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.
This coming Tuesday we will be gathering at 6:30 PM at St. Matthew's and Marks on Chapel Rd in West Barrington. We will enjoy sitting meditation, walking meditation, I will give a short talk and we will share the Dharma. It will be wonderful to be able to be with you again. I hope that you will all be able to join us.
It is wonderful to hear about all that has been happening...with the formation of a Care Taking Committee and lots of folks deepening their practice. You are a band of Bodhisattvas!
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.
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 for all of us 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.
TALKS FROM THE OI/ASPIRANT RETREAT ARE AVAILABLE
I was away at retreats for most of the month of April. For those of you who might be interested in the talks, panel discussions and question and answer sessions that were offered at the recent OI/Aspirant Retreat at Blue Cliff Monastery....the talks are all available on line at
If that link does not work, go to bluecliffmonastery.org...then click on the audiovideo link, then the new! lifestream Plum Village and Blue Cliff link ...that should get you there. Enjoy!
Because I was gone, I have fallen way behind...yet again...on my correspondence. If you tried to reach me...please try again. I apologize for not being more responsive.
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 especially 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!
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
all sanghas are welcoming
• yearly picnic
• 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.
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
SMALL GROUPS - Robert – point person
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,
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.
March 16, 2014
Rhode Island Community of Mindfulness
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.
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:
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
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.