October 31, 2013

Being Prepared

Dear Friends,

Most people regard the difficult times of life as misfortune, and just try to avoid it, often with denial or wishful thinking or magic.  It's not hard, though, to be genuinely prepared for the inevitable rough spots ahead. 

The best way to meet life's challenges is to go through them mindfully.  This Sunday we'll talk about how our practice prepares us to do that, and how to prepare for meditation to maximize its benefit.

Last Sunday we talked about how sangha helps each of us grow by sharing the benefits of practice.  That dharma talk in on the sangha web site now.  Please come and bring friends to helps us explore how this works.

Best wishes,
Rebecca

--
Alameda Sangha
Every Sunday, 7pm
@ Buena Vista United Methodist Church
2311 Buena Vista Ave., Alameda
Visit our Website: https://sites.google.com/site/alamedasangha/
Visit our blog: http://alamedasanghablog.blogspot.com/

October 27, 2013

Wear your jacket

Welcome to Autumn.  The church will probably be chilly (at least at first) tonight, so be sure to wear a nice, warm jacket.

See ya there,
Rebecca

October 26, 2013

References from last Sunday's talk on Transcendent Dependent Origination

Dear Friends,
Here are the references I used last week in my dharma talk:

Bhikkhu Bodhi's comentary on the Upanisa Sutta on Access to Insight:

Christina Feldman's commentary on Dependent Origination:
I recommend both of these articles very highly.  They really explain karma, interconnectedness, and the way positive mind states interweave to bring about liberation.

Here is the reference for the poems I read: "Still Point" and "Awakening Now" by Danna Faulds in her book Go In and In.
with blessings,
Deb

Yoga this Sunday 6pm at Sangha

Come and join us to stretch your body before you sit for meditation. All levels welcome. Please bring a sticky mat, wear clothes you can move in (no jeans, belts) and an empty stomach.  I have yoga belts and blocks.

We start at 6 and end at 6:45pm.
See you then.

Namaste,
Dina Hondrogen

October 24, 2013

Sun 7-8:30 Refuge of Sangha with Rebecca

Dear Friends,

We come to Alameda Sangha's weekly meetings intending to practice by meditating and hearing dharma talks, maybe participating in the following discussion.  We can forget that an important aspect of practice is there in the form of the people of the sangha, and how we relate to them individually and collectively.

Buddha said that good spiritual friends were not just a part of the spiritual life, but the whole of it.  Sangha is one of the vital 3 refuges from the suffering of samsara.  When we engage consciously and supportively with the sangha, we're doing a wonderful practice called, "sangha building," which brings us many benefits.

Join us in an exploration of sangha -- our sangha -- and how we can work with it to the benefit of all beings.  And bring along some spiritual friends.

Looking forward to seeing you all again,
Rebecca

October 18, 2013

How the Buddha Engineered Liberation

Dear Friends,
In many ways the Buddha was an engineer.  With his amazing powers of awareness, he saw deeply into the processes that lead to suffering, and also into those that lead to freedom.  
This Sunday I'll be talking about some of my favorite teachings, those having to do with dependent origination, and especially places that we can see and break the cycle of suffering and use happiness and joy as contributing factors toward lasting peace.
Looking forward to seeing you, and practicing together.
with warmth,
Deb Kerr

October 12, 2013

Save the date: November 7, 2013

Please come to my honoring dinner for my artistic and spiritual achievements.

with metta, Pauletta

October 10, 2013

This Sunday at Alameda Sangha: Holding On and Pushing Away

Dear Ones,

You got it! It's Grasping 101, how to recognize it and how to let go. 

"Can you let go of desire by wanting to let go of it? What is it that is really letting go in a given moment?" The Four Noble Truths by Ajahn Sumedho

Let's explore together,
with metta, Pauletta

October 3, 2013

This Sunday at the Sangha

Is it possible to be aware of ourselves continuously, whatever posture we are in, from the time we wake up until we fall asleep? As we practice, mindfulness can often be present without much support and amidst difficult conditions. Join Pauletta and I in an interactive dharma talk on practicing mindfulness in daily life. When you have a moment, reflect on these questions, which we hope to discuss on Sunday:

1. What is my intention for my mindfulness/meditation practice? (Spend some time now reflecting on your intention).

2. How can I use this time to sense into what my intentions for practice are?

3. How do I see the continuity of mindfulness or awareness in my meditation practice?

4. What is the priority of my meditation practice in relation to the other activities, interests and demands of my life?

5. Do I notice when other aspects of life pull me away from being mindful. What is the priority of those things compared with being mindful?

I love this excerpt from the poem We Are All Pilgrims by Maya Spector. The link to the full poem and the artuckele, “How to Bring More Mindfulness into Your Life” from DukeHealth.org are on the Resources page of the sangha website.
“You cry out –
I’m not ready!
Now you understand that
it was never arriving
that mattered.
You know –
deeply and without doubt –
that the pilgrimage itself
was the point.
All of those hours lost
in complaint, confusion and misery –
you realize that they were
opportunities ignored and departed.

Peace and blessings. baruch