5-9-14 Sangha Update - Please Read!!SCHEDULE CHANGES!!

 
Celebrate the miracle of Motherhood!
The birds are celebrating on the wreath on our front door!

 

 

Dear Friends,
I hope you are all well and happy and being grateful for your mothers. Whether they are still living or are no longer living....they are alive in every cell of our bodies.Let's honor them by cultivating the highest and best in ourselves.
I have included my annual "Mothers' Day Proclamation" by Julia Ward Howe to remind us of the origins of the holiday.
We can enjoy gathering at Cindy West's home on this Sunday evening at 6 PM. There will be sitting meditation, walking (outdoors among her flowers, weather-permitting) A sharing of the Dharma and enjoying each other's company. I hope you will be able to attend. Directions are below.
There will be a Generations Sangha gathering this Saturday, May 10 from 10 AM to 11:30 at the Westminster Unitarian Church in East Greenwich. Nurturing and mothering and appreciation will be the focus. Kristen and Eric will be facilitating...there will be some singing, storytelling, a project for the children, sharing for the adults and lots of fun followed by some fellowship and snacks. This is a Sangha for all ages, come join in the fun and support this effort to share mindfulness with everyone! We hope you can come.
THIRD SUNDAY CANCELED
At this point it looks like there will not be a gathering on the third Sunday...in that we will be at the Aldersgate Retreat. Someone had offered to meet at their home, but I have been unable to reach them for confirmation.
CHANGE OF VENUE!!!!!!!!!
The Van Horn's will not be able to host the 4th Sunday, so that gathering will be at our home....725 Matunuck School House Rd. It will be lovely to be with all of you again. 6 PM on the 25th of May. I hope you will be able to join us.
There will be an Order Member and Aspirant meeting at the Bell St. Chapel in Providence on the third Saturday, May 17. Robert will facilitate.This is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about our practice...as well as Order members and Aspirants. It will be from 10AM-12....right after the Radiant Bell Sangha meeting from 8 AM -9:30. All are welcome to attend the Sangha meeting as well.
SAVE THE DATE!!!!!! (This from Lee, who was instrumental in securing the space for us and who will provide the Labyrinth. Thank you, Lee!)
The Radiant Bell Sangha is sponsoring a Day of Mindfulness on Saturday, June 28.

at New Dawn Earth Center at 75 Wrentham Rd. Cumberland, RI 02864-1109

 

for sitting and walking meditation, Dharma talk by Joanne, and Labyrinth Walking. People should feel free to bring lunch if they so desire. There are picnic tables and rest rooms as well as lovely meditative walking trails through the woods. The Sisters of Mercy who sponsor the center on their motherhouse grounds are welcoming us. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate. If it rains we will have to try another time maybe at the end of summer or early fall. It will be wonderful to have the opportunity for our Mindfulness Community to be together in this lovely setting. (More information will follow!)
Also, back in March we had our Care Taking meetings for the RI Community of Mindfulness...those minutes have been approved and are included below. There were about 20 people at the two meetings. Lots of wonderful energy and Sangha wisdom. A deep bow of gratitude for all who are willing to support our beloved community!
There are lots of opportunities for those who were not able to attend...and the committees and contact folks are highlighted in the minutes. Please read over the minutes...join in or offer your suggestions....all are welcome.
Volunteers needed for the Annual Potluck for the International Peace and Nonviolence program at URI. This is happening in early June...If you can help out, please contact Clare at clare2sartori@gmail.com
Also, it has come to our attention that some of us have sensitivities to fragrances. Please help us to create a fragrance-free environment for these friends.
It is lovely to have so many wonderful opportunities to come together ...it is lovely to inter-be with all of you.
with much love, many hugs, deepest gratitude for all mothers and the miracle of a tiny blue egg for you!
Joanne

