8-15-14 Sangha Update and some schedule changes

Good Morning!

The cosmos is filled with precious gems. I want to offer a handful of them to you this morning. Each moment you are alive is a gem, shining through and containing earth and sky, water and clouds.It needs you to breathe gently for the miracles to be displayed. Suddenly you hear the birds singing, the pines chanting, see the flowers blooming...

excerpt from Our True Heritage by Thich Nhat Hanh
complete poem below...
“Speak only if it improves upon the silence.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Dear Friends,

I hope you are all well and happy and breathing in such a way for the miracles to be displayed.
We will be able to breathe together on Sunday evening at 6 PM at our home at 725 Matunuck School House Rd in Wakefield, RI. We will have sitting and walking meditation (outdoors, weather permitting). I will offer a talk and we will share the Dharma. I hope that you will be able to be with us. It will be a delight to practice together again.
This is also a reminder that we will have our third Saturday of the month OI/Aspirant gathering at the Bell Street Chapel this  Saturday morning at 10 AM. We will have a Recitation Ceremony of the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings and share about practicing with the Sutra on Measuring and Reflecting and whatever else is alive in our practice. This is open to Order members, aspirants and anyone who would like to learn more about our Order. I hope you will be able to join us.
I will also be facilitating the Radiant Bell Sangha from 8-9:45, also at the Bell Street Chapel ...if you would like to join us for that before the OI/Aspirant gathering.
The third Sunday, Sept. 21 will be held at the Van Horn home
The fourth Sunday, Sept. 28 will be at our home.
Please also remember the RI Community of Mindfulness picnic at Colt State Park on September 27th. The Mind Tamers are once again organizing a picnic for the entire Community of Mindfulness. Thank you Mind Tamers! It will take place on Saturday, September 27th at shelter #3 in the beautiful Colt State Park. We  will share a vegetarian potluck picnic and ask everyone to contribute games, stories, songs, poems, etc. It is always a lot of fun. I hope you all will be able to be with us. (I will pass on more info as I receive it)
The website Bodhisattvas are looking for help with the joannefriday.com website. If you have abilities in this area and would like to help please contact Shana at shanalk2003@yahoo.com
I am including a letter below from our OI sister Ann Woods. There will be a retreat at Blue Cliff Monastery in November for veterans of all wars and they are looking for contributions for a scholarship fund so that all who want to attend will be able to. Please consider helping if you are able.
Once again I apologize for being out of touch. I have been in PA with my father most of the summer.
Right now I am home and enjoying every minute of it. The Cooper's hawks who are nesting in our yard had two babies and they are learning to fly. They have to fail many, many times before they succeed...a wonderful teaching for me. How amazing...the competence of the parents...the wisdom of nature...it's a wonderful cosmos of which we are a part!
I hope to see you all soon.
with much love and deepest gratitude for every one of you,

Dear Sangha Friends,
May this find you enjoying a day filled with lightness and ease.  Please excuse this message, if it duplicates one you have already received.
As you may be aware, Thay Phap Uyen (Brother Michael), of Magnolia Grove Monastery, is a veteran of Desert Storm/Desert Shield.  This November, Brother Michael, supported by the Brothers and Sisters of Blue Cliff and a group of lay practitioners, will offer a healing retreat for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  It is his sincere wish that this be the first in a series of annual retreats that bring healing practices to those who are suffering from traumatic brain injury, PTSD, anger, fear, despair and loneliness. 

Many of these veterans have insufficient resources to enable them to travel to and attend the retreat.  The following is a message from Brother Michael –
“Please help make this retreat possible for the people who have been called to serve our country.  Whether we hold a perception that the war was right or wrong, these veterans still have the right to heal after they have been put in harm’s way.  PTSD is not an individual problem, it is the problem of our generation.  We all know someone who is in the military or has served.  The rate of suicide and PTSD is rising, and we have a chance to help them.
Each of us can help by sending the link below to our sanghas, friends and family.  If you have a Facebook page, Twitter account, blog or other social media connection, please use it to let people know about this campaign, and encourage them to pass it on to others they know.  We hope you will also offer your financial support, if you are able.” 

More information about the retreat is available on the Blue Cliff Monastery Facebook page.
With a deep bow of gratitude for your practice and your support,
Anne Woods