Happy Buddhist New Year!

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On Sunday, February 14, 3 Jewels Yoga Sangha will enjoy the mindfulness practice of Beginning Anew in celebration of the lunar new year.

Join us in cultivating authenticity and accountability as we shine the light (to see, understand, and transform unskillfulness) and water flowers (to honor our gifts, talents, and contributions) on our spiritual aspirations.

11:00 am – 12:30 pm. Heartdance Studio, 1806 E. Michigan Avenue, in Lansing.

Winter Immersion: February + March Study Schedule

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To “blow the dust” from each other’s eyes as we walk the path of love and understanding is indeed the suchness of sangha!

Join in the practice of seeing clearly and listening deeply to foster compassion, wholeness, and safety through these important and often difficult explorations into matters of inclusion, freedom, belonging, and healing.

Study Schedule

February 14th ~ Beginning Anew : A Mindfulness Practice in Celebration of the Buddhist Lunar New Year

February 21st ~ Toward Wholeness: Inclusion + Freedom + Belonging [Part I]

February 28th ~ Toward Wholeness: Inclusion + Freedom + Belonging [Part II]

March 6th ~ Toward Wholeness: Race, Sexuality, Gender + Spirituality [Part I]

March 13th ~ Toward Wholenes: Race, Sexuality, Gender + Spirituality [Part II]

March 20th ~ Toward Wholeness: Race, Sexuality, Gender + Spirituality [Part III]

Recommended Group Readings

Check frequently for updates to this list!

Buddhist Peace Fellowship:

Gender Dysphoria and The Dharma

White Privilege + the Mindfulness Movement

 

Everyday Feminism:

9 Ways We Can Make Social Justice Movements Less Elitist + More Accessible

I’m Not a Person with a Disability. I’m a Disabled Person.

Zenju Earthlyn Manuel:

I Can Breathe: A Meditation Surviving Acts of Hatred

The Way of Tenderness

Relevant Magazine:

4 Misconceptions About Mental Illness + Faith

How Church Can Lead Racial Reconciliation

Why Are Sunday Mornings Still So Segregated

The Body Is Not An Apology:

Did You Do Any of These 6 Activities Today? Then You Have Class Privilege

Lucky To Be Alive: The Everyday Ways We Tell People with Disabilities They Should Not Be Here

Nobody Bothers To Ask: The Challenges of Being Sexual in disabled/trans/genderqueer/etc..Body

angel Kyodo williams:

Social Justice + Buddhism

Tim Wise:

Fighting the Normalization of Inequality 

Larry Yang: 

Directing The Mind Towards Practices in Diversity

Remembering What It Means To Be Gay

Toward A Multicultural Buddhist Practice

#WholyHappyHour [12/20]: Continuing the Practice of Becoming Our Own Refuge

Throughout this new season, our study and practice will be devoted to learning to hold space for ourselves and others in order to build trust, safety, skillful understanding and compassion in our spiritual community and in all relationships.

Dec 20th | 11 AM – 12:30 PM
at Heartdance Studio, 1806 E. Michigan Avenue

Taking Refuge in the Island of the Self is a mindfulness practice of self-study that awakens clear comprehension and nurtures self-compassion. We take refuge in breath, relying on the visceral texture and sound of it coursing through body. The breath is here: a tangible, sensate experience. It feeds and cleanses every cell and fiber. It anchors and calms the brain. Resting in the breath, we come home. We remember the self in its wholeness — its nature to change in body, thoughts, emotions, sensations, perceptions. We touch the heart and mind of love [read more].

Make no mistake, becoming an island unto oneself is not about disconnecting from others. I visualize myself as being anchored in the center of a vast sea, with waves rippling away from me and returning to me, each concentric ring is a sacred circle of love, safety, and support:

The space I hold for myself –> The space being held for me in which I am enveloped by the full embrace of good spiritual friends (my sangha as well as my circle of family and friends) –> The space in which I hold others.

When I tend to myself with the energy of mindfulness and compassion, I remain solid, fresh, fueled and aflame” and continuously expand my capacity to “love from my center” (Romans 12:9-13, MSG). And, just as the Metta Bhavana meditation instructs, those ebbing tidewaters are then able to carry off the compassion, understanding, and loving-kindness I have generated to others. Soon the ripples rush back to flood me with energies that renew and sustain me. In moments of distress, I send out my suffering — in all its heavy, hot, sticky textures — with the practice of Tonglen.  That which no longer serves me is released and dispersed, its potency diminished. I become awash with relief — cool, clear and light. I take refuge in the island of the self so that my heart does not shut down, withhold from, and harden against the world. But stays open and free to experience the interstitial wave of connection to all around me. I am an island with welcoming shores.

Notes + Related Readings:


 

ON THE HORIZON:

Dec 16th | 2:30  – 4:30 PM ~ Presenting “Criteria for Skillful Communication” at the Facilitators Guild.

Jan 10th | 11 AM – 12:30 PM ~ #WholyHappyHour: 5 Spiritual Faculties [Part 1]3 Jewels Yoga Sangha at Heartdance Studio.

