1-28-17 Sangha Update - No Gathering Today

A Magic Formula

When you are with the Sangha, Being held by the Sangha Magic happens. But if you are asleep, you will not see it, Each sister and brother holding you In compassionate understanding, Holding you in unconditional acceptance, Holding your difficulties So there is transformation and healing, Holding your goodness So it grows and blossoms beyond you, Holding you in their sisterhood and brotherhood. And although the magic has no words It still works its miracles.

A poem by William Menza (a Dharma Teacher in our Order, who died in 2015 and has been sorely missed), shared by Susan Glogovac

Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you well and enjoying this bright winter day.

This is a reminder that there is no gathering today as it is the 5th Sunday.

I wanted to thank all of you who took part in the Day of Mindfulness yesterday. It was so good to see that we had over 50 people interested in strengthening our practice and our Sanghas and creating a beloved community. It was wonderful to hear from several members who had attended the Blue Cliff Retreat to share what they had learned and really beautiful to watch everyone work together to do everything that needed to be done. Sharing food, sharing friendship, sharing the work....and thank you all for your generosity of spirit. Thanks to your generosity, we were able to give a large donation to the Westminster Unitarian Church which has been so good to us. I am so grateful to see Thay continuing so beautifully and to be a part of such a sweet community.

This was all even more encouraging because we are living in tumultuous times and need to be able to be peace so we can have clarity and know what to do and what not to do. We are fortunate in that there are members of our community who are organizing a Social Action Committee. There were many from the Sangha who marched in Providence, Washington, Boston, New York, Chicago, Asbury Park<NJ and even Oaxaca, Mexico. We are confronted with many challenges to human rights and a time or reevaluating the values of our country. The Social Action Committee will be sending out a survey shortly. If you are interested in learning more about the Committee please join our googlegroup, which is where the information and conversations will take place. Just contact Cindy West who oversees that group and let her know. westnest5@verizon.net

In our Order we are committed to not acting out of hatred or anger or fear, to not create dualities - a them and us mentality. So we act out of love for our fellow human beings, not out of hatred for anyone. Thay tells us that man is not the enemy it is the anger, hatred, violence and fear in man that is the problem. We are also committed to engaging and standing up to injustice wherever we meet it, even at the risk of our own safety. This is a very difficult and deep practice.

In order to take effective and right action, it is especially important now, that we have been given admittedly "alternative facts" , for us to do our best to look deeply to get to the truth. Right now we are experiencing a closing of our borders to refugees from 7 countries. According to the Huffington Post," There have been zero fatal terror attacks on U.S. soil since 1975 by immigrants from the seven Muslim-majority countries President Donald Trump targeted with immigration bans on Friday, further highlighting the needlessness and cruelty of the president’s executive order. Between 1975 and 2015, foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen killed exactly zero Americans on U.S. soil, according to an analysis of terror attacks by the Cato Institute. "

If you are interested in this situation, I have included a video below that tries to set the record straight about the facts about the refugees in this country...I have also included an article in which the Pope reminds us of the injunctions for Christians when dealing with refugees. You can easily contact your elected officials...however you feel about this situation...their numbers are available at https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

I hope that you will be with us for the first Sunday meeting next Sunday and in the meantime, I hope that you will remember to breathe to your belly every 15 minutes, to come back to yourself and to water lots of seeds of joy, as there is a lot of suffering for us to deal with. And just as there is a lot of suffering....there is infinite joy available to us as well!

Until next we meet , please know, I am sending...

much love and deep gratitude for interbeing with all of you, Joanne

Facts about Refugees https://www.facebook.com/joanne.friday.98

Pope Francis: You cannot reject refugees and call yourself a Christian http://usuncut.com/news/pope-francis-cannot-reject-refugees-call-christian/