An amarylis for you... a Buddha to be!
You are what you want to become. Why search anymore? You are a wonderful manifestation. The whole universe has come together to make your existence possible. There is nothing that is not you. The kingdom of God, the Pure Land, nirvana, happiness, and liberation are all you. - Thich Nhat Hanh
The moment you understand the importance of loving yourself, you will stop hurting others. — Thích Nhất Hạnh
We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness. – Thich Nhat Hanh
I hope you are all well and cozy and warm and aware of your state of interbeing.
We will have an opportunity to enjoy that state even more by being joyfully together on Sunday evening at 6 PM at the home of Cindy and John West. (directions below)We will enjoy sitting/walking and sitting meditation and continue to practice with the book "Reconciliation". I hope that you will be able to be with us.
There will be yet another opportunity tomorrow (Saturday) morning when the Generations Sangha will be meeting at Westminster Unitarian Church in East Greenwich. This is a Sangha meeting for all ages. There will be songs, projects for the children and Dharma sharing for the adults. The meeting goes from 10-11:30 followed by snacks! It is always a real peasure to be joyfully together with people of all ages and the children are a special delight. If you are able, come and join us.
Next Saturday is our monthly OI/Aspirant gathering at the Bell Street Chapel in Providence from 10-noon. This is open to Order Members, Aspirants and anyone who would like to learn more about our practice. There will be a recitation of the Fourteen Trainings and we will begin our Winter Retreat practice. This year I am inviting folks to look deeply at the Five Trainings, and practice with them. one at a time, for ten weeks. I was inspired to do this by being part of a discussion where folks were voicing their views on not eating meat as it pertains to the First Training. It was clear that it is very easy to fall into attachment to views and dualistic thinking if we are not mindful. I am including below, my contribution to the discussion about teachings that Thay has given us for practicing with those Trainings. We are so lucky to have the benefit of such a wonderful teacher who has given us practices to expand our compassion and be free. If you would like to join us in deepening our practice of those Trainings, you are all welcome.
SAVE THE DATE!!!!! Facilitating from Within: Facilitating Sanghas in the Tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh.
We will finally be having the much anticipated and long-awaited Day of Mindfulness on Facilitation on Saturday, January 24 at the First Unitarian Church in Providence, RI, from 10-3:30 all are welcome. If you presently facilitate at Sangha gatherings...or if you would like to learn about it and do that in the future...or if you are just interested...please join us. The last one was very fruitful and this one is coming together and promises to offer lots of new possibilities to benefit from the Sangha wisdom, to support each other as we practice together, and to be joyfully together. I hope you will be able to join us. Details will follow. We would like to have a volunteer to be registrar for this event. If you are available, please rsvp. Thank you, thank you!!
I have also been invited to offer a talk at 10 AM at the UU Congregation of South County this Sunday morning ..."Happy Holidays - with Love from the Buddha. " I will be sharing some practices that the Buddha gave us to be truly happy for the holidays.
PRAYER REQUEST I am yet again having to undergo testing at Sloan Kettering on Monday. Please send metta.
Happy Holidays!....Here are gifts that the universe gives us...these are some of the most amazing photos I have ever seen of this glorious cosmos of which we are a part. Enjoy!!!!
With much love, many hugs and the joy of interbeing with all of you, Joanne
LETTER ABOUT THAY'S TEACHINGS ON THE FIVE MINDFULNESS TRAININGS.
Good Morning (or Evening...depending on where you are) Dear Brothers and Sisters,
A deep bow to all who have shared and created a wonderful opportunity for listening in order to understand. As the Buddha has said, there are 84,000 Dharma doors.
It is very moving to be a part of a community which is attempting to live in harmony, look deeply enough to cut through and collapse seeming dualities and practice inclusiveness and interbeing.
Thay describes inclusiveness as the ability to accept a person with differing views, exactly as they are, without any expectations that they will ever change. He added that when we can do this, we can create enough spaciousness so that they can change if they choose to.
I remember Sr. Chan Khong, sharing that Thay has been very clear that there are no absolutes in Buddhism. She said that many years ago the Vatican had sent out a petition against abortion for Thay to sign. They felt that in light of the first Training, Thay would surely sign. He would not sign it, saying that there are no absolutes. He said that every decision must be made by looking deeply at what will cause the least amount of suffering for all involved. This can be different for every individual. The only absolute is that we will experience the consequences of whatever actions we take.
Clearly, not eating meat is very important to Thay. I also remember Sr. Chan Khong saying that Thay had shared that he would rather have dinner with carnivores than self-righteous vegetarians.
We are all doing our best to live in integrity and using the Trainings as our North Star. We all have our own karma, cultural and familial conditioning and transgenerational habit energies which, in my own case, are being transformed extraordinarily slowly. I have found that by practicing looking deeply and developing understanding and love for myself, instead of criticizing and judging myself, little signs of transformation have emerged. I have found that when I can accept myself as I am with no expectations that I will ever change and hold myself with love and an understanding of the depth of my challenges (knowing that I have all of this in common with 100%of human beings),I can have more love, acceptance and compassion for myself and everyone else. There are no dualtities...we are all on the Path.
May all of us love one another and listen to each other. May all of us see each other with the eyes of compassion as the precious wonders of life that we are.
with much love and a deep bow of gratitude for interbeing with each of you, your sister, Joanne Chan Lac Thi True Joy of Giving
DIRECTIONS TO THE WEST HOME
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)!