1-2-16 Sangha Update

993865_10153233467310759_6396965413162483843_nThe New Year bonfire at Blue Cliff Monastery

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.


Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” Carl Bard

. “Whatever you do or dream you can do – begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it”. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.” Alan Cohen

Dear Friends,

We have successfully completed yet another trip around the sun! It has been a total delight to have all of you as traveling companions.

It is customary in our culture to make resolutions to get healthier through diet, exercise, etc Although all of these are worthy undertakings, to me, they are merely exercises in  rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, if we do not also change our minds. Neuroscientists are finding that one of the primary contributors to good health is being part of community. We have a chance to do both of these things, change our minds and be part of a community,  tomorrow evening! So I hope you will be able to join us to welcome the New Year as we renew our commitment to transformation and healing.

We will have our annual New Year's Ceremony tomorrow evening at 6 PM at our home at 725 Matunuck School House Rd in Wakefield. We honor our ancestors and remember all of  our non-self elements. We look deeply at those qualities we want to cultivate in our new year. Please bring a bell, if you have one... and bells to share, if you have extras as we will offer a bell meditation to ring in the year.

The Clear Heart Sangha is overdo to have  a meeting of those interested in supporting the Sangha by being part of the Care Taking Committee. If  you presently host, facilitate or regularly participate in our Sangha Gatherings, I hope that you will take part in this group. There are very few meetings. Ideally, we will meet two-three times/year. This committee will focus on looking together at ways to strengthen the Sangha and better support our practice and each other. Any and all observations, suggestions, etc. are very welcome. I will be sending  a Doodle Poll as a separate email.  I hope you will respond to it so we can choose a date that will work for most of us.

Please remember that all of the upcoming retreats at Blue Cliff are listed at their website bluecliffmonastery.org Talks by Thay and some of the monastic Dharma Teachers are available at deerparkmonastery.org and at tnhaudio.com

I hope that you will be able to be with us tomorrow and in the meantime, I am sending you all of my best wishes for a brand new year filled with countless blessings.

with much love and gratitude for every one of you, Joanne