3-14-15 Sangha Update

photo courtesy of Richard FridaySun Setting on Winter....

"God never made an ugly landscape. All that the sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild." “The Wild Parks and Forest Reservations of the West” The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 81, Issue 483, January 1898.

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike. “The Yosemite” (1912), page 256.

John Muir

The joy of looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift. ~ Albert Einstein


Dear Friends,

I hope you are enjoying these last days of winter, as it melts and freezes and rains and snows and........

We will be gathering  tomorrow evening at 6 PM at our home. There will be a sitting meditation, I will offer a short talk and we will share the Dharma. I hope you will be able to be with us. Because of the melting and raining, etc., etc., the parking will be a bit tricky. If you park on the lawn...be as gentle as you can as it will probably be softened by the rain. It would also be helpful, if you are planning to attend, if you could car pool as the space is limited, by the lingering snow!  I hope you can be with us.

Please remember to contact Cindy  westnest5@verizon.net if you want to be on the googlegroups list serve she has created. It is a good way to connect over things like carpooling!

Next Saturday there will be an OI/Aspirant gathering at the Bell Street Chapel at 10 AM. This is for Order members, Aspirants and anyone else who is interested in learning more about our practice. We will recite the Fourteen Trainings and share the Dharma. I have asked the Aspirants to join me in practicing with the Five Trainings during our winter retreat time. We are on the Fourth training. I have copied it below. We are taking whatever part of the training that resonates with us and creating a mindfulness practice for ourselves. We are using Thay's book, "The Mindfulness Survival Kit" as the basis for our practice. Please join us if you like...the Radiant Bell Sangha meets before from 8:00 - 9:30. All are welcome to attend that meeting also.

If you are interested in attending the Aldersgate Retreat...please send the registration as soon as possible...you can access it at joannefriday.com. The last I heard it was just about filled. I will also be offering retreats near Toronto, Canada and Rochester, NY in April. If you know anyone in those areas, you might like to let them know. That info can be accessed at joannefriday.com also.

and purely for the fun of it...to water some seeds of joy.....this is a pure delight! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_bbt0_XjbQ


I hope you will be able to join us tomorrow and until then, I hope you are enjoying this moment.

with much love and the freedom of a raindrop for you, Joanne


Loving Speech and Deep Listening

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening in order to relieve suffering and to promote reconciliation and peace in myself and among other people, ethnic and religious groups, and nations. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to speaking truthfully using words that inspire confidence, joy, and hope. When anger is manifesting in me, I am determined not to speak. I will practice mindful breathing and walking in order to recognize and to look deeply into my anger. I know that the roots of anger can be found in my wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and in the other person. I will speak and listen in a way that can help myself and the other person to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to utter words that can cause division or discord. I will practice Right Diligence to nourish my capacity for understanding, love, joy, and inclusiveness, and gradually transform anger, violence, and fear that lie deep in my consciousness.