August 28, 2015

This Sunday: How Did I Get Here? Conditioning and the Possiblity of Change

Dear Friends,

The good news of karma is that it carries the seed of freedom in every moment. This Sunday we will continue to discuss karma, seeing both the skillful and unskillful things that we have fostered, and that in turn create our lives. We'll talk about why, in the Buddhist cosmology, it is considered so rare and precious to be born human; and we will review the importance of intention. We'll see that it is possible to change, and that one essential way of dong that is to work with our "ways of looking"-- at both ourselves and the world.

Looking forward to being with you and practicing together.

with warmth,
Deb Kerr

Yoga this Sunday

Yoga will be taught this Sunday 6-6:45pm. Come in clothes you can move in. Bring a sticky mat, bare feet and an empty stomach. All levels welcome.

Dina Hondrogen
Yoga Instructor

August 20, 2015

This Sunday: Sangha PICNIC and "Sila, Karma and the Bliss of Blamelessness"

Dear Friends,

This Sunday, August 23, I'll be talking about Sila, Karma and the Bliss of Blamelessness. We'll be exploring the role of morality as a protection and essential support for our practice and our lives; some "nuts and bolts" about karma and its interplay with sila; and the ease, peace and happiness that come from living lives of non-harming, in accord with others.

Reminder: Our Fifth Annual Sangha Picnic will be on Sunday August 23 from 5 - 6:30 at McKinley Park, 2165 Buena Vista Ave, Alameda. Please label your dish to indicate if it is vegan, vegetarian, or non-vegetarian.

This is a wonderful opportunity to socialize, get to know each other better, and enjoy amazing food. For more details, visit our website, noted below.

sending all good wishes,

Awesome Wes Nisker Daylong Next Saturday!

Dear Friends,

Here is a wonderful opportunity to experience the teachings of one of our most treasured dharma masters and Spirit Rock teachers, in Alameda on a dana basis! At the Alameda Sangha on August 22, renowned dharma teacher, journalist and performer Wes Nisker will be leading a daylong on How To Be An Earthling-- Mindfulness Meditation and Modern Science: A Path of Self-Liberation and Amazement. Wes was my first and most influential dharma teacher, and I highly recommend his light and humorous yet profound teachings.

The daylong will be at Buena Vista UM Church from 10 - 4 on Saturday August 22. For details, and to register, see the Alameda Sangha website:

Come and bring your friends for a delightful day of dharma!

with warmth,
Deb Kerr

August 13, 2015

This Sunday at Alameda Sangha, August 16, 2015 Understanding the Mind or the Third Foundation of Mindfulness

Dear Ones,
Join me this coming Sunday to spend time with my favorite aspect of the dhamma, which is mind training and getting to know one's various mental states, wholesome and unwholesome. We will explore the Three Poisons which the Buddha points to as encompassing the entire range of our unwholesome mental states. If we learn to incline our mind away from these and more towards the wholesome mental states, we can train our minds to approach closer to liberation from suffering.

We will also look at Two Kinds of Thoughts, a sutta from the Mahjima Nikaya that the Buddha came up with before he awakened. In it he points us to wise discernment of what leads to long term, lasting happiness and liberation and what on the other hand leads us to suffering.

Should be a rich evening and a nice segway from the monastic daylong on Vedana or the second foundation of mindfulness earlier in the day for those of you who come.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

with gratitude for your practice,

August 6, 2015

7-8:30pm Sun, Nothing to Hold On or Cling To

Dear Friends,

We all want something to hold on to, not just when the going gets rough, but every day. There can be many days in a row when we do have a solid grip on "what matters to us," and we can come to expect it will continue that way. But nothing is certain.

Buddha taught that in fact, there's really never anything to hold on or cling to, and that we're actually better off if we accept that, deeply. When we have what we want, it's hard to imagine letting it go with equanimity. It may be in the difficult times, when crisis hits, that we're best able to see this teaching for what it's worth.

I hope you can join us this Sunday, 7-8:30, when we explore the difficulty – and value – of having nothing to cling to. Bring your stories, and friends.