2 Jul
2012
Posted in: Practice
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Surprise!

I’ve signed up to receive “e-Teaching” from Phillip Moffitt, which appear in my in-box every so often and are always inspiring. The one I got Friday relates to his latest book, Emotional Chaos to Clarity. The teaching was on “Clarifying Values, Intentions, and Goals” and it included a link to his Core Values and Essential Intentions Worksheet that was very….enlightening.

The worksheet lists a variety of values (from “Achievement/Accomplishment” to “Wisdom”) and the first step is to rate how important each one is to you. The next step is to choose the five “Extremely Important” ones. These, Phillip says, are your core values.

I would have thought things like “honesty” and “kindness” would be at the top of my list. But it turns out “Creative Expression,” “Independence” and “Love of Learning” are even higher!

The next part of the exercise is to develop essential intentions for each of these core values.  Phillip writes, “….if ‘inner authority’ is a core value for you, then one way you might articulate the essential intention is, ‘I intend to value myself and remember that I always have a choice.'”

So now, one of my essential intentions is: I intend to honor creativity in myself and others and to look for ways that creativity can be expressed. 

Click here to download Phillips worksheet. Click here if you’d like to subscribe to his e-Teachings.

(image from “A Whole World,” by Katy Couprie and Antonin Louchard)

 

29 Jun
2012
Posted in: Sangha at Large
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Chinese Lantern Festival

Go see the Chinese Lantern Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden before it’s all over on August 19!

Here’s a peek at the four-faced Buddha.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the giant lotus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And flowering ponds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a dragon coming out of blue water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And flying celestial beings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And me!

 

28 Jun
2012
Posted in: Food
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Veggie Dharma

OK, so this isn’t exactly Dharma…but ultimately, everything is practice, so here goes.

I joined this absolutely awesome CCSA (Combined Community Supported Agriculture), Fair Shares, and I just picked up my latest cache of goodies, which includes: Sweet Corn, Peaches, Tomatoes, Green Beans, Cabbage, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Green Peppers, Blackberries, Red Zeppelin Onions, Parsley, Egg Noodles, Alpine Cheese and a Baguette!

So here’s a bit of Veggie Dharma, adapted from Deborah Madison’s yummy cookbook, Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets.

Big Tomato Sandwich

1. Slice the top third off a loaf of strong-textured bread. Pull out the insides. (Use it to make bread crumbs!)

2. Paint the inside of the bread with herb vinaigrette (recipe below).

3. Layer the bread with slices of tomatoes, roasted red or yellow peppers, and your favorite cheese. Bathe each layer with dressing and season with salt and pepper.

4. Put the top on the sandwich, press down, then cut into manageable portions. (This packs well if wrapped tightly.)

For the herb vinaigrette:
Finely chop 1/4 cup basil, 1 Tablespoon marjoram, 1 Tablespoon parsley with 1 small clove garlic. Add 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, then 1/4 teaspoons aged red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy! (mindfully)

 

 

 

27 Jun
2012
Posted in: Books
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Check It Out!

DharmaTown Library is now new and improved!

Categories have been added, so you’ll be able to find groups of books, based on specific topics or areas of interest. The categories will surely change and grow, but right now they are:

* Beginner’s Mind
* Classics
* Deep Practice

* Dharma of Money
* Inspiration

* Science
* Travel 

The Library Home Page will now focus on just one Featured Selection, which will change to reflect new books being released, popular topics, visiting teachers, and/or recent posting here on DharmaTown Times. Check it out!

 

 

26 Jun
2012
Posted in: Practice
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Now I See…

Last year I did a contemplative exercise developed by Jody Ziegler, for the Art History class she taught at Holy Cross College. She would send her students to the local art museum, asking them to choose one piece of art, which they would then look at — every week — for the entire semester (13 weeks). Their assignment was then to write a short paper, every week, after looking at that same piece of art. Each paper was to begin with the phrase: “Now I see…”

I fell in love with the idea after reading about it in a book she co-authored with Christopher Dustin, titled Practicing Mortality: Art, Philosophy and Contemplative Seeing.

