7-2-16 Sangha Update

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A portrait of all of us... all of the energy and potential to bloom beautifully!

“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud --- the obstacles of life and its suffering. ... The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. ... Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one. ” ― Goldie Hawn

"No mud, No lotus" Thich Nhat Hanh

Dear Friends,

I hope you are well and happy and enjoying this beautiful day and are riding the waves of uncertainty with equanimity!

This is just a reminder that we will have an opportunity to expand our capacity for doing just that tomorrow evening at 6 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of South Kingstown. Along with our sitting meditation.....Clare writes....

"We will continue our reading of "Creating True Peace" and emphasize everyday practices to put into place now. We will also have our recitation of the five mindfulness trainings. We welcome anyone who is able to join us. "

Speaking of practice, the 21 day retreat in Plum Village just ended and the recordings of the talks given by Lay and Monastic Dharma teachers are available on YouTube. Just go to YouTube and search for "Vulture Peak Retreat" .

Save the Date!!!! RI Community of Mindfulness Sangha Picnic Saturday, September 10, 121 o'clock until 3 or so! Bring your family, friends, games, songs, poems, a vegetarian dish to share and your joyful self! I hope you will be able to join us and be a part of this picture!

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Save Another Date!!! The New London Community of Mindfulness has invited me to offer a weekend retreat at Senexet House in Woodstock, CT from Friday, Oct. 14- Sunday, Oct 16. Registration has not yet opened. ...but if you would like to join us, please save the date.I will keep you posted.

A retreat for those facilitating Sanghas is being organized by the Dharma Teachers Council from Oct 20-23.

The Sangha Building Committee of the North American Dharma Teachers Sangha is happy to announce that we are offering a 4-day retreat for Sangha facilitators at Blue Cliff Monastery (www.bluecliffmonastery.org), 90 miles north of New York City, next October 20-23. With Dharma teachers John Bell, Dennis Bohn, Joanne Friday, Jack Lawlor, and other lay and monastic Dharma Teachers, with the support of the Blue Cliff monastic community. We hope you will consider attending. Please spread the word, and pass this information to other sangha facilitators. (I have included more info below.)

I hope that you will be able to be with us tomorrow....it will be so good to be with you again. In the meantime, I send you the freshness of a summer breeze cleansed by the fireworks that nature provided for us last night.

much love, Joanne

SANGHA FACILITATOR RETREAT Thursday Oct 20 (6 pm) – Sunday Oct 23 (1 pm) This retreat is for lay Sangha facilitators in the Plum Village Tradition. We recognize that the Sangha facilitator is a vital link for Thay's continuation, and would like to support facilitators to deepen skills, connect with one another by practicing together, and share experiences around common issues that arise when facilitating a Sangha. Open to all practitioners (OI or not) who are facilitating or want to facilitate a Sangha in the Plum Village Tradition. Likely topics will be organized around several themes:

Form or No Form?

  • Structuring Sangha Gatherings- Dharma sharing, centrality of formal practice, social time
  • Orientation for newcomers
  • Selecting topics or texts for Dharma sharing; use of sutras
  • Other practices: chanting, 5 mindfulness training recitation, socials, prostrations

Frequent Challenges

  • Diversity and Inclusiveness
  • Interpersonal tensions; mental health disorders
  • Supporting Sangha facilitators
  • Are you a "Thich Nhat Hanh Sangha"?
  • Decision making and governance

Enhancing Sangha Practice

  • The mindfulness bell; Sangha chanting; enjoying ceremonies

Registration information.

There are approximately 70 beds available on site, in sharing dormitory style. Cost includes 3 nights lodging (Thurs-Sat) and 9 vegetarian meals (Thurs dinner-Sun lunch): Adult, dorm: $180-$330; seniors (65 & up) and teens $120-$240. Campers $120-240. Commuter rate: $120-$240. Registrants are asked to attend Thurs-Sunday, no partial attendance. Thank you. Please register at http://www.bluecliffmonastery.org/register-for-a-retreat/. Go to “Group Registration”. Write “Sangha Facilitators Retreat” as name of retreat. Some scholarships available.