Browsing Category "Groups"
6 Aug
2012
Posted in: Books, Groups, Practice
By    Comments Off on “Dancing” Tonight

“Dancing” Tonight

Tonight the Monday night “Dancing” KM Group meets for our on-going discussion of “Dancing with Life,” by Phillip Moffitt. So far, we’ve read to the end of Chapter 6, “The Call to Know That You Know.” As always, we bring a sentence, phrase or paragraph from the current reading to discuss with the group.

I’ve chosen a couple of snippets from various paragraphs on page 61:

“….beginner’s mind requires you to forsake your desires and ideas about what you will accomplish.”

The Buddha cautioned: ‘The future is always other than you imagined it.'”

Look to those far lofty peaks of enlightenment, heaven, or paradise for inspiration, but live in the now. For in this moment, you are either creating suffering for yourself and others, or you are not.”

(I hope I am not.)

 

 

 

(image from A Whole World, by Couprie and Louchard)

31 Jul
2012
Posted in: Groups, Practice
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First Tuesday Tonglen

Starting next Tuesday, Maplewood Metta will offer Tonglen practice on the first Tuesday of every month.

Tonglen is the powerful Tibetan practice of giving and receiving compassion, which fosters wisdom and fearlessness as well as love and compassion toward oneself and others. Scott Newell will lead us in this ancient healing practice.

All are welcome!

Where: The home of Johannes Wich-Schwarz, 28 17 Oakland, Maplewood, MO 63143

When: First Tuesday of every month, 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

 

 

 

(image from Spirit Rock publications)

26 Jul
2012
Posted in: Groups, Practice
By    Comments Off on The Sweet Taste of Dhamma

The Sweet Taste of Dhamma

We had a full house last night at the Hi-Pointe Sitting Group, with several new people in attendance, as well as many familiar friends. It was a lovely group in a beautiful space….what could be sweeter!

Here is the reading I used to end the sitting. It’s from Dhamma Everywhere, which is a collection of teachings by U Tejaniya.

Naturally, if there are wholesome mental states, there will be peace. It is important that the meditating mind is a wholesome mind or working towards wholesomeness. 

“Sati (mindfulness), samadhi (collectedness), viriya (energy), saddha (confidence) and panna (wisdom) are all wholesome. Out of all the wholesome actions we can do (dana/generosity, sila/ethical living, samadhi/collectedness, and panna/wisdom), cultivating wholesome mental qualities through developing insight/wisdom (vipassana bhavana) is the highest one.

Most people in the world like to enjoy the taste of good feelings or sensations. It is said that among all the tastes, the best taste is the taste of Dhamma.

“The taste of Dhamma is not just a feeling of peace–it is the supreme taste of knowing and understanding.” 

Hi-Pointe Sitting Group will now be meeting every Wednesday from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at Blue Lotus Dharma Center (located just behind the Hi-Pointe Theatre). Join us!

(Thanks to Scott for the image of the alter above)

 

25 Jul
2012
Posted in: Groups, Practice
By    Comments Off on Take It Easy

Take It Easy

At the Hi-Pointe Sitting Group tonight, I plan to offer U Tejaniya‘s instructions for Insight Meditation, which is a lovely, relaxed, open-hearted style of practice. Here are the kinds of directions he gives:

“Meditation is acknowledging and observing whatever happens — whether pleasant or unpleasant — in a relaxed way.”

When meditating, both the mind and the body should be comfortable.”

“If the mind and body are getting tired, something is wrong with the way you are practicing, and it is time to check the way you are meditating.”

“Don’t focus too hard, don’t control. Neither force nor restrict yourself.”

“Don’t try to create anything, and don’t reject what is happening. Just be aware.”

“Trying to create something is greed. Rejecting what is happening is aversion. Not knowing if something is happening or has stopped happening is delusion.”

You are not trying to make things turn out the way you want them to happen. You are trying to know what is happening as it is.” 

Interested? Join us at Blue Lotus Dharma Center, 1002 Hi-Pointe Place, 63117. (Directly behind the Hi-Pointe Theatre.) We sit every Wednesday evening from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. For more information, contact Jan.

(I have no idea who to credit for this image. It’s on a deck of cards I’ve had in my desk for ages.)

 

23 Jul
2012
Posted in: Books, Groups
By    Comments Off on Unwanted Change

Unwanted Change

The Monday night “Dancing with Life” KM group meets again tonight and our “assignment,” as always, is to bring a passage from the book that we’d like to discuss. The one I’m bringing starts on page 47:

“The truth of the [inevitable stress] of change goes against the ethos of modern Western culture, which promotes an unrealistic expectation that you can manage your life to be secure against unwanted change.

“The false promise that you can maintain control creates an expectation that is a cause of suffering in itself, for you are bound to fail in this endeavor. Of course, you should act wisely as possible to manage change in your life–to do otherwise would be folly.

“But the difference lies in your attitude and expectations. Can you be at ease with its unpredictable, uncontrollable nature?” 

I’m working on it.

(image from “Gorey Creatures“)

19 Jul
2012
Posted in: Groups
By    Comments Off on Sneak Peek

Sneak Peek

I’m getting very excited about the new Hi-Pointe Sitting Group I’ll be leading, beginning next Wednesday, July 25 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at Blue Lotus Dharma Center, located directly behind the Hi-Pointe Theatre. Scott Newell, Cindy Brinkop and I picked up the keys last night and I took a few pictures of the space we’ll be sitting in. Check it out:

This is the sanctuary where we’ll be sitting from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. There is also a bright, airy tea room where we will move to from 8:00 to 8:30 pm for a little social time and casual conversation. (I forgot to take photos of the tea room. Sorry. But come on Wednesday and see it for yourself!)

