November 24, 2010

This Sunday: Settling Into a Practice

Hi everyone,

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  This Sunday we'll be meeting as usual even though it is a holiday weekend.  I hope many of you will be able to make it.  This week I want to explore the topic of settling into the practice of meditation, or whatever you consider to be your 'practice'.  I am choosing to talk about this because of the time of year and the possibility of having our practice overtaken by the holiday spirit; so to speak.  There is something to be said about having a spiritual practice that consists of values that are more stable than the ebb and flow of the cultural seasons.  But, it's not easy.
I wish everyone a good holiday and weekend, and I really hope to see you Sunday evening.

With Gratitude,
Anthony

November 22, 2010

News for the sangha from Pauletta and Turkey Day good wishes

Hello Everyone,

Hoping that this short holiday week finds you all well. I miss you all. Hoping to come one of these Sundays soon just to be in sangha. Otherwise I will be teaching again on the 19th of December with Anthony and Rebecca. The Sunday after Christmas, the 26th I will be teaching about Working with the Inner Critic or Judge which if we don't address it, will definitely impinge and hinder our practice. Though the Buddha doesn't specifically address self-judgement, there are many teachings on aversion (one of the 5 hindrances, remember?) for which there are tools we can use to work with this in all of us.
Then through popular demand, I will be starting the 10 Paramis or 10 Perfections once again, beginning with dana or generosity in January. Rebecca and I will be teaching mostly in January because Anthony will be away on a month long retreat.
On December 5th, I have been invited to teach at the Gay Buddhist Fellowship at 10:30 am in the Mission District in San Francisco. I will be offering teachings on mind training. All of you are welcome to come and/or please tell anyone in SF whom you know may be interested.
Our wonderful blog techie amongst other wonderful attributes, Susan Haumeder has created a really cool blog for our Alameda Sangha. This is where we can have conversations about the various teachings that the three of us have offered you on Sunday nights. So hopefully this will be up and running soon and she will let us know how you can all access the blog.
Anthony and I will be teaching a daylong at Island Yoga here in Alameda in February on a Saturday. We don't have the exact date yet. More info to come. And in May he and I will be doing a 4 week workshop on Working with the Inner Critic. Dates and more info will be forthcoming.
Otherwise, hope you all have a peaceful Turkey Day. Remember that if you anticipate going into a family gathering with aversion, take some time to reflect and meditate that morning if even for a few minutes a set an intention for how you will handle any difficulty or irritation that arises. Examples of intentions are: to remember to breathe when something charged comes up in conversation and you feel it in your body. Ground yourself, rubbing hands and feeling feet on the ground, you can set an intention to only listen and be fully present without allowing yourself to get reactive, etc.
And above all, don't forget the 4 principles of wise speech, before you might say something you regret: 1) it's helpful 2) it's kind 3) it's appropriate and 4)truthful
Have a peaceful and interconnecting Thanksgiving! Remember Anthony will be teaching this coming Sunday after Thanksgiving,

Much metta, Pauletta

November 18, 2010

This Sunday: The Sense Door of Hearing

Hi everyone,

This week I'll explore the topic of our senses.  Isn't it amazing that everything we take in is experienced through sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch?  And then our mind can get involved and be pretty creative as well, and the mind is included as the sixth sense door in Buddhism.  I have found a good way to explore the senses is by looking at one specifically.  Hearing is very effective for this due to its apparent objectivity and seeming harmlessness.  Rarely we do encounter sounds that are actually physically painful, but we are always perceiving/interpreting sounds as they enter our awareness, and these often end up as pleasing, disliked, or ignored.  What can we learn from this process?

Well, I hope to see many of you this Sunday at 7pm, and I hope many of you arrive curious.

With care, Anthony

November 4, 2010

Early This Sunday: Embodied Awareness

Dear Friends,

Seven thirty will seem an hour earlier this Sunday, after our clocks "fall back" in the middle of the night before.  I hope you'll be at the Sangha when we begin a half hour meditation at 7pm, and then discuss our nature as embodied awareness.

What does it mean to be aware?  To be bodies?  How does the mind feel about this apparent duality in our natures?  How often do these aspects of our nature seem to be at war with each other?  And how can love for all beings resolve the confllct?

We'll be talking about these things.  Come and find the answers for yourself in our discussion.

See you then,
Rebecca


November 1, 2010

Half-day Retreat with Rebecca & Deb Nov. 20

Dear Friends,

My dharma buddy, Deb Kerr, and I will be leading a day-long silent retreat on Saturday, Nov. 20 on the topic, "Finding Light in the Darkness."  Not only can practice help us through difficult times, but in bringing open-hearted awareness to the dark parts of life -- and our selves -- we can lighten our entire lives.

A copy of the flyer is attached.

Space is limited, so if you are interested, please register as soon as possible.  It will be held in Deb's lovely home in Oakland.  Address and further details will be sent with your registration confirmation.

Best wishes,
Rebecca