DIRECTIONS TO THE HOME OF CINDY WEST
We live about 2 miles from URI.  From rt 138, go north onto Old North Rd.  (across the street from  big sign ““Kingston Hill Store  Books  Used and Rare””.  Also, just a smidge west of the 138/108 traffic light).  Old North Rd starts off as a one way, continues on as a two way street, and finally ends as a T.  You will see our corner property from there.  Go left at the T (Old North Rd meets Stoneyfort Rd), and then a quick right onto Plantation Dr.  We are the first home on the right (2nd driveway is easiest).  Come on in the side door (porch/kitchen)!
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RI COMMUNITY OF MINDFULNESS  = MARCH 29 MINUTES
Attending – Cindy Rourke, Jim Chapin, Eva Doran, Kristen Morelli, Thomas Wilson, Mary Hughes, Eric Loucks, Ann Moore, Libby Morais, Lorraine Keeney, Philip Smith, Susan Glogovac, Wendy Warburton, Linda Pietras, Jess Albernaz,, Joanne Friday, Stephen Conlon
Note taker: Eric…
We had a short sit, read the Guidelines for a Mindful Meeting  and began going over the questions that had been offered for our consideration prior to the meeting.
• WHAT DO YOU SEE AS WORKING WELL FOR OUR COMMUNITY?
• meeting every week works better than meeting on 1st and 3rd Saturdays
• yearly retreat in RI
• days of mindfulness
• strong teacher
•interconnected sanghas
all sanghas are welcoming
• yearly picnic
•labyrinth walk
• WHAT WOULD BE HELPFUL TO STRENGTHEN THE COMMUNITY?
•opportunities for engaged practice – practical philanthropic actions, e.g. volunteering at food banks, cleaning up parks, etc.
• inviting people to each others’ sangha meetings
• social gatherings strengthen our connections with each other
• bring families with children into our practice
• consider going to new sanghas with a partner
•during announcements give updates on other sanghas (e.g. a sangha starting a new book study)
•planning committee for each sangha
• WHAT KIND OF ACTIVITIES WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE PROVIDED TO THE WHOLE COMMUNITY
• forming small interest groups…e.g. crafts, writing, music, etc. etc. These might be easier for those who don’t like larger groups.
• start small group on social environmental issues – organize for RI Community of Mindfulness opportunities for actions.
• Wake Up movement – look into supporting this more – invite monks and nuns to come offer intro for college students.
• Online forum/discussion e.g.meetup, facebook
•start a small group of people willing to talk about communication in sangha – e.g. RI –wide listserv.
• organize trips to go to monasteries as a sangha
• second body practice
• HOW DO WE HELP EACH OTHER TO DEEPEN OUR PRACTICE
•attend sangha meetings
•attend retreats and DOMS
•second body practice
•offer opportunities for deep listening
•offer co-facilitation opportunities
• DOM on basic elements of our tradition, history of tradition for newcomers
• DOM on facilitation
• create opportunities and mentoring for sangha members to have roles..e.e. facilitating, bell minding, setting up etc.
AFTER LOOKING AT ALL THAT HAD BEEN OFFERED, IT SEEMED THAT THERE WERE CERTAIN THEMES THAT WERE EMERGING. COMMITTEES WERE FORMED TO EXPLORE WAYS THAT THE WHOLE COMMUNITY MIGHT BE ENGAGED IN THOSE ACTIVITIES.
•COMMITTEES
SOCIAL JUSTICE        - Libby – point person
Cindy, Stephen, Wendy
COMMUNICATIONS -   Thomea – point person
Kristen, Eric, Robert, Ellen (in absentia), Joanne
SANGHA ACTIVITIES  - Jess – point perxon
(DOMs, picnics,                   Wendy, Mary, Ann
retreats, etc)
SMALL GROUPS -    Robert – point person
Linda, Jim
The idea came up about offering a sangha at Brown as we have several members who work there…
And perhaps  have the Wake Up gathering there…a committee emerged from this idea…
Eric point person
Stephen, Ellen, Kristen, Wendy, Susan, Cindy, Joanne,
Robert
THE COMMITTEES WILL HAVE MEETINGS, EITHER BY EMAIL, PHONE OR IN PERSON, WRITE UP A BLURB ABOUT THE MISSION OF THE COMMITTEE AND SEND THAT TO ERIC, ROBERT AND JOANNE (until we have the community-wide listserv in place) WHO WILL FORWARD IT TO THE WHOLE COMMUNITY TO SEE IF THERE ARE OTHERS WHO WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE.
It was wonderful to see how our community is growing and strengthening and because everyone is deepening our practice we are becoming better able to share it and help the larger community.
We offered a deep bow of gratitude to each other and the meeting was adjourned
followed by quite a bit of hugging meditation.
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March 16, 2014
Rhode Island Community of Mindfulness
Caretaking Meeting