There are regular chairs available for sitting, as well as a variety of cushions in various sizes and shapes. And of course, you are welcome to bring your own, if you’d like.

I can’t believe how lucky I am to have been offered this site. Not only is it a lovely, sacred and beautifully cared-for space, but it’s just blocks from my house!

 

Please note: the center is on the second floor of the building and there are no elevators, so for those who have difficulty with stairs, it might not be an ideal location. Also, incense is regularly used in the space, so it might not be a good place for those who are sensitive to fragrances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what the building looks like from the outside. Directions to the center can be found here. For those familiar with the neighborhood, turn onto Ethel from McCausland, go around behind the “dead Del Taco,” then about half a block up the street and the parking lot will be on your right.

The door to the center is under the cedar overhang. There will be a DharmaTown Hi-Pointe Sitting Group sign on the door, which will be unlocked from about 6:40 pm. Just go on in and head up the stairs. There will be a place to take off your shoes upstairs. (There is also a restroom.)

For more information, contact Jan Rosamond. Hope to see you there!

 

 

17 Jul
2012
Posted in: Groups
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Dharma Roar

The Dharma Seed KM group met last night and listened to Jack Kornfield’s awesome “Poetry & Beauty” talk, which can be streamed or downloaded here.

Jack’s talks are always great, but he really out-did himself this time. He reads poetry and weaves stories and….well, there’s no way to sum up what he says, but I’ll give you a sample. It’s from the part where he talks about Dharma as the Lion’s Roar–female version. To illustrate, he reads this poem by Nikki Giovanni:

I was born in the congo
I walked to the fertile crescent and built the sphinx
I designed a pyramid so tough that a star
that only glows every one hundred years falls
into the center giving divine perfect light
I am bad.

I sat on the throne drinking nectar with allah
I got hot and sent an ice age to europe to cool my thirst
My oldest daughter is nefertiti
the tears from my birth pains created the nile
I am a beautiful woman

I gazed on the forest and burned out the sahara desert
with a packet of goat’s meat and a change of clothes
I crossed it in two hours
I am a gazelle so swift
so swift you can’t catch me

For a birthday present when he was three
I gave my son hannibal an elephant
He gave me rome for mother’s day
My strength flows ever on

My son noah built new/ark and
I stood proudly at the helm as we sailed on a soft summer day
I turned myself into myself and was jesus
men intone my loving name
All praises All praises
I am the one who would save

I sowed diamonds in my back yard
My bowels deliver uranium
the filing from my fingernails are semi-precious jewels
On a trip north
I caught a cold and blew
My nose giving oil to the arab world
I am so hip even my errors are correct
I sailed west to reach east and had to round off the earth as I went
The hair from my head thinned and gold was laid across three continents

I am so perfect so divine so ethereal so surreal
I cannot be comprehended except by my permission

I mean…I…can fly
….like a bird in the sky…..

(image from “I Told You So,” by Daisy de Villeneuve

 

11 Jul
2012
Posted in: Groups, Sangha at Large
By    Comments Off on Happy Birthday Metta

Happy Birthday Metta

Last night we celebrated the One Year Anniversary of Maplewood Metta! This group is very sweet, super friendly, and growing all the time. Join us! We meet every Tuesday, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, at 2817 Oakland in Maplewood. For more info, click here.

Here’s a sneak peek:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Jul
2012
Posted in: Books, Groups, Practice
By    Comments Off on That Changes Things

That Changes Things

The Monday night Dancing with Life KM group meets again tonight. The group is reading the book, Dancing with Life, by Phillip Moffitt and the “assignment” for tonight is to read to the end of Chapter 5 and to come prepared with at least one sentence, phrase or paragraph to discuss with the group.

I chose a few from an early part of the book, where Phillip gives very clear instructions for the mindfulness meditation practice, AND very clear descriptions of the benefits.

From page 13: “Starting over is a key step in meditation.” This is big for me because it’s so reassuring. It’s not a failure to have to keep starting over. It’s a key part of the process!

From page 20: For the first few years of practice you are literally reprogramming your nervous system to free it from habitual reactivity. This alone will bring much ease and flexibility to your mind.” I chose this sentence because he’s talking about a benefit of meditation that’s practical, tangle, not “woo-woo.” It’s a real, down-to-earth benefit that I have experienced.

And, he continues, “The most life-changing benefits of mindfulness meditation are the insights, which arise spontaneously the way a ripened apple falls from the tree of its own accord. Insight is what changes your life. Through insight you realize what brings well-being to yourself and others as well as what brings stress, discomfort, and dissatisfaction into your life.” I chose this passage because of the phrase: Insight is what changes your life.

I chose it because Insight has changed mine.

(image by Mose Tolliver, from “Outsider Art” postcards)

 

 

6 Jul
2012
Posted in: Groups
By    4 Comments

Hi-Pointe Sitting

I am very excited to announce that I have been offered space in a beautiful new Dharma Center, which is located directly behind the Hi-Pointe Theatre. Beginning Wednesday, July 25, I will be leading a new Mindfulness Sitting Group at the center. I’m calling the group: Hi-Pointe Sitting.

Where: Blue Lotus Dharma Center, 1002 Hi-Pointe Place, Suite 2B, St. Louis, MO 63117 (for directions, click here.)

When: Wednesdays, 7:00 – 8:30 pm (starting July 25)

Format: At 7:00 pm, we will begin with instructions and/or a short reflection. We’ll sit for 40 minutes, then open for discussion. At 8:00 pm, we will end the formal practice and move to the reception area for informal tea and conversation.

Who should attend: Anyone! The format is flexible and intended to be welcoming for beginners as well as experienced practitioners.

For more information: Contact Jan Rosamond.