us.

I just returned from the Order member retreat at Blue Cliff Monastery.  It was a lovely gathering. I was invited to offer a Dharma talk with Brother Thay Phap Vu about the Four Fold Sangha and our practice. The talk was livestreamed from the monastery. If you would like to hear it, you can find it at http://new.livestream.com/plumvillageonline/events/2061938 scroll down to" Flowing as a River" where there is a photo of Thay Phap Vu.

With much love, many hugs and the joyful chorus of birds singing up a brand new day for you,

Joanne