1-7-17 Sangha Update and CHANGE OF VENUE

Let it snow!
“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
"Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness.”
“It snowed last year too:
I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down
and I knocked my brother down
and then we had tea.”
Dear Friends,
I hope you have been enjoying this beautiful snow covered day.
Thanks to all of you who were able to be with us to celebrate our ancestors who are continuing in us. It was so lovely to hear the wonderful stories that they all had to tall. There were a few photos left on the altar....if they are yours, please let me know.
This is just a reminder that we will be gathering Sunday evening at 6 PM at our home instead of at the West's.
We will enjoy sitting meditation, I will offer a short talk and we will share the Dharma. I hope that you will be able to join us.
Also, we needed to cancel our Day of Mindfulness due to the snow...So if you had wanted to join us, but were not able, we are presently getting it rescheduled ...You might still be able to make it! I will keep you posted!
The Mid-Atlantic Sanghas have been gracious enough to organize mindful activities around the March in Washington on January 21. There is a lot of wonderful energy being generated....below is a letter from the Washington and Baltimore Sanghas and also a letter from Sister Ocean and the ARISE group. There has been a facebook page created and a website.....it's wonderful to be a part of such a vibrant community. We will be practicing Marching Meditation and going as a river in peace!
I hope that many of you will be able to join us for this. All of the info is below.
I hope you can be with us tomorrow. In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy this 
lovely reminder from Maya Angelou - 
May we all be the rainbow in somebody's cloud....
with much love and the deep peace of a snow covered night for you,
Subject: Women’s March on Washington: Housing, Gathering, and Walking Together
Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Plum Village Tradition,
Practitioners from the mindfulness communities of the Washington and Baltimore areas have come together to support the Women’s March on Washington on January 21, 2017.
Offering Housing: We would like to offer help to mindfulness practitioners in the Plum Village tradition who plan to travel to our area on the weekend of January 20-22.  A Mindfulness Community Bulletin Board  (http://mchb.createaforum.com ) provides a way for local practitioners to offer housing and for out-of-area practitioners to find hosts. Please share with others in your community.
Gathering: Mindfulness practitioners will gather together from 7:00 – 9:00 pm on Friday, January 20th, at Seekers Church for an evening of meditation, reflections, and Dharma sharing.  (Seekers Church is located at 276 Carroll St NW, Washington DC. It is across the street from the Takoma Metro station and adjacent to Takoma Park, Maryland.)
Walking Together: The mindfulness communities will also designate one or more meeting points so that mindfulness practitioners can walk together during the march.
More information about the evening and the meet-up places will appear on the Housing Bulletin Board ( http://mchb.createaforum.com ) and also on a special “Go as a River” Facebook page
We would be grateful if you would make announcements at your Sangha gatherings and publicize these offerings in any way you can.
If you have questions, please email us at MindfulMarch@gmail.com.
With appreciation,
Connie Anderson
Lori Perine
Mitchell Ratner
Tim McCormack
Scott Schang
and...from Sr. Ocean and ARISE......
Calling all Mindfulness Practitioners to
Go As A River
January 16-22, 2017
in support of
the Women’s March on Washington
(and New York, San Francisco, and elsewhere)
~ Meditation is no longer the work of individuals; meditation in our time should be a collective practice. Thich Nhat Hanh, Calming the Fearful Mind, p22.
Supported by the ARISE Sangha – Awakening through Race, Intersectionality, and Social Equity.*
Call to Practice
We invite all practitioners and Sanghas in the United States and beyond to dedicate their practice during the week of Monday, January 16th (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) to Sunday, January 22nd (the weekend following the inauguration) to cultivating understanding and compassion for ourselves and our country, and healing from the violence, hatred, and fear that has intensified during the past year's election.  There is no true peace without justice and equity for all.
Begin by listening deeply within to develop clarity as to what you're thinking, feeling, and perceiving in response to the events of the day.  Reflect on the first and second of the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings:  We will train ourselves to look at everything with openness and the insight of interbeing in order to transform dogmatism and violence in ourselves and in the world... 
And: Aware of the suffering created by attachment to views and wrong perceptions, we are determined to avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views... 
Dedicate your walking meditation and sitting meditation practice to generating the energy of compassion and healing with each step and each breath you take.  Practice Deep Listening with yourself to with someone you don't understand and bring Loving Speech into your conversations (see the 4th MT below). Read Thay's “Calming the Fearful Mind: a Zen Response to Terrorism” and practice Dharma Sharing on the topics raised. These teachings are remarkably relevant today. Practice Touching the Earth (below). Listen to and meditate upon Alone Again, the song created from Thay's poem Recommendation. See a full list of resources for practice here.
Call to Action
Join members of the Thich Nhat Hanh Sangha and other traditions from across the country as we march together in peace for justice for all at the Women's March on Washington. People of all genders are invited. We will practice Marching Meditation to hold love for each other as a Beloved Community committed to justice for the disenfranchised as so many of our ancestors have done before. Sangha members will also participate in marching meditation in New York CitySan Francisco and other sister cities.
Click here for the Sangha facebook page organizing housing and events in Washington DC (including sitting meditation, Dharma Sharing, Deep Listening and more) to turn the march into a true Day of Mindfulness. Please reply to this email if you would like your local event linked to this. See the full description of the march and other links below.
This call to practice and to action is supported by the ARISE Sangha – Awakening through Race, Intersectionality, and Social Equity.*
ARISE is a group of lay practitioners and monastics in the Plum Village tradition who have come together to heal the wounds of racial injustice and racial and social systemic inequity within ourselves and within the Mahasangha, with the energy of compassion, understanding and love.
Our Vision
We aspire to engage the Plum Village community worldwide in the work of healing the wounds of racial injustice and social inequity, beginning with looking deeply within ourselves.  We seek a worldwide Manyfold Community that is consciously and committedly engaged in the work of transformation and healing of racial injustice and social inequity.  In so doing, we aspire to nourish and protect Beloved Community in our Manyfold Community and beyond.
On January 21, 2017 we will unite in Washington, DC for the Women’s March on Washington. We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families -- recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.
The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us--women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.

