August 29, 2011

Working with aversion this week

Hello Everyone,

Happy Monday. So I myself already experienced minor aversion when at a 4 way stop by the Nob Hill shopping center the car across the intersection from me and I arrived at the same time. Because he did not put his turn signals on, when it was our turn to go, I thought he was going straight so I started to go straight and on my way as well, but had to stop suddenly when he started to turn left and cross over me!! Errrrgh! So it hit my gut like a rock and I almost started shaking my head at him to show my displeasure at his not following simple driving rules, but instead took a deep breath and resolved not to let it color the rest of my morning. Phewwww!!

Earlier, this morning, I spoke with the art supply store and the rep said she would send me a free pen. She transferred me to the manager's voice mail so I could relay my complaints which I did minus any anger so that hopefully they can take some steps to rectify the company dynamics and some salespeople's bad attitude towards customers. I'm convinced that companies should take the time to hire Buddhist practitioners who can show them what the mechanics of Right Livelihood is all about. It's so much about one's attitude towards work than about the workplace or the co-workers or the bosses even. And being mindful in what one does at work to complete the job goes a long way to mutual satisfaction and good feelings all around between customer and service person.

So, sorry to be so longwinded, but in your practices this week, please attempt to notice when aversion/hatred/anger/irritation occurs in your daily life and even on the cushion. First, recognize that it's there. Decide is this pleasant, unpleasant or neutral? If unpleasant, feel how it's manifesting in the body. Give yourself compassion as you feel the unpleasant qualities. Then finally, trying hard to have no expectation, notice when the aversion leaves.

With the art store incident, the aversion stayed with me for 2 1/2 hours non stop. I did try to change the energy in my body a bit by walking the dog, talking to my husband about it. These helped but the unpleasant feelings dragged for what seemed to be a very long time. It was great when it finally lifted though and I was able to let go of the anger!

So Anthony will be looking forward to your check-ins.

Take care and stay grounded, remember to breathe,

Pauletta

August 25, 2011

This Sunday: Second Kilesa - Hatred AKA Aversion AKA Anger AKA extreme irritation

Hello Everyone,

Hoping that this finds you all well. Come to hear about and explore the 2nd root of our suffering - Hatred. Using the Four Great Efforts or the four methods of working with the kilesas that I discussed in the overview last Sunday, we will learn how to incline our mind away from anger and aversion and towards more metta or lovingkindness.

Today I had a bad day with lots of aversion. I had been patiently working for the last 3 weeks on several art supply orders with a well known art supply store out of state. A company that I have done business with for over 20 years with no problems and wonderful knowledgeable staff who know a lot of the technical ins and outs of products and ways in which artists like to work in different media. So in the last 3 weeks, I have placed about 3-4 orders for things with them. I have patiently worked through my irritation through what appeared to be a lot of ineptitude on their part. They seem to have new staff that really know nothing about the nuances of colors in different media, i.e. oil or acrylic and they kept bungling up my orders including shipping me wrong merchandise. For the last 3 weeks I called and had them correct each bungle without taking out my frustration or anger on them, just being patient and really working towards solving the problem rather than adding to it by yelling or complaining. Today, I just hit the roof. After spending about an hour with them yesterday straightening out the last order I made, I was working on an artist book with a pen that I ordered from them to write the text of the artist book. After about 3 lines of hand writing the text, the pen ran out! It was like all that patience and biting my tongue for 3 weeks went out the door. I called the rep and left an angry but not unkind message about all the trouble that they have caused by their lack of attention and care to their work and that they need to replace this pen as soon as possible.

Then, I came home and walked the dog to try to dispel the angry and frustrated energy in my chest which felt like acid. I also talked to my husband a little bit about my frustration but have not really felt calmer until now, about 2 1/2 hours later after spending 20 minutes in sitting meditation.

So I am sharing this story to let you know that even in learning and attempting to work with these poisons in our practice, we will still have setbacks. But more and more, we will learn with the support of our caring family and friends as well as the practice and knowing how to get out of the cycle of suffering before we make it worse, that there is always the next moment where we can start over again anew.

Hopefully this story will be helpful to you and looking forward to exploring hatred aka anger aka extreme irritation aka aversion together this Sunday evening

August 22, 2011

Practicing with the first kilesa this week: Greed

Hello Everyone,

My talk from last night should be posted soon. Hoping that this finds you well.

So for this week, just practice seeing when greed/sensual desire/lust/grasping/craving arises. Feel it in your body and watch what your mind does with it.

Because I had to do an overview of all three kilesas plus spend time on the first one last night, I was concerned that the talk was longer than usual. So, of course I forgot to read an important quote by Analayo regarding the hindrance/and kilesa of greed from his book,Satipatthana. Here it is:

p. 193 "The particular dynamic of sensual desire is such that, every time a sensual desire is gratified, the act of gratification
fuels ever stronger subsequent manifestations of the same desire............As the Buddha pointed out, the way to inner peace and composure necessarily depends on gaining independence from this vortex of desire and gratification."

So this powerful message of Analayo is saying that we shouldn't "fuel the fire" of our cravings because it leads to a vicious cycle of wanting more and more and more and never being satisfied.

Wishing you all good practice and reflection,
with gratitude for your efforts and sincere openheartedness,
Pauletta

August 18, 2011

This Sunday: The Three Kilesas: Greed, Hatred and Delusion

Hello Everyone,

Come this Sunday to hear about the unwholesome ways in which we tend to incline our mind in daily life and sitting practice better known as greed, hatred and delusion. They are the roots of our suffering. Four methods of working with them and cultivating their counterparts of relinquishment, lovingkindness and wisdom will be discussed as well as how to recognize their manifestation because they only become clearer with increased awareness.

Hope to see you all and enjoy the last bits of summer,

Much metta, Pauletta

August 11, 2011

This Sunday: Beauty and the Dharma

Greetings. This Sunday we will continue the discussion on Beauty and the Dharma. This talk will focus on Mindfulness of the Mind, the 3rd foundation of practice described in the Satipatthana Sutta. I hope you can make it.

Blessings. Baruch Golden

August 3, 2011

This Sunday: Guest Speaker:Baruch Golden speaks on Beauty and Aging

Hello Everyone,

This Sunday, I will be presenting our special guest speaker from San Francisco Gay Buddhist Fellowship, Baruch Golden who will be speaking on Beauty and Aging. He is currently in the Community Dharma Leadership Program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre. Read more about him on the link below.
http://sites.google.com/site/alamedasangha/coming-events--

Attached, please find the postcard announcement for the Mind Training Workshop I will be teaching this October at Island Yoga here in Alameda. Sign up by emailing and registering through alamedasangha@gmail.com.

Looking forward to seeing all of you and hope to bring more organic veggies from our community garden on Eagle Street.

Much metta to ya, all , Pauletta