December 26th was a special night at 1436 Howard Street. Not only would it be the last sit of 2018 but also it would be the last sit in this space before moving on to our new home next year.
The invitation was to bring a snack to share if you’d like and come prepared for a little different scene and enjoy time together in closing with music and fellowship.
I gave a bit of an overview of the four foundations talk and held the spotlight over the three characteristics of existence. This seems easier to connect to given the season of ending and beginnings. Nothing stays the same, or gives ultimate lasting satisfaction, and most importantly none of it is personal.
In true unorthodox fashion, my offering of a year-end reflection and intention setting ceremony was not run-of-the-mill. Infusing some experience with shamanic journeying and journaling, the meditation was visually descriptive enough to paint one's own picture of traveling back through the seasons of last year and collecting what was revealed in reflection. Then moving forward in time, noting and collecting aspirations, fears, and intentions. Finally, we imagine carrying this load of plans and memories and releasing them, getting a feel for renunciation and freedom of present time awareness and refocus. With intervals placed in the meditation for writing what was discovered, Emily created and provided each of our guests with hand-painted stationary and envelopes. People had the option of taking them home or handing them over, sealed, to be mailed out to them in one full year.
I wrapped it up with a personal story about the importance of intentions and the value of giving attention to one another. Then it was time to crank up the jams, have a tasty treat and shoot the breeze. We hung out for half an hour or so and each had a chance to say 'hello' and 'goodbye' in this place. We announced the winner to Arie’s art raffle, AJ took some great photographs (shown here) and I even had some door-prize mala beads to hand out as gifts.
At the end of the night, almost everything packed into the car, I made one last trip up the stairs to grab the last bag and take a long look. It was a moment with that space and me all alone. The single, empty, cheap-ass plastic white chair sitting there against that artless wall seemed to nod its head at me and say, “You’re alright.”
And now? The SoMa Dharmilita goes Nomad!
At least for a couple weeks in January of 2019. I’m soaking in gratitude for the efforts and innovations of the Sangha members who have offered leads to potential places to land. We’ve got a couple places to check out together and I’ll be listening to the collective vibe and opinions about whether we continue in one or any of the spaces we’ll be sitting at in the coming weeks.
The first of which is next week, January 2nd. This will be upstairs at 5051 Mission Street. One of the perks of this place (if you drive) is that we have a small parking lot, just for us, to the left of the entrance. Same time and day as usual, 7:30-9 Wednesday night. Hope to see you there!
Happy New Year!