On this Sunday without Sangha, a memory from last year (27 Nov 2015 — the day after Thanksgiving) popped up on my Facebook newsfeed.
A verse inspired by a beloved park trail where I’ve logged countless miles in a walking-running-praying meditation and, a hundred times over, awakened curiosity and understanding and mapped pathways toward reconciliation.
❤ today, another verse for remembering to remember…for tending to our wholeness and seeing a feast in all things:
i walk for clarity
to release those deep + wordless groanings that tense my muscles, pluck-stretch my nerves, + accelerate my pulse.
movement is prayer — pleading, seeking, remembering, communing, soothing heart + spirit
is it my favorite posture of meditation — fine-tuning my capacity to listen, discern, + take skillful, compassion-centered action
our outdoor practice season has come to a close,
and it could not have been a more beautiful fall day!
the abundance was overflowing: a feast of homemade goodies and raided-refrigerator treats, plenty of laughter, a reflection on how each of us is connected and all the overlapping threads we share, and crafting the harvest of herbs from a friend’s garden into bundles of sage, rose petals, mint and lavender that can be dried into smudging sticks.
excited for all that our new season of practice will bring.
Inspired by Sangha’s spring series on Body As Nature, my dear friend Ann Lapo and I are delighted to combine our shared interests by offering three extended practices of movement + meditation at the Labyrinth.
JUNE 26 | JULY 24 | AUGUST 7 | SEPTEMBER 11
10 – 10:45 am ~ Gentle Yoga
11 – 12 pm ~ Walking The Labyrinth
12 – 1 pm ~ Cushion-To-Community Park Clean-Up
Food + Fellowship
Ann is passionate about the practice of Yoga in all its manifestations in our daily lives. Whether through a formal posture sequence to gain awareness of the body and breath, meditation, a walk in nature, the notes in a song, a commitment to ourselves or making a deeper connection to others in work or play, Ann welcomes it all into her teachings.
She is proud to have been an educator for over 25 years, loves playing guitar and singing with best friend/life partner, Jeff, loves the land, and cherishes this beautiful life with loved ones near and far.
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.”
On Sunday, February 14, 3 Jewels Yoga Sanghawill 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.
“For faith to be alive and to deepen we need to use our power to inquire, to wonder, to explore our experience to see what is true for ourselves. This requires us to approach life with an inquisitive, eager, self-confident capacity to probe and question. It requires us to examine where we place our faith, and why, to see if it makes us more aware and loving people.
To develop VERIFIED FAITH* we need to open to the messiness, the discordance, the ambivalence, and, above all, the vital life-force of questioning.
If we don’t, our faith can wither. If we don’t, our faith will always remain in the hands of someone else, as something we borrow or abjure, but not as something we can claim fully as our own.”
~ Sharon Salzberg, “Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience”
THE DHARMA FOR REAL
It’s been a tough season for so many of us navigating illness, loss, uncertainty, and atrocious acts of injustice that get closer and closer to home. Anger, fear and doubt easily arise. It presses on the soul and depletes our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual resources.
So grateful to many, many loved ones who bolster me with laughter, inspiration, and perspective. Offering special appreciation to a dear friend + interspiritual minister, Holly Makimaa, for immediately suggesting and sharing her copy of Salzberg’s book on faith when I spoke with her about sangha’s study and practice of the 5 Spiritual Faculties.
FAITH(Pali: “Saddha” with TRUST or CONFIDENCE offered as surrogates for those who are less comfortable with the deeply religious connotations of faith) can feel the heaviest and most complicated — as frustrating and elusive as any attempt to meditate when the mind feels restless and foggy!
Last Sunday, we contemplated CONCENTRATION + DILIGENCE with a fresh understanding that the root meaning of the latter is “love, take delight in.”
Calling on the energy of delight how might we “brighten” and “verify” faith (a trajectory that Salzberg delineates in her book) and sharpen discernment through our practice of mindfulness?
Join us this Sunday, 11 – 12:30 PM, at Heartdance Studio for 3 Jewels Yoga Sangha’s final dharma discussion on the 5 Spiritual Faculties as we explore the relationship between DISCERNMENT + FAITH.
As sangha opened the 2016 Winter Immersion series last week with the 5 Spiritual Faculties, I pointed back (as I often do) to the Four Foundations of Mindfulness to anchor us in the spacious awareness of body, breath, emotions, and mental formations as we develop and strengthen Concentration and Diligence/Effort.
Here are a few resources on the Buddhist discourses on the Mindfulness of Breathing (Ānāpānasati Sutta) and the Foundations of Mindfulness (Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta). This list was originally compiled for a previous post on the wisdom of the exhale.
A morning of dharma sharing with a sangha sister — laughter, poetry, curiosities, understanding — over “bumpy” drinks (can’t call it a smoothie, she quipped, when you throw in carob chips). Celestial paintings and wildflower petals torch brightly against a cloudy-heavy sky. I depart with gifts of bodhicitta in hand and heart.