refuge, resistance, resilience + radical self-expression

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“The Sangha is an island of peace. The Sangha is a community of resistance against violence, hate and despair.” 

— Thich Nhat Hanh

These words of my root teacher Thây live at the core of our sangha’s suchness. They have shaped our evolution into a community of spiritual friends who find sanctuary in journeying together through challenge and change; being stretched and sharpened by wisdom teachings, shared insights and loving (re)assurances; shedding skin, healing, transforming, blooming wholy into our radiant bodhisattva-ness!

We are called together to revive, reclaim and fortify ourselves with liberating contemplative spiritual practices. We take refuge in the full embrace of sangha to “remember to remember” that we have all we need — breath, willingness, enough time, connection to wise companions with gifts, skills and rich life experiences — to (re)connect with our true selves and nourish our wholeness.

“Retreating” from the madness of the world around us is not a viable option for everyone. For me, access to organized retreats set in bucolic off-the-grid environs invites us to interrogate spiritual elitism and the socioeconomic realities and other disparities and inequities among practitioners in all spiritual traditions. It points us back to the question of how we practice and cultivate justice, liberation and healing as people of faith and wonder.

So we take refuge in “the wisdom of no escape” each time we come back to ourselves wherever we are in a given moment, when conditions are not optimal, when our lives aren’t set up for leaving.

Each time we spring back from our worst moments, we strengthen our resilience, self-trust and capacity to resist being swept away by the toxicity of systemic degradation, violence and oppression that spreads like contagion.

It is my deepest hope and prayer that we know the freedom of trusting ourselves, of embodying the spirit of refuge that feeds our radical being-ness.

Who are we when we cultivate and embody refuge?

Who are we when we cultivate and embody resistance?

Who are we when we cultivate and embody resilience?

Who are we when we cultivate, embody and celebrate radical self-expression?

transformative love | what changes the shape of our hearts + minds?

Last week, we opened the new season of contemplation by diving into the study and practice of Transformative Love.

Sangha is fueled by the cultivation of spiritual friendship where we support one another in developing spiritual faculties such as trust, discernment, skillfulness, compassion, and diligence. These qualities facilitate transformation and healing, and root us in our wholeness and authenticity. With spiritual friendship as the model for skillful relationships, we’ll explore how to bridge gaps existing in our connections outside of sacred space.

Queries for Collective Musing

How do we nourish and sustain authentic and liberating relationships in all areas of our lives?

What are the qualities that constitute “transformative love” and how do we embody and model it?

Related Reading — Good Spiritual Friends: Walking the Path Together


#HowWeSunday

Doors open just before 11 am. Centering starts at 11:10-ish.
Doors are locked at 11:30 am.

for Weekly Contemplations + Practice Updates, click the dates below:

Week 2  January 14
Week 3  January 21
Week 4 February 11
Week 5 — February 18
Week 6 — February 25

 


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how we sunday | yantra bouquet 

Love that this gorgeous bouquet serendipitously became the yantra for our meditation and contemplation:

Turning toward the joy and magic of harvest — reaping and celebrating the abundance we’ve earned in the form of clarity, truth and authenticity, love with wisdom, trust and accountability.

Thank you for these gifts, my friends!