April 24, 2014

7-8:30 Sun: What Money Can Teach Us

Dear Friends:

Money is a powerful force in this world, and there are few things we spend more time thinking about. Often our relationship to money is uncomfortable – it can generate a lot of suffering. If we're not worried about meeting our needs, we're struggling with the costs of what we want. Oddly, with all this attention we pay to our finances, we're shy in this society about discussing it with others, so we do that suffering in silence. But a clear-headed examination of money can teach us a lot.

This Sunday, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, we'll take a look at what money is to us and how we can use our relationship with it to grow spiritually. I hope you'll join us and bring a friend.


PS: Last time I was there, I brought a bottle for only one person. This time, there'll be one for everyone! And here's a note from Ron:

Members interested in tabling the Buena Vista United Methodist Church's Spring Festival Bazaar on Sunday, May 4, 2014, please email Ronald at mrtoth@yahoo.com. In your email, please include your name, phone number, and preferred time in one-hour shifts (e.g., 1:30-2:30 pm). He will put together a list and distribute it to all volunteers on or before Thursday, May 1.
Members who purchased a ticket for the chicken teriyaki box, or who simply plan to attend the bazaar, please consider stopping by the Alameda Sangha table and enjoying your meal there. At least a few of us are planning to have lunch there at 1 pm. All are welcome.

April 23, 2014

Yoga this Sunday at Sangha 6pm

Please join us this Sunday at 6pm for yoga. Yoga helps to relax the body and put the mind at ease so one can settle into meditation more fully. Practicing yoga cultivates sensitivity in the body as well as increasing one's awareness outside the body.

Bring your mats, comfortable clothes to move in and an empty stomach.
Namaste, Dina


April 21, 2014

Book I mentioned last night, plus other small reminders

Dear Ones,

The book I could not remember last night is Living in the Light of Death by Larry Rosenberg.

May you all have a fruitful week of cultivating patience and noticing when and where it happens in your practice and daily life!

I received an email from David Borglum this morning who was most grateful to receive a call from Phil offering rides. However he miswrote the phone number and wishes to have Phil call again so he can correctly take down the contact information.

Last, please bring a small notebook to the May 17 daylong for a journaling exercise in the afternoon.

We are hoping to have Ayya Tathaaloka come and offer us a teaching on Memorial Day weekend Sunday at the sangha. Please let everyone know to not miss this opportunity to hear another beloved monastic offer and embody the dharma for us all to experience.

​with gratitude for your practice, Pauletta

April 19, 2014

A Dear one in our Sangha in immediate need of Care and Support

Dear Ones,

It has come to the teachers' attention that David Borglum has been diagnosed with late stage pancreatic cancer.

He will be starting Chemotherapy this Monday (in two days' time). He has not yet started a Caringbridge page with the Support Planner. Perhaps one of you could volunteer to help him and his wife start and organize this.

They could probably use help this week with meals, visits, he goes weekly to Kaiser to have fluid drained from his abdomen and so could perhaps welcome a ride to his appointments, check ins and relieving his wife and family so they can relax (similar to my morning and afternoon check in visits when I've had chemo myself). And last, companionship and meditation together. Rebecca and I will be going over this Friday morning to meditate with him.

If any of you are able and your hearts are moved to offer generous acts of support and companionship for David, here is his contact info:

510 749 9661 home
510 205 6082 cell

He lives on Bay Farm Island. Tomorrow we will be offering him metta during the guided meditation. He may or may not feel up to coming to the sangha after the Easter celebration at the church where he is minister.

Thank you all so much for your generosity, kindness, well wishes and support for David and his family during this very challenging time,

with metta and gratitude for your practice,


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/

April 17, 2014

Slow but sure insures wholesome consequences! at Alameda Sangha this Sunday, April 20 from 7-9 pm

Dear Ones,

Slow but sure can help to reassure us that doing our practice will generate wholesome consequences such as clearer relationships and boundaries, healthier self interactions and more ease and well-being in our daily lives.

Come and explore with me, the most under revered virtue in our culture today - that of khanti or patience. We will look at three ways to cultivate it both on and off the cushion as per the Buddha.

Don't forget to register for the daylong that I will be teaching on Saturday May 17 at the church! See our home page for more information.

See you all soon!
with metta and gratitude for your practice!

April 14, 2014

"Knowing " practices for the week

Dear ones,

Here are suggestions from the talk last night on how to "know" so the mind can "abandon" the stains or kilesas of the mind without much effort after sustained practice over time.

1) As per the First Noble Truth, really come to understand through curiosity, our relationship to experience, particularly when the reaction manifests as a defilement of the mind. So reflection would be a good start to this understanding.

2) Being willing to meet our difficulties so that we are not pushing away, or holding on to what is arising nor refusing to see the truth of the reality of a situation.

