4-5-17 Sangha Update - Please read... change of venue

They're Back!!

“I give you this to take with you: Nothing remains as it was. If you know this, you can begin again, with pure joy in the uprooting.” ― Judith MintyLetters to My Daughters
“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke
“And the Spring arose on the garden fair, Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere; And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.” ― Percy Bysshe Shelley

Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you enjoying every minute of the emerging of springtime. It was a delight to be with you at our last gathering and being reminded of Beginning Anew. It is a wonderful and healing practice and this is the perfect time of year to renew our practice.

I wanted to let you know of a schedule change for the month of April.

Next Sunday at 6 PM, as usual for the Second Sunday, our gathering will be at the home of Cindy and John West. (directions are below) We will enjoy sitting/walking/sitting meditation, look at the next section of Thay's book, Silence and enjoy sharing the Dharma. I hope you will be able to attend.

The following Sunday, April 16 Easter!  the Wests will once again host our Third Sunday gathering at 6 PM  at their home.  A time of rebirth and a wonderful opportunity to begin again. Enjoy!

It is wonderful that our Social Action Committee has composed a short survey to get a sense of the interests of our community members. Please take a few minutes to fill this out...it is electronic and will be tallied and we will let you know the outcome. Thank you, thank you!

Here is a wonderful video of the Mahasangha taking part in the Women's March in Washington. Thay's niece, her husband and son were marching with us and her son created this video....enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFd8fn2wydY

This is the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King coming out against the Vietnam war with a powerful speech at the Riverside Church in New York City. Dr. King had been reluctant to come out against the war and received lots of criticism for it...so it took great courage for him to do that. It is thought the Thich Nhat Hanh played a part in his coming to his decision. Here is the link to the article...https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/04/opinion/when-martin-luther-king-came-out-against-vietnam.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0 .and below is Dr. King's letter about Thich Nhat Hanh. It's very inspiring.

And for those seeds of joy that need watering.....This should water every seed of joy in your consciousness...Bet you can't sit still! So don't! Get moving! Let's join those all around the world to make this world a better place....Yes, We can!!!.Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVHOqrw3Jks&feature=share

with much love and the wisdom of a daffodil bulb for you, Joanne

SURVEY from the Social Action Committee...if you have difficulties, please contact Ann G at Amski1965@yahoo.com

Dear Friends,

In our tradition we do our best to take our practice of mindfulness and being peace as an engaged practice, and in that spirit we have come to form the Social Action Committee, SAC,  to support the sangha, bringing engaged practice into the larger community.  As we are working on identifying the purpose and goals of this committee, we are asking for the input of all members of the Rhode Island Community of Mindfulness. We contemplated and reflected on the following from the Second Mindfulness Training to help support us in this effort. "Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, we are committed to cultivating generosity in our way of thinking, speaking, and acting. We will practice loving kindness by working for the happiness of people, animals, plants, and minerals, and sharing our time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need." In our SAC meetings we considered the following spheres: 1)  The personal needs of the sangha and its members, especially those who need particular care at home, such as providing transportation, visiting, contributing food, etc. 2)  The needs of our local communities, 3)  Activism regarding issues of our country and engagement in standing up to injustice, and 4)  Worldwide issues — from concerns about those in refugee camps and immigrants, to the issues of the environment.

The link to the survey is below.  We are asking for your participation in the following survey in order to help us to do the following:

1. Illuminate the current works of sangha members in forms of volunteer work that reflect the values of the Beloved Community. We want our little lights to shine! 2. Share ideas and encourage engagement in action for peace, justice, and service. This may include suggestions of activities that are done individually or forms of engagement that might be done in common. (E.g., one person suggested a community garden where the produce would be distributed to places that house the homeless. If three or four sangha members engaged in that practice, the benefits would be amazing, both for the recipients and the sangha “farmers”). 4. Keep each other informed of meetings and websites to support social action for human rights and community building. 5. Provide a vehicle for networking. How can Clear Heart Sangha, or the RICOM effectively link with each other and/or other activist groups for peace and justice? Thank you very much! We look forward to hearing from you and sharing the information to support our community, the RICOM in engaged practice! With deep appreciation for your practice, the SAC

Link to the survey:    2017 RICOM Social Action Committee Questionnaire Survey

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)!

Dr. King's Letter about nominating Thich Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace PrizeWe have been blessed with great teachers who embody courage and wisdom. Dr.King is a powerful example of what courage looks like. Dr. King's friendship with Thich Nhat Hanh was also influential in him coming out against the Vietnam War. In his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize he wrote... "As the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate of 1964, "I now have the pleasure of proposing to you the name of Thich Nhat Hanh for that award in 1967. I do not personally know of anyone more worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize than this gentle Buddhist monk from Vietnam. This would be a notably auspicious year for you to bestow your Prize on the Venerable Nhat Hanh. Here is an apostle of peace and non-violence, cruelly separated from his own people while they are oppressed by a vicious war which has grown to threaten the sanity and security of the entire world. Because no honor is more respected than the Nobel Peace Prize, conferring the Prize on Nhat Hanh would itself be a most generous act of peace. It would remind all nations that men of good will stand ready to lead warring elements out of an abyss of hatred and destruction. It would re-awaken men to the teaching of beauty and love found in peace. It would help to revive hopes for a new order of justice and harmony. I know Thich Nhat Hanh, and am privileged to call him my friend. Let me share with you some things I know about him. You will find in this single human being an awesome range of abilities and interests. He is a holy man, for he is humble and devout. He is a scholar of immense intellectual capacity. The author of ten published volumes, he is also a poet of superb clarity and human compassion. His academic discipline is the Philosophy of Religion, of which he is Professor at Van Hanh, the Buddhist University he helped found in Saigon. He directs the Institute for Social Studies at this University. This amazing man also is editor of Thien My, an influential Buddhist weekly publication. And he is Director of Youth for Social Service, a Vietnamese institution which trains young people for the peaceable rehabilitation of their country. Thich Nhat Hanh today is virtually homeless and stateless. If he were to return to Vietnam, which he passionately wishes to do, his life would be in great peril. He is the victim of a particularly brutal exile because he proposes to carry his advocacy of peace to his own people. What a tragic commentary this is on the existing situation in Vietnam and those who perpetuate it. The history of Vietnam is filled with chapters of exploitation by outside powers and corrupted men of wealth, until even now the Vietnamese are harshly ruled, ill-fed, poorly housed, and burdened by all the hardships and terrors of modern warfare. Thich Nhat Hanh offers a way out of this nightmare, a solution acceptable to rational leaders. He has traveled the world, counseling statesmen, religious leaders, scholars and writers, and enlisting their support. His ideas for peace, if applied, would build a monument to ecumenism, to world brotherhood, to humanity. I respectfully recommend to you that you invest his cause with the acknowledged grandeur of the Nobel Peace Prize of 1967. Thich Nhat Hanh would bear this honor with grace and humility. Sincerely, Martin Luther King, Jr.