Under ordinary conditions, we’d be inspired into all manner of group outings and activities.
But we’re now 7+ days into our collective practice of social/physical distancing to flatten the curve of this new virus, which has demanded a change in how we connect and created a SURGE in our virtual communications.
These digital spaces are important. AND (as many of us have identified/lamented long before the pandemic) They are also draining.
(*ahem*…which is why it’s been nearly a year since I last posted on Instagram and why I’ve limited my posts on Facebook.)
So, as we continue to safeguard our physical health, I pray we are diligent about safeguarding our spiritual + mental health!
Safeguard your humor + joy. Safeguard your hope + faith. Safeguard your heart + mind.
It’s Spring, y’all! Things are/will be blooming!
May you rest in the energy of this season of possibility, growth, healing, transformation and things being made anew.
[Image Description: 5-second video of a Khalil Gibran quote from “The Prophet” that reads, “Let there be spaces in your togetherness” in white lettering on a blue background, with white arrows that fade in from the upper right corner + lower left corner to point toward the quote in the center. Credits for the content creation appear at the top in yellow lettering: 3jewelsyoga.com + radicalbodhicitta.com.]
This Sunday, Sangha will open our season of contemplation and discernment with an inquiry into Mutual Care — with a specific focus on how we collectively respond to the new and/or changing accessibility needs of fellow practitioners.
Some of the queries that will guide our discernment:
What is our capacity for honoring our needs and the needs of others in ways that are equitable, creative, sustainable and reduce harm?
What does this look like in our intimate relationships? Our shared sacred spaces?
What factors/conditions create barriers to our skillful understanding and skillful action?
What factors/conditions support our ability to dissolve barriers and build bridges of possibility that deepen our skillful understanding and skillful action?
The 2016 Fall session of the 3 Jewels Yoga Sangha will open on Sunday, October 9 with a deep focus on my oft-referenced endearment (and zen-trendy hashtag), The Suchness of Sangha. In the Buddhist vernacular “suchness” is the translation of the Pali world Tathātā and seeks to describe the essence of our perceived reality — and all the conditions that make our experience of reality possible — in the moment. It points to impermanence and interdependence. Reminding us that all the elements (people, places, objects, etc.) and our perceptions and responses to said elements in any given moment create a quality of “thusness” or “thatness” which cannot be replicated. Because these very things at this very point in time uniquely converge to form a fleeting experience. It is the vibe, the stuff, all matter seen and unseen, that is gathered and drawn together and felt so deeply. It becomes a knowing, a rooted cellular memory…a dream, an inspiration, the aspiration we seek to nourish.
So we’ll sit in these queries, turn them over, and test them in our daily living:
What is sangha?
How is it formed, nurtured and sustained?
What do we seek in our connection(s) within spiritual community?
What do we contribute?
How are we transformed?
And any number of questions that will emerge from our collective effort to learn and practice cultivating mindfulness together as good spiritual friends.
October 9, 16, 23
10/16 ~ Monthly Mindfulness Immersion
A half-day retreat including our regular #wholyhappyhour practice, food + fellowship, and an Orientation to FoundationalPractices — walking meditation, sitting meditation, and the criteria for skillful communication.
November 6, 13, 20
11/13 ~ Special Workshop | Inviting Mindfulness: The Heart at Rest
Following our regular #wholyhappyhour practice, this restorative workshop will introduce an embodied meditation in mindfulness to awaken self-compassion and skillful understanding of the relationship between body, breath, mind and environment.
December 4, 11, 18
12/18 ~ Monthly Mindfulness Immersion*
A half-day retreat including our regular #wholyhappyhour practice, food + fellowship, and an Orientation to FoundationalPractices — walking meditation, sitting meditation, and the criteria skillful communication. [*updated on 12/4/2016: new date posted.]
Lining Margaret Mead’s quote up alongside Thich Nhat Hanh’s, we can begin to understand our capacity as a spiritual community to multiply the compassion, skillful understanding, and authentic connection beyond the sacred time we spend together each week. Collectively, we carry this nurturing energy from the cushion into the community.
“The Sangha is made out of the work of individuals, so we have a duty to help create the energy of the Sangha.
Our presence, when it is mindful presence, contributes to that energy…
Don’t think that we sit for ourselves. You don’t sit for yourself alone, you sit for the whole Sangha–not only for the Sangha, but also for the people in your city, because when one person in the city is less angry, is smiling more, the whole city profits.
If we practice looking deeply, our understanding of interbeing will grow, and we will see that every smile, every step, every breath is for everybody. It is for our country, for the future, for our ancestors.”
“In the last year and a half, from the black community in and of itself, as we say “black lives matter,”
you see the light that comes inside of people to other communities that are like, I’m going to stand on the side of black lives.
You see people literally transforming. And that’s a different type of work. And for me, that is a spiritual work.
It’s a healing work and we don’t have it codified. There’s no science to it. Really, it’s — we are social creatures.
Human to human, if you take a moment to be with somebody, to understand the pains they’re going through, you get to transform yourself.”
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.
February 14th ~ Beginning Anew : A Mindfulness Practice in Celebration of the Buddhist Lunar New Year