November 27, 2013

Sun 7-8:30 The Joy of Just Being

Dear Friends,

I can remember in my early childhood when I felt self-conscious for the first time, and how unpleasant that was.  My mother told me to just be myself, but that was the trouble.  I had no idea what that was.  For several decades thereafter, I tried very hard to figure out what my self was, and how to be it.  The effort was full of suffering and generated more.

Now I vaguely recall those early years when I wasn't trying to be anything.  I was just being.  It's a pleasant memory of ease and contentment.  With this practice as an integral part of our lives, it is possible to regain that joy.

Come this Sunday 7-8:30 and bring a friend, but leave your idea of self at home.  We'll talk about being unburdened by any idea of what or how we ought to be.

Happy Hanukkah and Thanksgiving,

Notes from Deb's Sunday night talk on Consciousness and Mindfulness

Dear Sangha,

What a great discussion Sunday! I really appreciated your questions and comments. I'm posting my notes on the web site under Resources, here.

And thanks again to Geoff for sharing the lovely poem.

with blessings, and wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving,

November 25, 2013

Reminder for the Holidays: Checking in with the Breath

Hello Everyone,

Just a quick and important reminder to keep awareness of the breath close at hand like a good friend supporting you through any trying as well as very joyous times during the coming holidays. Don't forget to be compassionate to yourselves and this means to take good care of yourselves during the rush and bustle of the preparation for what is to come.

1) Even if you think you do not have time for sitting practice, it's good to do as little as 10 minutes a day if possible. Just getting into the sitting posture will be grounding (despite the mind being busy and out of control with planning) because it will be a reminder of the need to seek some tranquility within.

2) When you feel the urge to speed up, slow down! It's counterintuitive but the best we can do for the body, heart and mind.

3) From my own personal experience, even though I'm hosting Thanksgiving and making the turkey, stuffing and one other side dish, it is important to take care of oneself by:

a)scheduling a massage before and after the holidays
b) brining the turkey - this means that the turkey can be picked up well before the Wednesday rush because brining the turkey is best to start 2-3 days before Thanksgiving
c) Picking up all the ingredients one can before Thanksgiving for the sides, stuffing, etc
d) If traveling, then there will be lots of time for sitting practice because of possible delays and any layovers. Also a good opportunity to really keep the breath nearby due to more openended time waiting

4) While driving, if with talkative friends or relatives, be sure to breathe and let them know if you need a moment to concentrate on directions or just have a little quiet time. (in a kind and respectful way)

Don't forget to breathe, be kind to yourselves and the practice will unfold in good and positive ways!

Happy Thanksgiving! with metta, Pauletta

November 21, 2013

Yoga Sunday at Sangha

Come to yoga at 6pm-6:45 before we sit for meditation. All are welcome. Bring your mats!

Dina Hondrogen
Yoga Instructor

This Sunday at Alameda Sangha: A Closer Look at Mindfulness

Dear Friends,
This Sunday Nov. 24th, I'll be speaking about the healthy qualities of mind that accompany and fortify mindfulness.  As "mindfulness" becomes more and more ubiquitous in popular culture, there is a tendency to shave off or ignore some of its facets, which can dilute its beneficial qualities and greatly diminish its jewel-like beauty.  Join me for an exploration of mindfulness as taught in the Abhidhamma and bring renewed strength to this key practice.
Looking forward to practicing together.
with blessings,
Deb Kerr

November 15, 2013

This Sunday at Alameda Sangha, Mindfulness of Breathing

Hello Everyone,

This Sunday, come and join me to explore an important sutta of the Buddha's, Mindfulness of Breathing or the Anapanasati Sutta. We will be looking at a direct perspective of what we learned last Sunday when we spoke about abiding in the joy and relaxation of the breath. The Buddha said that this leads to the fruits of our practice and ultimate liberation. We will examine the 16 steps or four tetrads of what he taught all of us to learn to do.

with metta,  Pauletta

November 9, 2013

Mark the date! November 23, 2013, Saturday 9:00 to 430 pm Daylong: Deepening Our Practice

Dear Ones,

Baruch and I will be leading a silent daylong at Buena Vista United Methodist Church just in time for the holidays. Register by sending a message with the Contact Us form here.

Hope to see you all there!
with metta, Pauletta

November 7, 2013

This Sunday November 10 at Alameda Sangha: Breath is our Friend

Dear Ones,

Come join and explore with me increasing intimacy with the breath whom we can turn to at any time of day or night as a constant companion, support and friend, a refuge, a home a place we can come to rest and experience tranquility, calm and healing.

Starting with the guided meditation, we will be learning how to attend to and see our breath in a unique new way with more attention to its detailed manifestation.

Please read the following sutta which is Mindfulness of Breathing and bring your questions on Sunday:

We will spend more time on the sutta the following Sunday on Novwember 17.

Then another translation of a teaching of the Buddha on the actual meditation on mindfulness of breathing which is also useful is here:

Looking forward to seeing all of you and sharing the wonderful things I learned on my retreat.

with metta and gratitude for your practice, Pauletta

November 1, 2013

Sun 7-8:30 Be Prepared for Time Change

Dear Friends,

Don't forget the time change this Sunday when you come to Alameda Sangha at 7:00 pm. Also, if it's a chilly afternoon, you might want a warm jacket as the church can be chilly too when we first arrive.

They're working on the heater so it will probably warm up.