March 30, 2015

Notes from Talk on Pain Last Night

Dear Friends,
Thanks for a lively discussion of pain, and exploration of tools we can use to work with it.  Here are my notes for the talk.  The poem I read at the end is "Monet Refuses the Operation" by Lisel Mueller.

with warmth,

March 27, 2015

Yoga at Sangha this Sunday 3/29 @6pm

Please come to yoga on Sunday! Bring a yoga sticky mat, barefeet, and an empty stomach. Wear clothes you can move in, no belts or jeans please.

See you there.

Namaste, Dina Hondrogen

March 26, 2015

This Sunday Night: Pains in the Neck, or Elsewhere

Dear Friends,

This Sunday March 29 we will discuss working with pain in the body, heart or mind. What is our usual response to unpleasantness? How does mindfulness work when things hurt? We'll go over some basic tools for working with painful states, and also look at how we can use pain to be more mindful of others, and to help us remember compassion. We'll also explore particular ways to help bring back our sense of connectedness, which is often lost when we feel isolated by pain. And of course, we will remember the importance of the funny bone in alleviating pain.

Looking forward to practicing together--
Deb Kerr

March 23, 2015

Donations outside the sangha

Dear Friends,

Sunday's talk about generosity included a statement of Alameda Sangha's policy about members' contributions to outside organizations. Deb and Pauletta asked me to pass this on to all members by email.

Alameda Sangha is dedicated to supporting the practice of generosity, a foundational practice for all lay people, so we keep dana within the sangha structured for this practice. We encourage members to practice generosity outside the sangha also, but we teachers do not suggest any specific outside recipients. Sangha members are welcome to bring outside organizations' fundraising flyers or postcards and set them out near the table and then take them away after the meeting. Also, you're welcome to use the Yahoo groups email to promote outside causes you support. If you're not on the Yahoo group, contact Mary Hynes.

If you missed any of my last three dharma talks, or if you want to hear past talks by any sangha teachers, you can find recordings of them on our website to stream or download.

Best wishes to all,

March 19, 2015

Sun. Joys of Generosity 7-8:30 pm, 3/22

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we'll delve into the Joys of Generosity. When you're truly feeling generous, you're not feeling anything but positive states of mind. During our evening together, I'll explore the true nature of generosity. You'll be able to observe generosity in action, discuss this heart-expanding practice, and investigate how it works for yourself.

I hope you will come join us, and invite anyone you know who might benefit from adding some uplift, peace, and happiness to their lives.

With mudita,

March 12, 2015

Sun 3/15, 7-8:30 Problems with Preferences

Dear Friends,

The idea of living without preferences can seem alien, even frightening. For the first five years of my practice, in Zen, I was told at least once a week, "having no preference is freedom!" Each time I thought, "Yeah, but… what harm can it do to know which of two things I prefer?"

It's taken many years for me to see the benefit of recognizing when the first faint feelings of a preference begin to take root and grow into clinging, fear and the many other forms of suffering.

This Sunday evening we'll investigate the role of preference, why it seems so indispensable to us, and how we can live happily without it. Bring your questions, stories and friends!

The following week, March 22, my talk will be on Generosity.


Sun, 7-8:30pm, What Disability Can Teach Us

Dear Friends,

Every human life includes years of disability, and yet most humans believe that "disabled" refers to a small segment of the population. How we think about disability determines much more than how politically correct we are. It sets up conditions for significant suffering – or freedom – in our own lives.

This Sunday we'll take a compassionate look at the uniqueness of each human body and mind, and the impermanence of our physical and mental states. Bring your hopes and fears, and your insights, questions, and friends.

I look forward to seeing you all again,

Notes on Four Elements Practice

Hi Everyone,

Here and here are my notes on the Four Elements, and the quotes I used tonight.
with blessings,

Deb Kerr

PS. Additional notes and resources can be found here on the Resources page of our website.

This Sunday Feb. 22: The Vicissitudes, Gratitude and Letting Go

Dear Friends,

This Sunday the topic will be the vicissitudes of life (starting with the ups and downs of travel to foreign lands!) and how the practice can bring us greater ease in dealing with ever-changing and unforeseeable circumstances.

Come to sit and share your own favorite stories of life's ups and downs. Where do they catch you, and where do you find that you have freedom in their midst?

looking forward to practicing together, and seeing you all,
Deb Kerr