So I tried it. I found a painting that caught my attention and spent at least half an hour, every week, for 13 weeks, looking at it and then writing about it in my journal, beginning with the phrase: “Now I see….”  The paining was Woman (in Strong Light), by Emil Nolde. The experience was, to say the least, eye-opening.

So now I’ve decided to do it again. This time, I’ve decided to do it with the 11th century Guan Yin sculpture, pictured in the photo above. (Thank you, Scott.) My first visit to Guan Yin will be this Friday night.

Stay tuned.

25 Jun
2012
Posted in: Groups, Sangha at Large
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Laughing in the Park

As Suzuki Roshi said:
“What we are doing here is so important, we better not take it too seriously!” 

Join us at “Sitting in the Park.” We meet every Saturday morning — weather permitting — in Tower Grove Park, near the Farmers’ Market. 8:30 to 9:00 am.

May all being be happy.

 

 

 

22 Jun
2012
Posted in: Books, Groups, Sangha at Large
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Cha, cha, cha!

The Monday night “Dancing with Life” KM group has decided to start over because we felt that we haven’t been focusing enough on the book (“Dancing with Life,” by Phillip Moffitt). So we’re going back to the beginning–starting with the preface–and each of us will bring a passage we’ve underlined…..something we’ve found helpful, or inspiring, or confusing…and we’ll read it aloud and the group will discuss.

The first thing I underlined was: “…teaching the dharma is the most satisfying activity I have ever done in my life.”

The next was: “Why do you suffer? Is there a purpose to your pain? What about the amount of suffering you experience–is it fair, based on some understandable system of cause and effect, or is it simply arbitrary? Can you affect how much you suffer? If so, how?”

But the one I want to bring to the group is: “….life will move you with the rhythm and in the direction of its own unfolding, irregardless of your best intentions. Life dances and you must dance with it. This is the necessary price and mysterious gift of being incarnate–alive in a body.”

(image from Q-cards by Zolo, inc.)

21 Jun
2012
Posted in: Food, Money, Practice
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What’s Hidden Within

One of the DPP homework assignments for this week’s sitting practice was:
“Notice when thoughts arise connected to spending money or finances. What are the feelings associated with these thoughts? What is the response in the body? What happens when you imagine buying, then imagine not buying, that item? ”

For me, “that item” was an Iced Latte Grande With One Raw Sugar.

The “buying” was kind of neutral. OK, there was some grasping. But when it came to “not buying”…..that’s when the beast-that-I-didn’t-want-to-see made itself known.

Rebellion was there. Defiance. Entitlement. Then Justification. Rationalization. Defensiveness. Then Anger…at the unfairness of it all. Humor, thankfully, kicked in. Then Relaxation. Followed by Sadness. A feeling of Unworthiness. Depravation. Abandonment made an appearance. Impoverishment. Not Having Enough. Not Feeling Safe. Being All Alone.

Wow.

All of that, disguised as a latte.

 

(image from “The Utter Zoo,” illustration by Edward Gorey)

 

 

20 Jun
2012
Posted in: Practice, Sangha at Large
By    Comments Off on Join. Peace. Now.

Join. Peace. Now.

 

Hey, check out these cool signs Cindy made for the Sitting in the Park! practice sessions held every Saturday morning near the Farmer’s Market in Tower Grove Park. We meet from 8:30 to 9:00 am  — weather permitting — from now through October. Look for the Tibetan prayer flags…and these signs!

There’s no dharma talk. Just sitting.

It’s very cool. (Even when it’s hot.)

Join us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19 Jun
2012
Posted in: Practice, Sangha at Large
By    1 Comment

Dharma Seed Friends

The new Dharma Seed KM group met last night for the first time, and as you can see, we’re off to a great start. We sat for 20 minutes (after all the photo-taking was done!), then listened to Tara Brach’s talk on “The Awakened Heart” and had a nice little discussion.

The group had originally planned to meet next at the end of July, but the response has been so positive that we don’t want to wait that long!

So, the next meeting will be on Monday, July 16, 7:00 to 9:00 pm.

The talk next time will be “Poetry & Beauty,” by Jack Kornfield. For more info, contact Jan. Hope to see you there!