December 29, 2010

This Sunday January 2nd at Alameda Sangha: The 10 Paramis: Dana (Generosity)

Hello Everyone,
May this find you well and looking forward to the New Year.
By popular requests, I will be starting the 10 Paramis as I did in January of this year. These are the 10 Perfections of the heart and mind that we try to cultivate in order to reach liberation. The practices are uplifting and I look forward to offering the talks on each one once again.

This Sunday, we will be starting with the first Parami, which is Dana or Generosity. In conjunction with the talk,  my daughter Natasha will be speaking about the Buddhist Global Relief which is a really amazing organization started by the Venerable Bikkhu Bodhi (A NY monk trained in Sri Lanka who was responsible for translating most of the discourses of the Buddha into English.) that addresses world hunger including within the United States.

Hoping to see most of you there, much gratitude for your practice,

December 27, 2010

This week's work with the inner critic

Hello and much gratitude for coming last night,
It was inspiring to see how many of you are so interested in working with the inner critic and overcoming his/her destructive effects on your life.

So the work for this week: Reflect on the triggers (situations) that encourage the arriving of the judge in your mind and what you can do to avoid these triggers if possible, or if not, how you can work with the judge so he doesn't continue to have a destructive effect on your life, your psyche and your mind.
Personalize your own metta phrases that you can practice saying to yourself each morning and at other times during the day, to break the trance of stress, anxiety or fear. This may even help with papanca (the Pali word for mental proliferation).
The classic phrases for metta practice are: May I be  happy, May I be safe, and May I live in peace and harmony. You can work to customize your own metta phrases from these.
Remember that this can be emotionally challenging work so direct lots of compassion towards yourself during the investigation process. Best to have someone you can trust to talk with, and get as much support from others as you can. Think about our workshop on Working with the Inner Critic in May 2011 as during the four sessions Anthony and I will offer, we will delve deeper in grounding support of one another in working with this difficult issue through exercises that we will offer and as much sharing with each other as all are comfortable with in a very safe container.
Looking forward to seeing you all this coming Sunday the 2nd and hearing about the reflections you may have done this week. Happy New Year!

Much metta, Pauletta

December 22, 2010

Working with The Inner Critic on Sunday the 26th 7-9 pm

Hello Everyone,
Looking forward to offering from my own direct experience this Sunday, what I know of working with the Inner Critic. It is essential to spend the time and energy overcoming this severe self-judge because he/she can really destroy our relationships, hinder our progression on the spiritual path and affect most other aspects of our daily life creating unneccessary dukkha.

With some mind training techniques and other suggestions from the Buddhist teachings on aversion, you can set up a plan of action to start working with before the New Year begins.
Attached, please find the double sided postcard with information about the daylong that Anthony and I will co teach in February.

Also, I attached the handout from this past January 2010 with 2 suggestions for deepening your practice. Pick only one of them to do for 2 months in the New Year and journal your observations. Then you can share your findings during check in and break at the sangha. I did the first activity, adding on 1-2 extra meditation sittings to my day (earlier this year) and the results were phenomenal. I am definitely inspired to try it again and work to free my schedule from its fetters to practice.
Hoping to see you this Sunday the 26th.........

Be well, Pauletta

December 15, 2010

This Sunday: INSPIRING STORIES: How we started the path to Liberation

Hello Everyone,
This Sunday the three of us, Anthony, Rebecca and I will be teaching. We thought it would be insightful and inspiring if we shared how we each came to the path leading to awakening. Hope to see most of you there to offer our stories.

FYI, after this Sunday, I will be teaching for the Sundays during the holidays. On the 26th, will be an exploration of The Inner Critic or Judge and how to work with him/her because if we don't and this is an issue for us, then it will certainly obstruct our progression on the path and even lead us off the path entirely.
Jan 2nd, I will be starting the 10 Paramis or Perfections of the Heart and Mind that lead us to awakening and liberation.

Lastly, the three of us, all have talks on the website, under Audio if you would like to give a listen in between our meetings.
Hoping to see you all. If you get caught up in the holiday rush and stress this week, remember to pause, breathe and collect your mind before doing the next thing

Much metta and gratitude, Pauletta

December 9, 2010

This Sunday: Beyond Orthodoxy

Dear Friends,

Last week we took a look into the dark places of our minds and hearts, where mindfulness and compassion bring light and healing.  The same technique we use the first time we meditate can be used to turn our internal darkness into enduring illumination.  We practice directing our attention, over and over, from idle thinking to mindfulness of the present moment as we experience it through our body's senses.  Wise Effort uses this capacity to direct attention, as Thich Nhat Hahn puts it, to "water the flowers, not the weeds."  We simply withdraw the energy of our attention from states of mind that lead to suffering, and shower nourishing attention on mindstates that lead to real happiness.

This coming Sunday, Dec. 12, we're going to look, "Beyond Orthodoxy."  First, we'll have to determine what is 'orthodox' in Buddhism.  What, actually, is Buddhism?  Where did it come from, how did it get this way and where is what it is now going?  As we practice, how do we stay inside the lines of what's "correct?"  And just how much do any of these questions matter?  Join us Sunday and help us find out.  Tell your friends about our group, practice the ultimate dana and invite them to share the dharma (whatever that is) with us.  It should be fun.

Best wishes,

December 8, 2010

Pauletta guest speaker at gay buddhist fellowship

Hello Everyone,

Hope this finds you all well. I got to teach in a wonderfully welcoming sangha on Sunday morning in the city and received this email from them with a video of beautiful inspirational music by Jennifer Berazan that is definitely worth watching.
Baruch, my friend who invited me to teach says all are welcome to the sitting at their sangha when she comes. Just check out the Gay Buddhist Fellowship website for the schedule. It is
Also, FYI, in about a week, the talk I gave which was recorded will be available on their website to listen to under the navigation button, AUDIO. There are talks also by Rebecca and Anthony as they have also taught there in the recent past.
Much metta and hope to see you soon, 

December 2, 2010

This Sunday: Finding Light in Our Darkness

Dear Friends:

This Sunday from 7-8:30pm, we'll meditate and then discuss the challenge presented by things that are hidden away from the light, those things in us that are scary or unappealing.  Through our practice, we can shine light on these things.  But even more wonderful is that these rejected aspects of ourselves can be transformed into sources of new light in themselves -- through this process of 'enlightenment.'  We can use mindfulness not only to see in the darkness, but to turn our own darkness into enduring, guiding light for our future growth.  Come join our exploration of how to turn the feared into friends.

With metta,