Blue Sky, White Clouds
Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.
Thich Nhat Hanh
This world of ours...
must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.
Dwight D Eisenhower
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.
I hope you are all well and enjoying all of the conditions for happiness that exist in this present moment.
We will be gathering this evening at our home at 725 Matunuck School House Rd at 6 PM. We will enjoy sitting/walking /sitting meditation - I will offer a talk looking at cultivating fearlessness. We will share the Dharma and enjoy our togetherness...hope you can be with us.
CORRECTION!!!! I have learned from the planners of the Sangha Picnic that it will begin at 12 noon...I had previously thought it was 11...so sorry! I hope that you will be able to join us on Sept 21 for a vegetarian potluck at Colt State Park shelter #3 . You are invited to bring friends, family, friendly pets, games, songs, etc. I hope you will be able to be with us.
We received the heartbreaking news that the 38 year old son of James Kershner of the Cape Sangha passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack this past week.
Many of you know James from the Cape Sangha Retreats..Please hold him and his family in your hearts and in your prayers...If you would like to send him some love, you can send it to PO Box 585 W. Barnstable, MA 02668
Please continue to keep Renee in your hearts and prayers as she continues to recover from shoulder surgery. She reports that she is doing well but it will be a while before she is able to drive.
Also there were a number of Sangha members who took part in the rally at the Wyatt Detention Center the other evening to protest the treatment of immigrants. A prison guard ran into a line of protesters who were blocking the drive - injuring some of them. The rally was organized by a Jewish Group - Never Again Action -a spokesperson said, "We’re putting our bodies on the line because we see the camps and the roundups. We’ve learned from our ancestors: NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE."
It was breathtaking to see the truck driver run his truck into a line of human beings and to consider how his conditioning has disconnected him from his heart and the awareness that as humans, we are all inextricably connected. Christ said "whatever you did to the least of my brethren, you did to me"( Matthew 25,34-40.) The Buddha had the same insight...that of Interbeing. During our last gathering I offered some of the teachings from the Sutra on Transforming Violence and Fear ( I have included the first 5 verses below) , in which the Buddha shared about the sharp pointed knives that get lodged in our hearts when we have been hurt...and how, if we don't realize the cause, but only feel the pain, we transmit that pain to everyone we meet. This guard clearly had a sharp pointed knife in his heart. Please keep all of those involved in the protests, the immigrants and the guards in your prayers and send them lots and lots of metta.
In these turbulent times in which we live, I also try to remind myself of all of the good that is being done also...I like to be inspired to take action myself. Here is something I found to be very inspiring...I hope you do also...
If you find inspiring stories, you might like to share them with the rest of us on our google group. If you need to sign up for it, please contact Cindy West at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you will be able to be with us this evening...until then, enjoy this lovely day.
with much love and joy of baby hummingbirds at our feeder,
Sutra on Transforming
King Virudhaka Sutra no.16 of the Arthapada Taisho 198 (corresponding to Attadanda Sutta, Sutta Nipāta #935-954)
1) Let us listen and observe to understand how, from a peaceful and secure situation, we have brought society into a state of terrorism and violence? How have successive generations behaved for the situation to become like this? I want to talk to you about this suffering and tell you how I have been able to let go of fear.
2) People in the world experience one suffering after another like a fish living in a pond that is drying up day by day. In this situation, violent thoughts arise, and out of ignorance, people seek to relieve their suffering by terrorizing and punishing others.
3) The whole world is on fire with violence. Every part of the world is troubled. Nowhere is really safe and secure. Everyone sees himself as superior to others. Few people know how to let go of attachment. Unable to see this, people continue to nurture their wrong perceptions.
4) We tie ourselves up in our wrong perceptions which just bring more darkness and pain into our lives. I have looked deeply into the minds of unhappy people, and I have seen hidden under their suffering a sharp-pointed knife. Because they cannot see that sharp-pointed knife in their mind, it is difficult for them to bear the pain.
5) The pain brought about by the sharp-pointed knife lasts a long time and does not change and because they hold on to that knife wherever they go, their pain spills out into the world. Only when they have a chance to recognize the knife and take it out of their hearts, will their suffering cease, and only then will they stop causing suffering.