The following is a copy of our newsletter, sent out officially "once in a while". If you would like to be on our mailing list,. please let us know by using the contact form. Thanks, enjoy!
Hi everyone. Just a quick update here...To let you know what's happening and how we're doing.
Our Space, the final frontier:
First of all, if you haven't checked out our new "forever" home at 5051 Mission, come check it out. Big thanks to The Order Sons and Daughters of Italy management and Brian, our host for working with us to make this happen. We've got it down to a system now of getting there to roll out the rug and transform that room into a meditation center smoothly and efficiently. The heater works well on these cold nights and the warmth of the Sangha has particularly made this move a transformative experience. I'm not much of a mover myself, I like to know where 'home' is. So if you've hung back for the last month or so while we bounced around a bit and waited for us to settle in, I get it. And, it's safe to come out now! ;)
This location does have some nice perks: like our own parking lot, the whole place to ourselves (sorry if you'll miss having band practice downstairs) and nice clean separate bathrooms. Easy ride-share, Muni and Balboa Station Bart is a 10-minute walk away. There are only stairs to get up, and we have hands to help if needed.
Speaking of helping hands: if you would like to commit to a position of service at our meeting, please let me or Emily know and we will find a specific task for you to help with weekly. This is a beautiful way to share generosity and form accountability to your practice and Sangha.
The Four foundations spilled into
The Four Noble Truths spilled into
The Eightfold Path
Starting the first week of February we got into an 8-week practice series taking on an intentional investigation of each aspect of the path into our lives for a week each. Let's learn about the Buddha's advice on Skillful View, Intention, Speech, Action, Livelihood, Effort, Mindfulness, and Concentration.
Catch as many as you can and dropping in is just fine too. (This is not a linear path).
Come prepared to take a few notes and journal your weekly insights for contributing to the group experience in conversation.
Materials are provided and instructions offered on ways to integrate the concentration of each aspect into our daily lives for seven days each.
From Bhikkhu Bodhi; “The essence of the Buddha’s teaching can be summed up in two principles: the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. The first covers the side of doctrine, and the primary response it elicits is understanding; the second covers the side of discipline, in the broadest sense of that word, and the primary response it calls for is practice. In the structure of the teaching these two principles lock together into an indivisible unity called the dhamma-vinaya, the doctrine-and-discipline, or, in brief, the Dhamma...
... it would be pointless to pose the question which of the two aspects of the Dhamma has greater value, the doctrine or the path. But if we did risk the pointless by asking that question, the answer would have to be the path.” From “The Noble Eightfold Path; Way to the End of Suffering”
(Recommended reading and referencing for this series - available at class)
(Right View & Intention: were 2/6 & 2/13)
2/20: Right Speech, 2/27: Right Action, 3/6: Right Livelihood, 3/13; Right Effort, 3/20: Right Mindfulness, 3/27: Right Concentration.
Like everything else, this schedule is subject to change!
I will (eventually) share some of the key points and takeaways on the Journal page of our website, for what it's worth. We would much prefer your attendance and participation in person. These notes would mainly just be a reflection for those who attend or choose to share their own insights this way.
Moving forward, I'll continue to hold it down the best I can and enjoy leaning on you all to be engaged and cooperative in learning together. As I am currently in a training course with a cohort, I'll invite my colleagues to come and hold space, practicing facilitating the group if and when they may be able. My hand is also outreached to local teachers and facilitators to join us as a guest. If you have the opportunity or means, please let me know if you would like to invite a particular teacher/facilitator. Also if you have suggestions and ideas for future topics or areas of focus.
The request is in, that following the Eightfold Path Series, we practice with the Four Sublime Abidings; The Brahmaviharas. Seems like a great way to welcome Springtime!
IN THE MAKING: Since we're the new kids in the block, we thought it would be nice to bring a house gift to the neighborhood. So, we're asking and looking around into what local charitable programs we may be able to contribute our Dana proceeds or efforts toward. Please bring suggestions. Thank you.
ALL ARE WELCOME AT SOMA DHARMA!
ANY LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND
CLASSES ARE FREELY OFFERED AND GENEROSITY IS APPRECIATED
PLEASE SHARE THIS INVITATION
The following is a copy of a newsletter we send out from time to time. If you would like to recieve these, please let us know by using the contact form. Thanks. Enjoy...
We have a new home for our weekly groups: 5051 Mission Street San Francisco.
Here's a MAP
There's parking available for us! In the lot just left of the building
Every Wednesday beginning January 23 at 7:30 pm.
New home... same intention.
Thanks for bearing with us through this transition.
Some of you came to the location we tried for the last two weeks back in South of Market. Although I thought it was kinda hip and unique, the logistics were not going to fly for us even if we were able to stay longer than they offered, which was only a couple of months. Yeah, it wasn't so much the "please don't do coke in the bathroom" sign, or the residents getting to their rooms across our sits... but the stripper pole that was installed on the stage last week - yep, that was it. Traffic noise and band practice, ok, but I'm drawing the line on this one.
So... Emily and I just felt it would be ok to pull the plug on that deal and take advantage of the bird-in-hand of 5051 Mission.
Brian hooked us up with this place and they are really happy to have us. I have to admit I struggled with the feel here. So, I asked if it would be alright if we tweaked it a bit to better suit my pallet.
We bought a really nice rug and a couple of lamps and they are allowing us to store them onsite between meetings. That bit of hospitality and compromise, along with the generous offer of waiving storage and set up fees, not to mention Brian, who has offered to commit his time to open and close up the place every week? Come on now! It's looking pretty great.
Parking, clean bathrooms, and totally ours for this time slot.
Let's do this!
I know we'll make it beautiful, and we know it's all Dharma.
As always, please offer any suggestions you may have. Bring an open mind, a positive attitude, and a friend.
Oh, I also updated the website - HERE
Moving forward, I'll continue on the trajectory of offering an investigation into the Four Noble Truths and on into the Eightfold Path in the weeks (months?) to come. This is a path with lots of side roads, so we'll see where the discussions take us - this is where your contributions to the conversations come in to play!
This fall I was invited to continue formally training again and last weekend in LA, I met the new group of my cohorts that I will be working closely with through 2019. I'll invite them to come and practice leading our group if any happen to be in the city (they are from all over) and... our Teacher, Noah Levine has interest in returning to teach for us from time to time, or perhaps even just coming by to join in sitting with the Sangha. I also had a conversation with Scott Tusa over dinner with this group in LA who showed interest in joining us as a visiting teacher as well.
In this spirit, if you (or a friend) happen to have a connection to a local or visiting teacher or facilitator, let me know if you would like to invite them to practice here as a guest in the future.
Let's keep it going by sending out.
May you all be healthy and happy, may all beings be at ease.
See you there.
~ Jeff & Em