Jan 17th | 1:00  – 3:00 PM ~ Conscious + Fit: Building Body Awareness at Heartdance Studio.

Jan 24th | 11 AM – 12:30 PM ~ #WholyHappyHour: 5 Spiritual Faculties [Part 2]3 Jewels Yoga Sangha at Heartdance Studio.

#WholyHappyHour [12/6]: Taking Refuge in the Island of the Self

Throughout this new season, our study and practice will be devoted to learning to hold space for ourselves and others in order to build trust, safety, skillful understanding and compassion in our spiritual community and in all relationships.

Dec 6th| 11 AM – 12:30 PM
at Heartdance Studio, 1806 E. Michigan Avenue

Taking Refuge in the Island of the Self is a mindfulness practice of self-study that awakens clear comprehension and nurtures self-compassion. We take refuge in breath, relying on the visceral texture and sound of it coursing through body. The breath is here: a tangible, sensate experience. It feeds and cleanses every cell and fiber. It anchors and calms the brain. Resting in the breath, we come home. We remember the self in its wholeness — its nature to change in body, thoughts, emotions, sensations, perceptions. We touch the heart and mind of love.3jewels.beislands

We do not abandon ourselves to seek outside refuges. We trust in this deeply-felt experience and return time and again, through the ebb and flow of change in external factors (relationships, finances, work, the thousand fleeting conditions we face daily), to our true home. We trust our capacity to be the source of refuge, to be an island unto ourselves. Here we calmly abide with understanding and ease.

Notes + Related Readings:


 

ON THE HORIZON:

Dec 9th | 7  – 9 PM ~ Leading Dharma Talk on Healing the Past at Lansing Area Mindfulness Community – Van Hanh Temple, 3015 S. Washington Ave.

Dec 20th | 11 AM – 12:30 PM ~ #WholyHappyHour: Taking Refuge in the Island of The Self [Practice I]. 3 Jewels Yoga Sangha at Heartdance Studio.

Jan 10th | 11 AM – 12:30 PM ~ #WholyHappyHour: TBD. 3 Jewels Yoga Sangha at Heartdance Studio.

#WholyHappyHour [11/22]: Continuing The Practice of Self-Compassion

Throughout this new season, our study and practice will be devoted to learning to hold space for ourselves and others in order to build trust, safety, skillful understanding and compassion in our spiritual community and in all relationships.

Nov 22nd | 11 AM – 12:30 PM at Heartdance Studio.

Self-Compassion provides the fuel for sustaining our own well-being so that we can be solid, whole, and free when called to serve others. At our practice earlier this month, we looked deeply into the factors of self-compassion and set the intention to gift ourselves with daily doses of kindness in creative and sustainable ways.

What does self-compassion look like in real time? How do we conjure this energy beyond the meditation cushion and the sacred circle of sangha where the conditions for shamatha–stopping, abiding in silence and stillness–seem more attainable and the arising sense of gratitude, calm, and well-being feel more palpable?

It begins with a commitment to develop an intimate relationship with ourselves. To practice taking ourselves as the object of love! If only for 15 minutes, block out time for self-tending throughout each day.

  • Create a personal peace treaty.* Write a note of vows, activities, mantras, or affirmative statements that remind you to be gentle and generous with yourself. 
  • Spend time in solitude enjoying activities that feel nourishing and restore or boost yourself sense of peace and well-being.
  • Whenever you hit a rough patch and feel overwhelmed, frustrated or sad, give yourself the freedom to acknowledge those thoughts and feelings. Shine the light on them. Breathe into them, creating space for them to disperse and dissipate. Release judgment. Do not succumb to the temptation of panic or despair, as dharma teacher Jack Lawlor recently encouraged at our annual Day of Mindfulness)! Take refuge in the wisdom of the breath–the flowing change and steadiness in tempo with life itself–to hold you moment to moment. Nowhere to go, nothing to do, nothing to attain, no one to be. No struggling, striving, fixing. Simply abiding where you are. See what changes when you take care of your suffering with tenderness.
  • Relax in the company of good spiritual friends who model healthy self-tending practices and can offer wise counsel and support.

As we practice looking and listening deeply to examine our aspirations, fears, gifts, wounds, misperceptions, and values, we create the conditions for developing clear and skillful understanding. Buddhist practice celebrates curiosity and openness by inviting us to repeatedly and gently ask: “What is this?” and “Are you sure?” By studying ourselves in this waywe can penetrate the causes of our suffering and identify our suchness–all the wondrous, mysterious, and quirky elements that make up our nature.

From this diligent effort grows respect, which holds at its very root the wise instruction to look back at! So we give ourselves the time and space to see ourselves completely: our history, our habits, our humanness. We keep turning back, again and again, to look inward at how we relate to ourselves and engage the world around us. We discern the skillful means to make compassionate actions and transform unskillful thoughts we hold about ourselves and unskillful behaviors that reinforce our suffering.

Notes + Related Readings:

  • In Creating True Peace, Thich Nhat Hanh suggests this exercise for couples in moments of conflict and lists skillful actions for both “one who is angry” and “the one who has made the other angry” such “refrain from saying or doing anything that might cause further damage or escalate the anger” and “respect the other person’s feelings, not ridicule him or her, and allow him or her enough time to calm down.”
  • Awakening The Voice of Self-Love [3 Jewels Yoga].
  • Teachings on Love by Thich Nhat Hanh.