Present were Clare Sartori, Cindy West, Ellen Dessloch, Kate O’Kula, Eva Doran, Ann Moore (note taker) and Joanne Friday, facilitator.
Meeting began with the reading of “guidelines for a Mindful Meeting.”
What is working well for our community?
The sanghas are warm, nurturing, welcoming environments, for both regular members and newcomers.
The diversity of sanghas, both in the six Rhode Island Sanghas, and within Clear Heart Sangha that meets with a different facilitator each week
The timely updating of JoanneFriday.com – Yeah, Ellen and Shana!
The third year of a RICM retreat, with Ann’s ongoing guidance and state-wide sangha involvement
Local, home-offered days of mindfulness
Centrally located, monthly OI/Aspirant meeting at Bell Street Chapel in Providence
Access to conference calls
Evidence of successful transformation of suffering
Flexibility of sangha coverage
Suggested changes to strengthen the community
Additional volunteers to help maintain joannefriday.com and RICM websites
Include details of Clear Heart Sangha meeting places, together with host contact information and asterisk to confirm meeting before coming
(Include Matunuck street address in relevant newsletters)
More outreach effort – post fliers, hand out cards
Support outside community peace-and-justice-oriented events/involvement in such organizations
Representative participation in inter-faith events
More collaboration at care giving
Day of mindfulness or retreat for facilitators, with Robert and Eric sharing their experiences and wisdom
Apply for nonprofit status to encourage generosity (costs $1500 and complicated)
What types of activities would you like to see offered to the whole community?
(We currently have an annual retreat and picnic.)
Community wide days of mindfulness
Community activity for environmental and social justice issues
Offer meditation in the prison
What can we do to help each other deepen our practice?
Sangha retreat at Blue Cliff
Communication between sangha facilitators
Car pool to other sanghas
Community sutra study
Practice suggestions as homework after monthly book study
Ask, “How do we apply this?” during book study
Offer facilitation skills at OI/Aspirant meetings – be sure Robert, Eric and Clare are there -- Ellen D. plans to compile a booklet of sangha building guidelines.
How can we improve communication?
Compile a greater sangha contact list, one person gathering contact information for each sangha
Create a Google groups list-serve – Ellen D. will research and work with Cindy West on this
Use Skype for conference calls
RICM Facebook page (Joanne – more intimidating for the computer-shy than email)
We enjoyed looking together at our community. We then enjoyed a delicious dinner and continued to build our community by enjoying each others company wholeheartedly.
We will look forward to hearing from those at the meeting on the 29th so we can go forward as one Sangha body.
submitted by
Ann
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Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation of 1870
The first North American Mother’s Day was conceptualized with Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870.
Despite having penned The Battle Hymn of the Republic twelve years earlier, Howe had become so distraught by the death and carnage of the Civil War that she called on Mother’s to come together and protest what she saw as the futility of their Sons killing the Sons of other Mothers.
With the following, she called for an international Mother's Day celebrating peace and motherhood:
The first North American Mother’s Day was conceptualized with Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870.
Despite having penned The Battle Hymn of the Republic twelve years earlier, Howe had become so distraught by the death and carnage of the Civil War that she called on Mother’s to come together and protest what she saw as the futility of their Sons killing the Sons of other Mothers.
With the following, she called for an international Mother's Day celebrating peace and motherhood:
Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts,
Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears
Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
"We women of one country
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with
Our own.
It says, "Disarm, Disarm!
" The sword of murder is not the balance of justice!
Blood does not wipe out dishonor
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have of ten forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war.
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions.
The great and general interests of peace.
