Here’s a link to a really good audio essay (and an accompanying article) about practice, about sangha. It’s woven together from my teacher Poep Sa and members of his sangha. The interview was given surrounding the Tuscon AZ celebration of the All Soul’s Procession.
Give it a listen!
This coming Sunday is the last Sunday of the month! That means we’ll have an ‘Open Discussion’ – I don’t set the topic, whoever shows up this week will choose what we talk about it. It’s a more casual free flowing version of what Sundays usually look like, an opportunity to get to know each other a little better. We also call these Sundays our ‘Tea Party’ (We provide the tea, and you are welcome to bring snacks to share with the group).
See you Sunday,
Our expectations that mindfulness is going to fix or improve something represents our motivations for practice. But, like anything else in life!, if we become fixated on having that when we want it, we were we get bogged down when things aren’t going our way.
Getting really clear about what to expect from a mindfulness practice is a good way to keep grounded. Also being really clear about what mindfulness is will let you know if those expectations are realistic!
Leading up to Sunday, consider what are your expectations of mindfulness practice? Do you have short term and long term expectations? What are your reactions to thinking about ‘giving up’ these expectations or goals?
In preparation for this week’s discussion, please reflect on these following questions:
- What *is* mindfulness?
- Why did you start to practice it?
- Why do you continue to practice it?
- Are there any specific parts of your life that you want to bring more mindfulness to?
The Buddha recommended that we reflect on five things regularly to help maintain our motivations and renew our intentions for living a mindful life. They are classically called the five remembrances. What do they bring up in your heart?
- I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.
- I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape ill health.
- I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.
- All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.
- My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand
Our ability to be self aware, our ability to think, to plan, to remember.. all this is central to our sense of self and central to how we engage with the world. And all this work is based in the ‘mind’!
It’s one of the things that’s so easy to take for granted.
So consider these questions:
- Do you control your mind? Is it possible to control your mind?
- Can you think of a situation or two where you were surprised by your reaction, or your mind seemed ‘out of control’? What did you do? What were the results of that situation?
- How does your relationship with your mind shape your approach to mindfulness?
This week we’ll discuss the mind, mindfulness and it’s opposite mindlessness.
See you Sunday!