November 28, 2014

Text for Pauletta's talk on Nov. 16 on Wise Speech and Intention

Dear Ones,

Some of you requested the written text of my talk I gave when I last taught on Nov. 16. You can find it on the resources page of our website here.

Please know that I also have the audio of it posted on the Alameda Sangha website which may be more informative than the written text as I sometimes add or improvise on the written, planned one, depending on the energy of the room on a particular Sunday.

See you all on Sunday,
with metta, Pauletta

November 26, 2014

Forgot the chanting link plus invitation for Thanksgiving

Dear Ones,

Here is the chanting link for Sunday or check the Resources page on our website link below. Direct link is: http://saranaloka.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/chanting-book-33.pdf

Last call for if there are any one of you that might be alone for Thanksgiving and would rather not be alone, please come to our home at any point that day. All are welcome. Contact me by using the AlamedaSangha form here to let me know if you will be coming. We will already be cooking a large turkey with many side dishes and Filipino food. Come to whatever feels most comfortable:

Morning - 10:30-12:00 walk and meditation by the boats, weather permitting
Eating - 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm 
 
I will be giving a heartfelt blessing ritual to all present for giving so much support, love, food and company when I was very sick with cancer last year. I still have stage 4 cancer but for the duration of the holidays at least do not appear to have to have another chemo treatment and I am so blessed and grateful. I attribute this period of reprieve and healing to all of you who have helped me personally and distantly with your good wishes, prayers and metta.

Walking: 315 - 345 walking around the neighborhood by the boats
Dessert: 400 pm

I am looking forward to a very peaceful and heartwarming event,
Pauletta

November 25, 2014

Reminder of Intention, Wise Speech, Breathe and The Vicissitudes of Life this Thanksgiving Sunday, November 30, 2014 at Alameda Sangha

Dear Ones,
 
As we approach crunch time for the most celebrated holiday in America, I wish you all calm, peace, tranquility and groundedness. Remember to stay with the intention to be kind and respectful at all times no matter what. Breathe through any difficulty or even any joyous chaos that can be equally overwhelming in another way.

Remember the 4 guidelines of the Buddha for wise speech to ourselves and others: truthfulness, kind, helpful and appropriate.

Hoping that these tools along with our innate goodness will help us through the holiday and offer transformation and greater understanding with interconnection for us all. May you all have a peaceful time and a nourishing meal.

Remembering gratitude during sitting meditation, bringing to mind at least 5 things to be grateful for in one's life. This can help to really mellow out the day.

This Sunday, please join me in exploring the vicissitudes of life. These are 4 pairs of conditions that can typically make us lose our ground, push us around like the wind and cause us so much unnecessary suffering. Come and see how we can practice to become aware that this could be starting to happen for us in any moment and how to end the cycle of dukkha and samsara around these 8 earthly conditions.

Last, after the hectic aspects of the holidays, please save the date: Saturday, January 31 to give yourselves the gift of spiritual nourishment. Join Richard Shankman and myself for a day of sitting and walking practice together. There may not be a theme to the day, but short talks will be given and it will be possible to interview with either one of us during the walking periods. The day will begin at 9:30 am and end at 5 pm. We will having the daylong at Alameda Sangha in the church.

​with metta, Pauletta

November 24, 2014

Yoga at Sangha this Sunday

Hi all,

We will be having yoga on Nov. 30th, this Sunday at 6pm before we sit.
Please come with your yoga mat and clothes you can move in.

All levels welcome.

Namaste, Dina
www.DinaHondrogen.com

November 22, 2014

References for Anapanasati Sutta

Dear Friends,
If possible before tomorrow night's meeting, I recommend reading the sutta via this link:
http://www.wisdompubs.org/book/middle-length-discourses-buddha/selections/middle-length-discourses-118-anapanasati-sutta
and reading this study guide for at at this link:
http://www.bcbsdharma.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/09SummerFullIssue.pdf

Once you get into this pdf, go to pages 28 and 29. I recommend printing out these two pages for ongoing reference for your practice.

Even if you just get a sense of the structure of the sutta, that would be helpful. I love the whole thing, but find the introduction to be especially inspiring because of the full picture we get of the Buddha's community of practitioners at this point in his career.

