"This is what should be done by one who is skilled in goodness and who knows the path of peace: Let them be....Contented and easily satisfied, unburdened with duties, and frugal in their ways." Metta Sutta Sn 143-4
Instead of making New Year's resolutions that are difficult to maintain or impossible to keep, why not aspire to a simpler life?
Let's explore together how letting go of those things which we thought were bringing us happiness but are actually causing dukkha (dissatisfaction, unreliability and unpleasantness) can bring us greater calm, peace and spaciousness to incline our minds towards compassion, kindness and respect towards ourselves and others. We will be looking closely at what Buddha has had to say about nekkhama which has the unfortunate translation into English of renunciation. Renown monastic teacher and scholar, Ajahn Amaro talks about the more accurate sense of the Pali word nekkhama as being that of "ease with simplicity". We will look at the reflections and practices that offer greater ease in letting go as an inspirational way to begin the New Year.
Don't forget to print out or download on your devices, and bring to sangha, the chanting on Reflections on Sharing the Blessings.
1) Save the date for upcoming daylong, "Deepening One's Practice" with Richard Shankman and I on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at the church from 930-5. Details on the home page announcements of our website. See link below. Come and offer yourselves the New Year's gift of coming into stillness and a day of practice to nourish and nurture yourselves to benefit yourselves and others
2) We have had a request from Pastor Michael Yoshii of the church to please be sure to restore all furniture, mikes, etc in the sanctuary to how it all was when we first came in to the space every Sunday evening. During the announcements, after the stretch break, Beth and I will volunteer our ideas on how you can all help us accomplish this.
Happy New Year as we enter our 5th year of existence as Alameda Sangha!