12-18-15 Sangha Update

P1250007Blessings of the SeasonA Celebration of Light!

Darkness is not a symbol of negativity but the state, where we can concentrate on the real light of Life” ― Samar Sudha

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all doing direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. – Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities

In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer. – Albert Camus

Better to light a candle than curse the darkness - - Proverb

Dear Friends, I hope this finds you well and happy and enjoying this holiday season as we approach the solstice - Dec. 22. We will have an opportunity to enjoy the darkness and celebrate the light on Sunday evening at 6 PM. We will gather at our home, 725 Matunuck School House Rd. We will enjoy sitting meditation and focus on our practices for maintaining our equanimity amidst what can be a challenging time for many.  We will also share the Dharma and enjoy our togetherness.  It will be wonderful to be able to be with you.

PRAYER REQUEST Our dear Sangha sister, Judy Procaccini's mother passed away this week. Please hold Judy and her family in your hearts and in your prayers. Experiencing loss at this time of year is so difficult. You can send your condolences to Judy at 190 Clarke road, #204, Narragansett RI. 02882 or to  judyp@yahoo.com.

Tomorrow there will be a gathering of Order members and aspirants...and anyone who is interested in learning more about our Order, at the Bell Street Chapel at 10 AM. We will have a Recitation of the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings. We will look at our practice of those Trainings and share the Dharma. I hope that you will be able to join us....and if you'd like, you can join us in making  a morning of it, there will be a gathering of the Radiant Bell Sangha at the Chapel  from 8 - 9:45. All are welcome. What a delight!

When in NYC this last time, we met a young woman who had just returned from the island of Lesvos in Greece where she was creating a documentary tracing the journey of a family of refugees. It was heartbreaking to hear about her experience, but also so moving and inspiring to hear about the wonderful work so many young people are engaged in. We asked what groups she saw doing very effective work there.  She told us of a group of lifeguards from Barcelona, who hopped on a boat and went right to Greece and have been a terrific help in retrieving those who have been in boats that have capsized. They have saved many people. Their group is called Proactiva Open Arms and they can use any help we can give. http://en.proactivaopenarms.org

In a world where there is no coming or going, it seems I have been doing quite a bit of both! I apologize for being out of touch. This past week I spent three days with appointments at Sloan Kettering...I am happy to report that nothing has changed, nothing has spread! As my oncologist would say, my expiration date has been extended! I am hoping to be able to be home a lot more for a while, and will hopefully be able to be more responsive to emails and phone calls. If I have missed yours, please resend.

When we are dealing with challenges, it is important to water our seeds of joy...I hope this will water some of yours, enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1F0lBnsnkE

I also  hope that you will be able to be with us this weekend. Until then, may you be enjoying  every moment with your families, friends and sharing your abundance. Let your light shine!

with much love and the peace and joy of interbeing with all of you sweet beings, Joanne