October 31, 2014

David Borglum

Dear Ones,

I got this message tonight from a friend of mine, Christy, who is also a minister and friend of David's.

We got news through our clergy partner that David died today at 1:45.

The message we received read..."Robbie Borglum asked me to let you know that our friend and colleague David Borglum passed away peacefully today at 1:45. We had gathered family around his bed to read a psalm and offer prayers of gratitude for his life. As the last prayers were said...he passed peacefully. Please keep Robbie, his wife, in your prayers as well as his daughter Angela and his son Christopher. Christopher is on an airplane now heading to Alameda."

In this moment, may there be gratitude, blessings and peace.


Keeping David and his family in the heart of love,
Deb Kerr

Love and Compassion for David Borglum

Dear ones,

Just wanted to let everyone know that David Borglum may not have much longer to live. A small group of us has been practicing with him on Friday mornings for the last few months, and today he was no longer able to be with us.

Please hold David and his wife Robbie and daughter Angela in your hearts, and send as much metta and compassion as you can.

May David, and all of us, remember our beauty and goodness.
May David, and all of us, be free from fear and pain.
May David, and all of us, be held completely in the arms of love and compassion.
May David, and all of us, be free.

with much love,
Deb Kerr

October 27, 2014

This Sunday at Alameda Sangha, please welcome Ayya Sobhana

Dear Ones,

Please let us come together to welcome Ayya Sobhana who will be coming to offer us the dharma this Sunday, November 2 at the usual time. Please bring open hearts and minds and a rested body to the evening. Bundle up as winter has surely begun!

Speaking of time, please don't forget that daylight savings time as we know it will end on this Sunday, Nov 2 and we get to set our clocks one hour earlier and sleep longer.
There is more information about Ayya Sobhana on her website Retreats with Ayya Sobhana

with metta,

October 24, 2014

This Sunday Oct. 26th: The Unfolding of Liberation

Dear Friends,

This Sunday at the Alameda Sangha, we'll be exploring how suffering gives way to the unfolding of liberation and well being. I'll include some classic accounts of the stages of awakening, as well as very simple descriptions of what it means to be free. There will be time to share experiences of awakened awareness, and discuss how we hold our deepest aspirations for practice.

looking forward to practicing and sharing the dharma together,
Deb Kerr

October 22, 2014

Yoga this Sunday at Sangha

Please join us for yoga on Sunday at 6-6:45pm right before the sit. Yoga really helps settle the mind and puts the body more at ease for meditation.

Bring a sticky mat and a firm cotton or wool blanket if you have one. I have straps and blocks to use. All levels welcome.

See you there!

October 16, 2014

Sun 7-8:30pm Metta for the Planet

Dear Friends,

When ours was a new species, our needs were met rather simply by the planet. We wandered and gathered and hunted. Sometimes there wasn't enough; at one point the weather was so harsh for so long that humanity almost became extinct. But we were clever. We developed language and agriculture, cities and science. We became ever better at taking more from the earth.

Now we have taken so much and in such harmful ways that the weather is becoming harsh again. Many think the survival of civilization and maybe even the species is at risk unless we change.

This Sunday Walt Opie and I will talk about reviving a good relationship with Earth through metta. Please come with your heart open for this dynamic world and its many, ever-evolving forms of life.


October 9, 2014

Sun 7-8:30 Accepting Uncertainty & Picnic

Dear Friends,

They say people make plans and the gods laugh. We humans are so oriented toward the future that we cherish the predictable and loath uncertainty. We take comfort from global communications and the sense it gives us that we're in touch with whatever's happening. Yet all we know for certain is what we're experiencing right now.

In the midst of so much that we simply don't know, we go on filling out calendars and suffering when our assumptions prove false. It's remarkable we manage at all. How can we address the uncertainty of life skillfully, so that it doesn't cause so much distress?

This Sunday, 7-8:30 pm, I'll take a look at the wisdom passed down on this matter and we can discuss how it can be applied to our own way of thinking and dealing with this truly unpredictable world.

Don't forget the annual sangha picnic is this Sunday, too! We'll gather in McKinley Park (Buena Vista & Walnut St) starting around 5 pm. Bring a dish to share if you can (don't forget beverages count). Compostable/recyclable cups, plates & utensils will be provided. We clean-up in time for our regular sitting at 7pm. The class in American Sign Language will be incorporated into the picnic.

With metta,

October 1, 2014

Sources of Our Usual Responses to Difficulty, this Sunday, October 5, 2014 at Alameda Sangha

Dear Ones,

Please contemplate on this passage from the Culatanhasankhaya Sutta or the Shorter Discourse on the Destruction of Craving from the Pali Canon before coming on Sunday.

'Venerable Sir, how in brief is a bhikku liberated in the destruction of craving, one who has reached the ultimate end, the ultimate security from bondage, the ultimate holy life, the ultimate goal, one who is foremost among gods and humans?
Here, ruler of gods, a bhikku has heard that nothing is worth adhering to. When a bhikku has heard that nothing is worth adhering to, he directly knows everything; having directly known everything, he fully understands everything; having fully understood everything, whatever feeling he feels, whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, he abides contemplating impermanence in those feelings, contemplating fading away, contemplating cessation, contemplating relinquishment.

Contemplating thus, he does not cling to anything in the world. When he does not cling, he is not agitated. When he is not agitated, he personally attains Nibbana. He understands: Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more coming to any state of being. Briefly, it is n this way, ruler of gods, that a bhikkhu is liberated in the destruction of craving, one who has reached the ultimate end, the ultimate security from bondage, the ultimate holy life, the ultimate goal, one who is foremost among gods and humans."

You got it! The sources of our usual responses (conditioned) to difficulty has its inception in grasping, clinging, attachment and identification. Come and learn how to stop the cycle of samsara! It will be a worthwhile exploration.

Here is the link to the beautiful chant on the Reflections on Sharing the Blessings when we end the evening together, of practice. IT is also located on the Resources page of the Alameda Sangha website (see link below)


Do not forget about our picnic at the park near the church on Sunday October 12 at 530 pm. Please bring real plates and silverware to avoid adding more stress to our mother earth when we dispose of so many paper plates and plastic forks and spoons! Vegetarian dishes and non alcoholic beverages are appreciated!

Looking forward to seeing you all this Sunday!

with metta, Pauletta