The remainder of the sutta is amazing for the comprehensive teaching it offers: incorporating the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, the Seven Factors of Enlightenment and the cycle of Transcendental Dependent Arising, all in one carefully crafted set of breathing instructions. The Buddha was a genius of human psychology, and this sutta illustrates that very strongly.

with warmth,
Deb

November 21, 2014

Anapanasati Sutta This Sunday at Alameda Sangha

Dear Friends,

This Sunday 11/23, I'll be presenting an overview of the Anapanasati Sutta, one of the central teachings of the Theravadan Buddhist tradition. On first glance, this sutta seems to be very simply about breath meditation. But on more in depth study, it is clear the Buddha meant this teaching to be an encapsulation of the entire path. Because of the context in which this teaching was given, we can deduce that the Buddha was quite well along in his teaching career, and that maturity is reflected in the beautiful way this sutta is structured.

Come learn how the Buddha taught us to use simple breath practice to lead all the way to liberation through non-clinging.

Judi Fruge will also be continuing our wonderful series of classes in American Sign Language, starting at 6 p.m.

Looking forward to learning and practicing together.

with warmth,
Deb Kerr

November 13, 2014

This Sunday, November 16 from 7-9 pm at Alameda Sangha: Even When Difficulties Come Up

Dear Ones,

Please join me this Sunday to kick off and start your holiday preparation practice on setting intention and using wise speech. The two practices work very well together and support one another nicely. If we start now, and practice the week prior to Thanksgiving and continue on through prepping for the December holiday festivities, I'm sure that we will find what an amazing positive difference these practices will make in managing holiday stress, expectation and actual real time interaction. Then, after we see the fruits of the practice, these will hopefully carry through and become part of our tool kit for life beyond the holidays. I am very excited to offer these two teachings of the Buddha so that we can make a positive difference this holiday season.

Please download or print the chanting: (also available from our Resources page on the website) So that we can end the evening together.

Saran Aloka Chanting Book

This Saturday, the three of us Alameda Sangha teachers, Rebecca Dixon, Deb Kerr and I will be teaching a daylong all day at this same location from 9am to 430 pm. Come and spend the day in silent walking, sitting and eating practice. Give yourselves the gift of spiritual nourishment as we explore together, the 3 Poisons of Greed, Hatred and Delusion. This is one of Buddha's important teachings. When Sariputta asked him why he was teaching about these 3 kilesas (mental defilements - major categories under which all others fall into, i.e. envy, addiction, divisive speech, anger, etc) Buddha answered, "if one can work with these 3 kilesas and are able to dispel them, the end of suffering will be reached and Nibbana attained."

Thus the importance of learning to understand, work with and become liberated from greed, hatred and delusion. What a difference this would make in our world together!
In the morning we will talk about how to recognize their arising in the mind, simple examples of how to work with them and in the afternoon, the counterpart practices of generosity, lovingkindness and wisdom in order to awaken from the trance and hold that these can have on all of us in our daily lives.  It will be quite an amazing day indeed! Wear comfortable clothing, bring a bag lunch and bring any cushions and zabutons that you may be accustomed to sitting in at home. Otherwise the chairs are very comfortable. Plan to arrive early to settle in. Looking forward to seeing you there!



Last, in light of the coming holidays, if there are any one of you that might be alone for Thanksgiving and would rather not be alone, please come to our home at any point that day. All are welcome. Contact me by using the contact form on our website here to let me know if you will be coming. We will already be cooking a large turkey with many side dishes and Filipino food. Come to whatever feels most comfortable:

Morning: 1030-1200 walk and meditation by the boats (weather permitting)

Eating: 200 pm - 315 pm 
 
I will be giving a heartfelt blessing ritual to all present for giving so much support, love, food and company when I was very sick with cancer last year. I still have stage 4 cancer but for the duration of the holidays at least do not appear to have to have another chemo treatment and I am so blessed and grateful. I attribute this period of reprieve and healing to all of you who have helped me personally and distantly with your good wishes, prayers and metta.

Walking: 3:15 - 3:45 walking around the neighborhood by the boats
Dessert: 4:00 pm

looking forward to a very peaceful and heartwarming event,

with metta and gratitude for your practice, Pauletta

November 7, 2014

Sun 7-8:30pm Freedom through the Precepts

Dear Friends,

When we look at the Five Precepts for lay people, they can seem like a list of chores, or admonitions to do things. There can be resistance to thinking about our conduct and how we would have to act to follow the precepts perfectly.

The precepts are actually gateways to freedom, offering us guidelines for minimizing suffering. They're like hiking poles that can help us up or down steep hills and keep us on the trail. This Sunday, Nov. 9, I hope you'll join us to contemplate the way these suggestions for wise action can make life easier for all beings.

With metta,
Rebecca

November 5, 2014

Service to Honor the Life of David Borglum

Dear Ones,

A service for David Borglum is planned for Friday night, November 14 at 7:00pm at First Congregational Church of Alameda at 1912 Central Ave, Alameda.

sending blessings,
Deb Kerr