August 28, 2014

Sunday 7-8:30 pm, Meeting Good & Bad Fortune

Dear Friends,

Some relationships just get off on the wrong foot. The way we meet people and events can depend on so many factors, like how the day has gone or preconceived ideas we have. In turn, those first moments with something new can set the course for our future.

How we meet good or bad fortune is very important. This Sunday, Aug. 31, from 7-8:30 pm, we'll focus on how we can relate to new developments in a way that will cause us and others the least distress.

Don't forget there will be no yoga before Sunday's sangha meeting. Instead, from 6:00 to 6:45 pm this Sunday, Judi will again teach ASL. If you have the sheet she passed out on fingerspelling the alphabet, please bring it with you. She will have extras for those who missed last Sunday's class.

Looking forward to seeing you again,

August 22, 2014

Sunday 8/24/14: Seeing the Truth & ASL Class

Dear Friends,

One of the ways to think about taking refuge in the dharma is taking refuge in the truth of how things are. One of the main facets of mindfulness is seeing what is true in each moment. When we do this, we can stop struggling with our experience, we can stop trying to make it other than it is.

The Buddha realized there are three things that are always true in every experience and every phenomenon--the Three Characteristics. If we live in accord with the truth--these characteristics of life--wisdom and compassion grow naturally, and we begin to experience liberation.

This Sunday I'll be teaching about the Three Characteristics and where they fit in the scheme of the Buddha's teachings, and why they matter very much.

A Reminder: From 6-6:45 p.m. Sunday, Judi Fruge will continue teaching us American Sign Language. Please join us as we build the skills to communicate more easily with all members of the sangha.

Happily looking forward to practicing with you all.

August 21, 2014

No Yoga This Sunday-Holiday

Due to the holiday weekend, I will not be teaching yoga on Sunday night before the sit. There will be a regular Sangha meeting.

Enjoy your long weekend!

August 20, 2014

Pauletta's talk, From Anger to Liberation

Dear Sangha,

Unfortunately something went wrong with the recording of Pauletta's talk last Sunday. Before Pauletta left for the east coast she was able to pass to me the outline of her talk and the notes she made to herself. I have attached this file and posted it on our website here. It's not the same as her voice but it does contain the material. I hope you find it useful.

On a related matter, I will continue notify you when I post the text of talks as they are available in the Resources page of our website. You can find them in reverse chronological order in the list at the top of the page. You can download the text by going to the bottom of the page, finding the title as it appears in alphabetical order, and clicking on the adjacent red download arrow. (Eventually I will move these to the dharma talks page of the teacher. I've become a little overloaded with tasks in my life. Thank you for your patience.)

With appreciation for your companionship in the practice,

August 13, 2014

This Sunday, from Anger to Liberation and ASL class before at Alameda Sangha!

Dear Ones,

Last Sunday we explored anger in group socially engaged situations to starting with ourselves first. My talk on this theme is posted on the website here.

This Sunday we will talk more about anger, its destructive nature, what causes anger to arise in the first place, the responsibility of the person whom we are directing anger towards to not escalate it further by using Patience as the path to liberation!

We will be having our 3rd American Sign Language Class taught by Judi Fruge and Erika Geiger at 6 pm. Hope to see you all there. It is definitely breaking any barriers between the hearing and the deaf members of the sangha in an amazing heartful way!

We use The Chanting Book provided by the Saranaloka Foundation for the chanting which is how we now end each evening. Please download on your phone, IPad or print so we can all chant together.

Next main event at the sangha will be September 20, 2014 Saturday daylong with the Aloka Vihara nuns from 930 to 5 pm. Please feel free to bring food to share and offer to the nuns. Please check the link on the home page of our website below to find out the food restrictions for the nuns.

I would love some volunteers to coordinate with Ron in my absence (taking both kids to college in August and early September, to return on September 18th) to come to the church by 9 am to vacuum, set up flowers 2-3 arrangements, bring 2 candles, incense in preparation for their teachings. Food should be set up in the lunchroom area across from the back entrance to the church. We need a volunteer to set up the lunch room before the midday meal. The nuns will instruct us on the ritual to offer them food and later to wash their alms bowls. It will be a beautiful daylong and I look forward to it as all of you too!

with gratitude for your practice,

August 8, 2014

American Sign Language Class taught by Judith Fruge this Sunday, August 11 from 6-645 pm and next Sunday the 18th at the same time at Alameda Sangha

Dear Ones,

I hope to see you all there at the church for the American Sign Language class with Judith Fruge at 6 pm. Tell your friends who may be interested in this free class.

Please forgive my forgetfulness in sending this announcement this week with the regular sangha email. I have new health challenges (with new tests that I am having to schedule and take) which I am working with and will talk about a little when we have announcements after the break and before the dharma talk.

IF you are curious, please visit my site on here. You will need to be a Charingbridge member. (It's free.) There are instructions on our website here.

See you all soon.

with metta and gratitude for your understanding, Pauletta
Dear Sangha,

The text of Rebecca's talk, Practicing with Humor. View the text here.

If you'd like to download the document go to the resources page of our website here and scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the Practicing with Humor document in the list of attached resources. (They are listed alphabetically.) To start the download, click on the red down arrow associated with the document.

(Shortly these will also be available on the same page as the audio talks.)

Best wishes to all,

August 7, 2014

Link to chanting for ending our evening at Alameda Sangha

This is the link to download or print the Reflections on Sharing the Blessings that we will chant each time to end our evenings at Alameda Sangha on Sunday nights.

Please do not be self critical to oneself in participating. It feels amazing and heart opening to chant these blessed and noble words of the Buddha whether or not we sound to ourselves as though we are out of key!

See you all this Sunday!

with metta,

August 6, 2014

Anger and Perception - Two Sundays in a row at Alameda Sangha

Dear Ones,

Join me this Sunday and next to explore anger and perception, Both talks segway into one another. When we decide to embark on socially engaged Buddhism, good intentions are not merely enough. Learn how anger and other destructive emotions can actually undermine efforts to further a particular cause that one may be passionate about. The work all starts with ourselves first - patience to be with the anger and its pent up and destructive energy which can move us to act unskillfully. Perception or the creation of stories can really fuel anger that is already past the point of being able to keep it in check.

Anger, not expressed unskillfully, can actually be a useful motivating factor to spur us to action.

May we have wholesome exploration of the seeds of reactivity that can make us move towards more kindness, respect and compassion as well as wisdom to know what is appropriate and when.

with metta,