December 27, 2012

Sun 7-8:30pm Always New

Dear Friends,

I recently talked about being Free in the Moment,* a possibility we merely need to realize… in the moment.  The corollary to this principle is that the mindful life is Always New.  In each moment we are free.  Once we let go of the causes of our suffering, we step out into a whole new dimension of possibility.   

As we approach the New Year – and each new moment – it's good to recall Mary Oliver's exhilarating question:  "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

Come join us this Sunday, Dec. 30, from 7 to 8:30 pm with your wild and precious dreams and possibilities for this moment, this next year, this infinite Now.

And bring a friend or two.

Remember, this Sunday Dina will offer yoga to get you settled in for a deeper meditation:  6pm to 6:45pm – bring your own yoga mat, bare feet and an empty stomach.

Warmly,
Rebecca

*A recording of that dharma talk is on our web site.

December 20, 2012

This Sunday at Alameda Sangha: The Three Characteristics of Existence - Dukkha, Anicca and Anatta

Hello Everyone,

Come and explore the Buddha's teaching on the Three Characteristics of Existence. Dukkha, aka suffering, or dissatisfactoriness, Anicca or Impermanence (whatever arises ceases) and Anatta or Not Self. We will learn to increase our awareness around these three truths of reality. Initially, it can be sobering and difficult to voluntarily choose to notice and be with but with perseverence, it is possible to reach a liberation and a lightening of our sacks of dukkha that we tend to carry around with us day after day.

We will do a metta guided meditation also to help prepare our mental states for meeting up with family for the holidays.

with gratitude for your practice, Pauletta/

December 13, 2012

Sunday Beginners Class & Free in the Moment

Dear Friends,

We tend to think enlightenment is something we'll get around to about the same time we get our estates in order.  And in the meantime, we're trying to figure out how to work toward it, or toward a reasonable facsimile… something that's actually handy in our everyday lives.

Scheduling enlightenment or working toward it isn't going to work.  There's only one moment in your life when liberation from suffering is possible – now.  And with the holidays bearing down on us, with so many emotional hazards wrapped up in hope and good will, it's a perfect time to realize freedom.

Come this Sunday from 7 to 8:30 pm and explore the wondrous possibilities of This Moment, even when it's tucked under a tree in risky territory.  Give your friends a priceless gift and invite them, too.

And if you're wondering how to deal with difficulties in your meditation practice, come a little earlier.  At 6:40 pm, in the same room where we meet at 7pm, I'll offer a class in meditation for anyone with Beginner's Mind, tailored to your needs and questions.

See you then,
Rebecca

December 6, 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012: Reflections on Practice and Retreat

Hi everyone,
This Sunday, I (Anthony) will be leading the group. It was great to see so many people last Sunday with the visiting nuns from San Francisco. I hope it inspired your personal practice through this past week.

The topic this coming Sunday will be my own reflections on practice and the cycles of practice; and more specifically, I'll be talking about my upcoming retreat in which I'll be away for several months. This will be my last time leading Alameda Sangha until May 2013 or so. I also want to use this time to share some of my experience/perspective as I've watched Alameda Sangha grow and mature during the last three years.

I'll look forward to seeing many of you, and saying a (temporary) farewell to this wonderful community.
With gratitude,
Anthony