Hope y’all are feeling loved, seen, heard, felt, understood, cared for + supported!
A dear friend sent this song to me the other day and, given all that we are holding in this week of mourning, remembrance and appreciation, it feels like timely medicine.
May it help ground, center and fortify you
in the face of any static you may encounter.
Join Sangha for “Post-Holiday” Refuge + Relief,
this Sunday, 11 AM – 1 PM, at Heartdance Studio.
i am an open heart —
strong, free, full and clear as the bell itself.
i am soft-flexed knees,
gravity centered and recaliberated,
surfboard-steady and supple
to ride the waves of challenge and change.
turning away from that which seeks
to diminish, defeat or undo me —
i protect my borders,
preserve the sanctity of
wisdom well earned
and compassion long cultivated.
turning toward that which fuels and fortifies me,
i am a commitment to liberation —
cutting through artifice,
toppling the false idols of oppression,
and living (w)holy unperturbed
in the unalterable truth of my divinity.
Holy-Ice Storm, friends!
Sangha is cancelled due to this stunningly bizarre weather. With the news reporting that the road conditions are sketchy (and my car being completely covered in ice to the point where the doors are frozen shut), it just doesn’t make sense for us to take any risks.
May you find moments of quiet contemplation and refuge today within the safety of your homes.
Hope to see you next week!
“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?
Our fall series, Bearing Witness begins this Sunday! Over the next few months, we’ll be looking back, beneath + beyond as we contemplate a range of queries as practices related to our encounters with joy, sorrow, in/justice, forgiveness and reconciliation.
11 am – 1 pm | Heartdance Studio
1806 E. Michigan Avenue
Doors open just before 11 AM. Centering begins @ 11:10ish. Doors are locked at 11:30 AM.
The new end time reflects the reality of how our time together has organically unfolded. So I’ve officially extended the practice an extra 30 minutes to allow more space to enrich our silence, connection and insight.
Whether arriving late or departing early, please enter and exit with mindfulness-–observing noble silence and, if possible, arriving/departing during the transition periods between practices.
11 AM – 1 PM @ Moores Park
I’ll always remember my aunt telling me long ago that your friends are your assets.
I’m blessed to say that my good spiritual friends are my Harvest!
So on Sunday, we’ll celebrate the Suchness of Sangha and all that we’ve learned and all the ways we’ve been stretched to grow this past season through our commitment:
to self-understanding and well-being;
to diligently taking refuge in the full embrace of sangha where we cultivate the sacred pause where, with silence and breath, we listen deeply, see clearly and learn to respond skillfully to all that arises as it arises;
to investing in collective wisdom and supporting the healing and transformation of one another.
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11 AM | Walking the Labyrinth
12 PM | Harvest Party
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❤ Bring snacks to share, as you are able. I’ll provide napkins, cups and some cutlery. Consider additional plateware and serving utensils that your dish may require.
❤ Kiddos are welcome!
❤ IN THE EVENT OF RAIN: We’ll hold the practice and party at Heartdance Studio.
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!
gratified by the labor of tending + clearing the path.
where sweat meets dust, we see the body + soul at work.
the day’s lesson: let that shit go!
found/left behind: scattered rose petals. a mason jar with a forgotten sip. a book on philosophy…
“The logic of the rebel is to want to serve justice so as not to add to the injustice of the human condition, to insist on plain language so as not to increase the universal falsehood, and to wager, in spite of human misery, for happiness.” ~ Albert Camus, The Rebel
more gems from our sunday: zen mom life