3) Mindfulness of the body work where we drop in and see what is happening as we work with the stains of the mind that fall into one of the three categories of the 3 Main Poisons : Greed, hatred and delusion.

Happy practicing! It will be good to hear what you have discovered next week. I will be teaching about cultivating patience whch is a much needed virtue in our culture right now! See you next Sunday!

with metta,

April 11, 2014

Daylong registration page date typo and other news

Dear Ones,

Someone alerted me that when you click the link, "here" on our home page to register for the May 17 daylong, that page still says March 29, the last date of last month's Concentration daylong with Deb and Rebecca. Susan is away on vacation right now but I've sent her an email to change the date to May 17. If you go ahead and register anyway and ignore the typo date, it will still register you properly so that I can give you information about the first day. So please go ahead and still register on line despite the date error on the page. It will help me a lot to know how many are coming so that I can properly structure the day for interview slots, etc.

On that same day, May 17 in the evening, starting around 6 pm will be an event announcing me as artist in residence at OACC, the Oakland Asian Cultural Center where they honored me a few months ago at a dinner. It will be another evening of amazing entertainment - music and dance, etc. There will be T shirts for sale with my woodblock prints silkscreened onto the front of the shirt. We will be announcing some activities which I will be doing and offering for dana to the center and all are invited to attend and participate.

1) Evening event at OACC on May 17. $20 for tickets and $40 for VIP seating and pre-reception. There won't be dinner served that evening as at the event many of you attended a few months ago, hence the cheaper ticket prices. Please email Tamiko Wong (email address above if interested)

2) I will be teaching a Folding Haiku Book class from 1130 am - 430 pm with another artist, Charles Valoroso on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at OACC which is located in Chinatown. Class is $20, all proceeds to go to OACC. Charles and I are teaching this class dana for the organization. We will collect an additional $20 from participants in the workshop on the day, June 14 to cover our materials expenses. Once again, contact Tamiko if interested in signing up.

3) Sometime in the summer I will be having a demo on woodblock printing with a show of my actual blocks that I used to make the prints and some silk screened prints of my woodblocks for about $50 each. Stay tuned.

4) Health permitting, I will be doing 4 noon Thursday meditation sessions.at OACC that will be about 1 1/2 hours each time. We will meditate for the first 1/2 hour, then a 30 minute dharmette talk and the last 30 minutes to meditate. This will be dana based.

5) Last, I will be having a show at SFMOMA Artists Gallery in Fort Mason from July 19-August 21. The reception where I will be present will be on Saturday July 19 from 3-5 pm. The title of the show is Shifting Sands which is where I am on my death journey right now. Hope to see you all there.

And best but of course, temporary news is that my cancer markers went down to 96! So I won't need to have chemo at the end of this month as I originally thought. Phew! We will just check my blood monthly from now till the next time the markers start to rise again. Next week Steve and I will see the chief of breast oncology at UCSF to see if there are other non-chemo things I can take to help keep the cancer numbers down without so much exposure to toxicity as often. We will see. Send metta and good wishes. The appointment is on Tuesday the 15th at 930 am.

with loving gratitude and metta to all of you,

April 9, 2014

Cloth Never Speaks this Sunday, April 13, 2014 at Alameda Sangha

Hello Everyone,

Looking forward to seeing all of you again after some time away, with the busyness of visiting family and a rejuvenating and healing retreat!
This Sunday, I will be exploring the Simile of the Cloth which is a really visceral and visually symbolic sutta of the Buddha where he goes into the purification of the mind from kilesas or defilements.  I was able to have an in depth understanding of this sutta while on recent retreat when one of the teachers shared it with us.

Hoping to see you all there to enjoy this beautiful teaching together.

I will be teaching a daylong on May 17, Saturday at the church from 9-430. It will be exploring some of the wisdom teachings of the Buddha and how we cultivate wisdom in practice on and off the cushion. Please register on our website, see link below. Please bring a bag lunch, comfortable clothes and one needs to only be fully present to benefit!

with metta and gratitude for your practice, Pauletta

April 3, 2014

Metta and Concentration, Part II

Dear Friends,

Last week at Alameda Sangha I spoke about the unfolding of lovingkindness practice and the boundless potential of the heart.

This week, I'll focus more directly on how metta is used as an object to deepen concentration, and some common experiences that come with a focus on calming and collecting the mind. I'll be using some of my own experiences from retreat, as well as teachings from a British teacher I mentioned last week, Rob Burbea. If you get a chance, I recommend that you listen to a talk of his on Dharma Seed: "Samadhi in the Practice of Emptiness," dated 2009-1-24.

I will also dedicate some time at the meeting for us as a group to send lovingkindness and compassion to Pauletta specifically, as well as to other sangha members who are experiencing health difficulties.

Looking forward to seeing you,

with warmth,
Deb Kerr