November 28, 2011

Papanca Practice for the Week

Hello Everyone,
May this Monday back to non-holiday vacation life find you well.

Thanks to Bonnie last night, I realized that I did not talk about metta towards oneself enough. Remember this week, particularly if papanca hits in a very tenacious manner like the Tar Baby, to first give metta to yourselves for having to experience the dukkha of the obsessiveness in the manifestion of papanca. Do not criticize or judge yourself for having it, i.e. if I were a better practitioner, I wouldn't have gotten into this papanca , etc. etc. As they say, %^&$ happens and when it does, we may or may not have the space from our practice to receive it and respond gracefully.

So first, it's important to recognize papanca. The various manifestations of it are: obsessive thinking, worrying, ruminating, mentally trying out various if/then scenarios, scheming and strategizing on how to get that one 'thing' that promises happiness and contentment, pressured speech and extremely focused almost obsessive/compulsive behaviour around something that has arisen for us.

Then, depending on the mildness of the grip that papanca has on us, we can, try to shift the energy and break the trance by doing something repetitive but conducive to feeling better, like gardening, washing dishes, doing the laundry, yoga, exercise, etc.

We can reflect on what the Dalai Lama advised, which is that if there is a solution to what we are worrying about, go ahead and do it. If there is none, don't worry.

We can try to investigate the root of what is behind the papanca and how it may be connected to past conditioning so that we can recognize its habituation.

If all else fails, we need to just surrender and surf the waves of papanca, in other words accept that it is here for however long it will stay, feel it in the body, and not try to struggle to find a way to be rid of it.

Hope this is helpful. My talk should be up soon. Also, Baruch and I are planning to teach the Satipatthana Sutta once again which will meet 4 Saturdays at Island Yoga from 1230 to 230 on January 28, February 4, 11 and 18. Save the date!!

I will be teaching Equanimity on December 25th and Gratitude on January 1st. If you feel the need to come and get refueled and regenerated from the holidays, I hope you will try to come.

With metta, Pauletta

November 24, 2011

This Sunday, November 20, 2011 at Alameda Sangha: Papanca or Mental Poliferation

Hello Everyone,

Hoping that you all had a peaceful and harmonious Thanksgiving celebration and that you all made an attempt to utilize wise speech.

Come this Sunday to hear about what we can do when mental proliferation kicks in and obsessively takes over our mind like a tar baby. Tools point to investigation of the root of the obsessive thinking, or simply to shift the energy so that we can let go of the obsessive activity. Find out when to use which technique and why. The dharma talk will be shorter in order to permit us to have some discussion and sharing over how our Thanksgiving celebration went, if there was the initiation of papanca from interactions that did not went well, etc.

Looking forward to see all of you there,

with metta and gratitude for your practice, Pauletta

November 21, 2011

Practices for the Week to help us get through the holidays

Hello Everyone,
It was good to see such enthusiasm last night to try some different tools to get us all through the holidays this year. Very inspiring.

First off, please find below, the link to my Fall newsletter with a yummy recipe for Thanksgiving as well as some writings on Khanti cultivation and other good things with artwork.
Pauletta's fall newsletter
The link is also found on the Alameda Sangha website, my website: as well as the link to my old Summer newsletter thanks to our webmaster extraordinaire, Susan Haumeder.

So for this week, please remember to do:

1) Deep Listening practice where we drop into our bodies, (grounding with our hands and feet), finding the breath. THen setting the intention to not interrupt the speaker while he/she is speaking, finish sentences for him/her or stay waiting until they finish speaking so you can then say what you are wanting to say.

2) The four aspects of Samma Vacca or Wise Speech which are speaking what is true, helpful, kind and appropriate.

3) Background self-care practices of Mind Training and Metta. Metta can be practiced on or off the cushion, and for mind training, acts of self-care as well as some time spent analyzing and investigating what verbal interactions have not habitually gone well in past holiday celebrations and how these tools could be helpful in changing outcomes.

Remember to listen to my metta talk online that was done in August of this year and this talk will be up soon.

with metta and gratitude,
Happy Turkey Day! Pauletta

November 15, 2011

Metta, Mind Training and Wise Speech for the Holidays, at Alameda Sangha this Sunday, November 20, 2011 from 7-9 pm

Hello Everyone,

It's that fun time of year again - where we tend to do too much and feel pressured under expectations of the holiday season. So I reflected on 3 important teachings of the Buddha to offer as tools to help us all get through it in a more harmonious fashion than we have in the past.

The emphasis will still be on Wise Speech since we will be doing a lot of speaking during this time as we come into contact with family and friends that we haven't seen much of at other times of the year. The other two teachings are more background practices to really bring support to your self-care regime and plan of action to respond more skillfully to situations than has happened in the past.

Perhaps you have had recurring reactive tendencies in your social holiday interactions and wish you could have handled things differently. Come on Sunday and find out how you can begin to transform your holiday experience into a more heartfelt and loving interrelating.

Hope to see most of you there and don't forget to bring a friend and/or family member.

with metta,

November 11, 2011

Sex, Drugs (but no rock & roll) this Sunday

Dear Friends,

Last week we talked about the effect it has on us to treat other beings either poorly or well.  This Sunday, 7-8:30, we'll delve into the consequences of abusing two powerful influences over our minds, sexuality and intoxicants. 


Looking forward to seeing you (and your friends) there this Sunday.


With metta,


Alameda Sangha
Every Sunday, 7pm
@ Buena Vista United Methodist Church
2311 Buena Vista Ave., Alameda
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November 3, 2011

This Sunday: How We Treat Others

Dear Friends,

The way we treat others is an integral part of our journey on the Eightfold Path.  It is both cause and evidence of our spiritual condition.  As lay practitioners, we have guidelines for our conduct which encourage us to become kind and respectful toward other beings.  These guidelines are in the Five Precepts, and this Sunday we will investigate the first three.

I look forward to seeing you all again, and to meeting our newcomers.  Till then, be well.