11-4-17 Sangha Update

Fall is upon us...time to put on the woolies! (our neighbors already have!)

Thoughts about autumn....

“It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon.” ― Sarah Addison Allen, First Frost

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” ― Lauren DeStefano, Wither

Dear Friends,

I hope you are well and once again enjoying power and light and the sweet fragrance of fall..because it seems as if fall is finally upon us and a good reminder to have our clocks fall back one hour tonight!

This is just a reminder that there will be a gathering at the Unitarian Church on North Road in Peace Dale at 6 PM this coming Sunday. We will enjoy a sitting meditation, continue to learn some of Thay's teachings from the book Creating True Peace, share the Dharma and Recite the 5 Mindfulness Trainings. I hope you will be able to join us.

I had sent out a Sangha Survey...I will include it again below. Several answered, many did not. Please take a few minutes to respond...if you have not already... Now that I am done at Sloan Kettering, I will create a doodle poll for those who responded that they are willing to be part of the Care Taking Group for the Sangha.

A special thanks to Ann G and all who helped her to work with the Jane Pickens Theater in showing the film, "Walk With Me". It was sold out..so they have scheduled another showing for November 20. Some were disappointed as they had not gotten tickets on line and there were not any available at the door...so if you have not seen it, you may want to get your tickets on line through the Jane Pickens website.

There are all sorts of opportunities for Engaged Practice....from local to global. With the holidays approaching the local food banks and shelters are looking for lots of support.There is still lots of need in the areas that were devastated by, floods, fires and earthquakes....etc. There are also lots of opportunities to advocate for the disenfranchised in our country, when laws are being attempted to be enacted that could undermine our democracy, the proposed tax reform bill that would create more inequity between the haves and have nots...etc.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed at the rapidity with which things are being played out and it is is easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of information with which we are bombarded...When we are being told that we cannot trust the news, that there is only one view that matters*, it behooves us to remember to breathe, stop, calm, rest and look deeply in order to understand. I believe it has never been more important for us to be able to educate ourselves, not allow our seeds of hatred, anger and violence to be strengthened, and instead, with calm and clarity, to take effective action to protect our fellow beings, our country and the planet. That is what Thay has been teaching us to do all of his life. He is the one who convinced Dr. King to speak out against the Vietnam War.

Dr. Martin Luther King said, "History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

If you are interested in this, please sign up to be on our googlegroup. It is a way of communicating with other Sangha members directly...to make prayer requests...to offer ride sharing, to help Sangha members in need, as well as to get Social Action Updates..(they are marked as such, so you can choose what to open!) If you are interested, pease contact Cindy West westnest5@verizon.net

I hope you will be able to join us tomorrow. In the meantime, I hope you will be enjoying every moment.

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



From a website called Paradoxologies...sorry, it was not attributed to any author. On this anniversary of the March On Washington for civil rights, I have been looking for some choice quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. One pattern that I have found is his clarity in speaking out on complacency and inaction. Those who do nothing while witnessing injustice and wrong-doing do worse than those who commit acts of injustice. The privileged have a responsibility to do what they know is right.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.

We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

Pity may represent little more than the impersonal concern which prompts the mailing of a check, but true sympathy is the personal concern which demands the giving of one’s soul.

Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But… the good Samaritan reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

*"Let me tell you, the one that matters is me," Trump said in an interview that aired on Fox News on Thursday night. "I'm the only one that matters, because when it comes to it, that's what the policy is going to be. You've seen that, you've seen it strongly." The president was responding to a question from Fox's Laura Ingraham, who asked him, "Are you worried that the State Department doesn't have enough Donald Trump nominees in there to push your vision through?"

the entire article is at:


other sources: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/11/trump-on-unfilled-jobs-i-am-the-only-one-who-matters.html sadly, I searched Fox News for this story and could not find it, this was their coverage of the interview... http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/11/02/trump-unleashes-new-threat-on-north-korea-in-fox-news-interview.html

If anyone can find out if this was reported by that source, please let me know. thank you, thank you!


Dear Friends, I hope you are all well and enjoying this vibrant fall day. Please take a few moments to respond to this survey. It is always good to look deeply at our Sangha to see how it is supporting all of us and what changes we might make to be more supportive. The results will be used to help make our Care Taking meeting more fruitful. Thank you for supporting the Sangha. With lots of love, gratitude and the brilliance of a red leaf in the sunrise for you,Joanne

  1. What aspects of the sangha do you enjoy?
  2. In what ways do you feel the sangha supports your practice?
  3. How could the sangha better support your practice?
  4. Would you like to make any changes to the first of the month meeting?
    1. format?
    2. content?
    3. other?
  5. Would you like to make any changes to the second Sunday meeting?
    1. format
    2. content?
    3. other?
  6. Would you like to make any changes to the third Sunday meeting?
    1. format
    2. content?
    3. other?
  7. Would you like to make any changes to the fourth Sunday meeting?
    1. format
    2. content?
    3. other?
  8. Would you like to have Days of Mindfulness? If yes, how often?

    1. What topics would you like to see addressed?
  9. For two of our meetings, we use a book for the ground of our discussions….Are there any books that you would like to see us use in the future?
  10. Would you be willing to contribute to the sangha in any of the following ways?
    1. facilitate the discussion one month
    2. be bell master
    3. contribute cookies or fruit one month
    4. help organize a day of mindfulness
    5. help organize a retreat
    6. sangha welfare – keeping in touch with members who have no email, who are ill, etc.
    7. other
  11. Are there any other suggestions you would like to make?

Thank you, thank you!