 

ON THE HORIZON:

Dec 6th | 11 AM – 12:30 PM ~ #WholyHappyHour: Taking Refuge in the Island of The Self [Practice I]3 Jewels Yoga Sangha at Heartdance Studio.

Dec 9th | 7  – 9 PM ~ Leading Dharma Talk on Healing the Past at Lansing Area Mindfulness Community – Van Hanh Temple, 3015 S. Washington Ave.

Dec 20th | 11 AM – 12:30 PM ~ #WholyHappyHour: Taking Refuge in the Island of The Self [Practice I]. 3 Jewels Yoga Sangha at Heartdance Studio.

Jan 10th | 11 AM – 12:30 PM ~ #WholyHappyHour: TBD. 3 Jewels Yoga Sangha at Heartdance Studio.

#WholyHappyHour [Sunday, 10/25]: “Holding Space” + Cultivating Skillful Communication

This Sunday at Heartdance Studio, we’ll continue our month-long discussion of “The Suchness of Sangha: Holding Space for Ourselves + One Another” by looking deeply into the practices of Loving Speech + Deep Listening as the grounds for building skillful understanding, trust, authenticity, compassion and accountability.

ON THE HORIZON:

Nov 1st | 11 AM – 1:00 PM ~ Inviting Mindfulness: Reconciling with the Body at Just B Yoga.

Nov 8th | 11 AM – 12:30 PM ~ #WholyHappyHour: 3 Jewels Yoga Sangha at Heartdance Studio.

Nov 15th | 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM ~ Conscious + Fit: Building Body Awareness at Heartdance Studio.

Nov 22nd | 11 AM – 12:30 PM ~ #WholyHappyHour: 3 Jewels Yoga Sangha at Heartdance Studio.

 

#WholyHappyHour [Sunday, 10/11]: “The Suchness of Sangha: Holding Space for Ourselves + One Another”

After a wonderful season of Walking The Labyrinth, I am excited to delve into the deep inquiry and rich discussions that follow our sitting practice.

This Sunday at Heartdance Studio, we’ll explore “The Suchness of Sangha: Holding Space for Ourselves + One Another” and share our curiosities, concerns and insights about cultivating community through spiritual practice. #GoodSpiritualFriends

We will also have in attendance a researcher from The Religious Soundmap Project at MSU who will record the practice as part of a collaborative effort “to demonstrate the diversity of religious beliefs and practices” in our region.

MORE THIS WEEK:

Oct 7th | 7 – 9 PM ~ I’ll lead the dharma discussion at Lansing Area Mindfulness Community on the Second Mindfulness Training – TRUE HAPPINESS.

ON THE HORIZON:

Oct 25th | 11 AM – 12:30 PM ~ #WholyHappyHour: 3 Jewels Yoga Sangha at Heartdance Studio.

Nov 1st | 11 AM – 1:00 PM ~ Inviting Mindfulness: Reconciling with the Body at Just B Yoga.

Hear Here [for deep listening]: beyond our greatest hopes | holly maakima

My friend Holly Maakima surprised me back in May with a simple note saying, that as she prepared to give a spiritual talk later that day, she would be holding me up as an example of someone who gives her hope.  Heart flooding. Tears welling. I breathed her blessing in deeply.

It was a stunning, divinely-timed affirmation that arrived when I most needed to be reminded that my endeavors — personally and professionally — to be a good spiritual friend were purposeful and impactful. My moment of doubt was silenced; questions were answered. Clarity and hopefulness blossomed, and I was reinvigorated to keep nourishing my aspirations.

I am so thankful to have companions who plant and water seeds of love, inspiration, kindness, hope and trust in my life.  It is the sustenance of healthy, trusting relationships. We feed and empower one another to be our authentic selves, giving guidance and support along the way.

A spiritual teacher and writer, Holly recently shared the recording of that talk at Fellowship for Today, so I’m spreading this loving message of hope near, far and wide! Hear Here: Beyond Our Greatest Hopes (http://www.fellowshipfortoday.org/files/sound/holly-makimaa-beyond-our-greatest-hopes-051715.mp3)

embodied practice [7/5]: walking in freedom

This Sunday, we will walk in freedom and dedicate the merit of our practice meditateoncamus.3jyto those who relentlessly pursue, speak out, and fight for the RIGHTS of all to LIVE + LOVE FREELY. #‎LoveWins‬

Join us at Moores Park Labyrinth | 11 am – 12 pm.

from cushion to community: navigating faith livestream

So a Rabbi, a Buddhist, an Inter-Spirtual teacher, a Hindu, a Christian + an Imam sit down at at table…

Yes, it sounds like a setup to a humorless joke but it was a joy to participate in this interfaith conversation where we planted seeds for building bridges and fostering compassionate understanding among people of various philosophies and faiths.

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Livestream for MSU Alumni LENS panel discussion: Navigating Faith-based Differences

Or click to view here: http://livestream.com/msualumni/FAITH