In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.

We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all.

How to connect with Sangha members attending the March?
Resources for Practice
Songs for Marching Meditation
Mindfulness Trainings
The First Mindfulness Training: Openness
Aware of the suffering created by fanaticism and intolerance, we are determined not to be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. We are committed to seeing the Buddhist teachings as guiding means that help us develop our understanding and compassion. They are not doctrines to fight, kill, or die for. We understand that fanaticism in its many forms is the result of perceiving things in a dualistic and discriminative manner. We will train ourselves to look at everything with openness and the insight of interbeing in order to transform dogmatism and violence in ourselves and in the world.
The Second Mindfulness Training:Non-attachment to Views
Aware of the suffering created by attachment to views and wrong perceptions, we are determined to avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. We are committed to learning and practicing non-attachment to views and being open to others’ experiences and insights in order to benefit from the collective wisdom. We are aware that the knowledge we presently possess is not changeless, absolute truth. Insight is revealed through the practice of compassionate listening, deep looking, and letting go of notions rather than through the accumulation of intellectual knowledge. Truth is found in life, and we will observe life within and around us in every moment, ready to learn throughout our lives.
The Fourth Mindfulness Training:  Loving Speech and Deep Listening
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening in order to relieve suffering and to promote reconciliation and peace in myself and among other people, ethnic and religious groups, and nations. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to speaking truthfully using words that inspire confidence, joy, and hope. When anger is manifesting in me, I am determined not to speak. I will practice mindful breathing and walking in order to recognize and to look deeply into my anger. I know that the roots of anger can be found in my wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and in the other person. I will speak and listen in a way that can help myself and the other person to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to utter words that can cause division or discord. I will practice Right Diligence to nourish my capacity for understanding, love, joy, and inclusiveness, and gradually transform anger, violence, and fear that lie deep in my consciousness.