The Rise & Fall of Howe's Mother's Day
At one point Howe even proposed converting July 4th into Mother’s Day, in order to dedicate the nation’s anniversary to peace. Eventually, however, June 2nd was designated for the celebration.
In 1873 women’s groups in 18 North American cities observed this new Mother’s holiday. Howe initially funded many of these celebrations, but most of them died out once she stopped footing the bill. The city of Boston, however, would continue celebrating Howe’s holiday for 10 more years.
Despite the decided failure of her holiday, Howe had nevertheless planted the seed that would blossom into what we know as Mother’s Day today. A West Virginia women’s group led by Anna Reeves Jarvis began to celebrate an adaptation of Howe’s holiday. In order to re-unite families and neighbors that had been divided between the Union and Confederate sides of the Civil War, the group held a Mother’s Friendship Day.
Anna M. Jarvis's Mother's Day in 1908
After Anna Reeves Jarvis died, her daughter Anna M. Jarvis campaigned for the creation of an official Mother’s Day in remembrance of her mother and in honor of peace.
In 1908, Anna petitioned the superintendent of the church where her Mother had spent over 20 years teaching Sunday School. Her request was honored, and on May 10, 1908, the first official Mother's Day celebration took place at Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia and a church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The West Virginia event drew a congregation of 407 and Anna Jarvis arranged for white carnations — her Mother’s favorite flower — to adorn the patrons. Two carnations were given to every Mother in attendance.
Today, white carnations are used to honor deceased Mothers, while pink or red carnations pay tribute to Mothers who are still alive.
Andrew's Methodist Church was incorporated into the International Mother’s Day Shrine in the late 1960's, and in 1992, became a National Historic Landmark for its significance in the establishment of a national Mother's Day celebration.
US Government Adoption
In 1908 a U.S. Senator from Nebraska, Elmer Burkett, proposed making Mother's Day a national holiday at the request of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). The proposal was defeated, but by 1909 forty-six states were holding Mother's Day services as well as parts of Canada and Mexico.
Anna Jarvis quit working and devoted herself full time to the creation of Mother's Day, endlessly petitioning state governments, business leaders, women groups, churches and other institutions and organizations. She finally convinced the World's Sunday School Association to back her, a key influence over state legislators and congress. In 1912 West Virginia became the first state to officially recognize Mother's Day, and in 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance, declaring the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.
The Fight Over Commercialization
The holiday flourished in the United States. Flowers, especially white carnations, became a very popular part of the celebration. One business journal, Florists Review, went so far as to print, “This was a holiday that could be exploited.” But the budding commercialization of Mother's Day greatly disturbed Jarvis, who vociferously opposed what she perceived as a misuse of the holiday.
In 1923 Jarvis sued to stop a Mother’s Day event. In the 1930's she was arrested for disturbing the peace at the American War Mothers group: She was protesting their sale of flowers. Jarvis also petitioned against a postage stamp featuring her Mother with a vase of white carnations and the word “Mother’s Day.” Jarvis was able to have the words “Mother’s Day” removed ... but the flowers remained.
In 1938, Time Magazine ran an article about Jarvis's fight to copyright Mother's Day, but by then it was already too late to change the commercial trend.
In opposition to the flower industry’s exploitation of the holiday, Jarvis wrote, “What will you do to route charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers and other termites that would undermine with their greed one of the finest, noblest and truest movements and celebrations?” Despite her efforts, flower sales on Mother's Day continued to grow. Florist's Review wrote, “Miss Jarvis was completely squelched.”
Anna Jarvis died in 1948, blind, poor and childless. Jarvis would never know that it was, ironically, The Florist's Exchange that had anonymously paid for her care.
Worldwide Spread of Mother's Day
By the time of Anna M. Jarvis's death, over 40 countries observed the Mother’s Day. Today that number exceeds 70.