May each of us who wants peace on earth Make a commitment to transform the anger, hatred and violence in our own hearts. May each of us who wants a world without conflict Make a commitment to resolve, in our own lives, all conflicts however small. May each of us who wants peace on earth and every child to be safe and happy Make a commitment to help those parents we know who are struggling May each of us who wants peace on earth Make a commitment to work for justice - without justice for all there cannot be true peace for any. May each of us who wants peace on earth Make a commitment to do our best to relieve suffering wherever we find it. May each of us who yearns for peace Make a commitment to expand our capacity for love, compassion and understanding for ourselves, each other and the planet. May each of us who wants to live in peace Awaken to the interdependent nature of all that is and realize that happiness is not an individual matter. May all beings truly be peace so that the awakened, beloved community can become a reality on earth.
I hope this finds you happy and healthy and that your new year is off to a wonderful start.
I wanted to thank all of you who were able to be with us for our New Year Ceremony. It was so beautiful to hear about all of the ancestors and all of the strengths that are present in our Sangha. To start the New Year in peace and joy with all of you is a true blessing.
I also wanted to thank you for your generosity during the month of December. All of the dana enabled us to make substantial contributions to all three non-profits....the Welcome House, the Jonnycake Center and The RI Food Bank as well donate copies of "Be Free Where You Are" for the York women's prison in CT.
This is a reminder that there will be a gathering this coming Sunday at 6 PM at the West home. (directions below) We will enjoy sitting/walking/sitting meditation, share some of Thay's teachings from the Mindfulness Survival Kit and share the Dharma. I hope you will be able to be with us.
The Mindfulness Survival Kit focuses on the Five Mindfulness Trainings and Thay's commentaries about them. There will be a Day of Mindfulness in Franklin, MA on March 5 during which, there will be a transmission of the Five Trainings. For those of you who are interested in receiving formal transmission, the Mindfulness Survival Kit is wonderful preparation.
I mentioned at our last gathering that we need to have a meeting to form a Care Taking Committee to oversee the activities and decisions of the Sangha. I would hope that all of you who are presently facilitating gatherings and anyone who has been practicing with the sangha regularly will consider joining us. This will not be a huge commitment...we will be meeting only 2-3 times/year. If you have benefited from the practice and would like to see it shared and continued, please join us. Here is a link to a doodle poll with some possible dates for a meeting. http://doodle.com/poll/gevcuvi48tawb7te I hope you will take a moment to fill it out, so we can find a date that will work for most.
Generations Sangha. This is also a reminder that there will be a gathering of the Generations Sangha tomorrow, Saturday, January 9. This is a sangha for all ages. We enjoy singing, sharing practices, there are projects for the children and a sit and sharing for the adults. We meet from 10- 11:30 and share snacks and fellowship from 11:30 and 12 for those who can stay. This Sangha needs the support of experienced practitioners. If you enjoy being with children and feel that it is important to begin to practice as early as we can, you might want to consider joining us to support young parents and children in the practice. I find it to be delightful!
If you know folks who do not meditate regularly and have hypertension you might like to let them know about this study that is being conducted by our own Eric Loucks at Brown University. Below is an announcement for an NIH-funded research study that is evaluating the effects of a mindfulness-based intervention on blood pressure. We are currently recruiting for the next cycle that begins at the end of February. If are willing, could you please forward this to anyone who may be interested, or may be able to help spread the word about this study? The graphic is also attached, in case you would like to post it on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media. They are planning interventions to take place approximately every 4 months for the next 4 years.
Also at our last meeting Al and Phyllis shared that Phyllis's daughter will be giving a dulcimer concert at St. Peter's Parish Hall to benefit the St. Peter's Community Market. Admission is free, but non-perishable food donations are gladly accepted. This will take place Sunday, January 17 at 4 PM. More information is available below.
Thanks again for ringing in the new year in such a nourishing way. May all beings be happy, healthy, fearless and at peace.
with much love, Joanne
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)!
UPDATE FROM PLUM VILLAGE
Plum Village, France January 8, 2016
To all Plum Village Practice Centers, To all Practice Centers and Sanghas world wide, To our Dear Beloved Friends,
Since the dawn of the New Year, Thay has very clearly communicated to us a wish to return to his hermitage in Plum Village, France. Thay is satisfied with the progress he has made so far, thanks to the phenomenal care and attention of the doctors at UCSF, as well as all the many wonderful therapists treating him in the past six months. Thay would now like to return home to benefit from the healing collective energy there and to be with his Plum Village family. The doctors approved of Thay’s decision and assured us that Thay could make the journey without risk. The attendant team will continue to care for our teacher around the clock and to find the most appropriate therapies.
We are very happy to announce that Thay arrived safely at Bergerac airport in France this afternoon (Friday 8th January), and returned to his hermitage in Plum Village, to a warm welcome of songs and smiles from his monastic disciples.
We are profoundly grateful for all the support and loving donations that Thay and the attendants have received throughout their stay in San Francisco. The loving embrace of the global Sangha has allowed Thay to make great progress on his path of recovery, and he returns to Plum Village invigorated and full of joy. On the eve of the New Year, Thay joined in the joyful celebrations with his attendants, smiling and humming along as they sang. In the last few days, Thay has also enjoyed listening animatedly to recordings of his own voice reading some of his best-loved poems. We are all happy to trust in Thay’s new intuition to return to Plum Village. In the coming weeks we will celebrate the Lunar New Year, the Daffodil Festival, and the Great Ordination Ceremony at Plum Village, and are very happy to know that Thay will be able to enjoy these celebrations with us.
We continue to practice together to care for our teacher, to care for ourselves, and to care for the present moment; by doing so we can assure a bright future that contains the love of community, sisterhood and brotherhood. We are deeply grateful for the supportive energy that everyone is sending our teacher, and invite you to continue doing so as we turn this new page.
With love and trust,
The Monks and Nuns of Plum Village http://plumvillage.org/news/an-update-on-thays-health-8th-january-2016/