NEW PRACTICE SERIES
Springtime is for the heart practices at Soma Dharma!
Beginning mid-April, 2019 we will begin a series of classes focused on the topics of the Four "Brahma-Viharas" or "Sublime Abidings" as taught by the Buddha and commentaries.
Learn or enliven skills to befriend and care for ourselves and others, in any state of being, through understanding the true resting state of our hearts is found in freedom from fear and connection to others. This culmination was referred to by the Buddha as “the sure heart’s release” and considered to be the fulfillment of a spiritual path.
During these groups, we will refer to written words by Sharon Salzberg's "Loving-Kindness; The Revoutionary Art of Happiness" and primarily work through these FOUR wonderful little books, recently produced by by Ajahn Amaro available to download free by clicking the links below:
Or by going to the Abhayagiri Monastery eBook store and requesting (Free) printed copies.
Better yet, plan a visit to the Monastery in person, located in Ukiah, CA and join the Monks for lunch!
Em's Big Show and a New Print for Our SanghaOn March 20th, Emily was a featured artist in the Half Moon Bay Arts League annual juried art show. Many of our friends and family made the scenic and slow drive out to the coast to show their support. We had no idea so many would come and we were both absolutely elated! She was also interviewed and written up in our local newspaper: Here's the article.
This beautiful Sunflowers print will be available to our Sangha exclusively, starting this week. And we still have a few of the Bowl and 3 of Jewels available as well. These are super high quality, only available here and are yours for a donation to the Sangha of $20.
Check out more of Em's work on her Instagram link below.
Emily's Artsy Groove
Annual Spring 3-day retreat in Joshua Tree.
Led by Dharma Teacher Noah Levine, author of Dharma Punx, Against The Stream, Heart of the Revolution and Refuge Recovery. Taking the time dedicated to retreat will deepen our practice of meditation in a supportive community and is essential to our personal liberation. Taking some time away from the busy schedules and responsibilities of our daily lives gives us the opportunity to experience for ourselves the benefits that come from sustained meditation practice. This retreat will be held in silence. There will be Dharma talks, meditation, and meals together. This retreat will include formal sitting and walking meditation, and the opportunity to meet with teachers in a group setting.
This retreat is open to all levels of experience, beginners and long term practitioners alike.
~ These are my people, y'all! Noah is a friend, supporter of Soma Dharma an amazing Dharma teacher, retreat leader and all around good human. Rachael and I are in a cohort together with just a few other select die-hard Dharma bad-asses in training. Although she is officially assisting, the cohort knows if we're there, we're on call, which is exciting for me. The location is absolutely deep, beautiful and dares I say; Ultra Spiritual. This is a rare and special opportunity. If you have the will, ways, and means, please don't miss out.
Joshua Tree Retreat
IN THE WORX...
CLASS FIELD TRIP! We're working on a Kayak outing for the Sangha. Who's in?
An opportunity to be one with the serenity of evening ocean life among friends, and led by our resident professional guide, Chris. We will nail down a summer date soon and we do need to get a feel of how many would be interested, so please let us know!
This will be a donation based event, of course ;)
Check it out here.
I've been invited to lead Eugene Oregon's Friday night Refuge Recovery meeting and the following day hold a DAYLONG RETREAT on the subject of Metta.
May 18th, 10-4:00, Buddha Eye Temple, Eugene, OR
Hosted by Refuge Recovery Eugene
Facebook link here
and now for a little blogging...
"HAPPY TO HELP"
Last week I made a rather blunt statement about authentic, diligent meditation practice. (Who me? - go figure)Speaking of Mindfulness specifically, but the same applies to our development and cultivation in the way of the Bodhisattva. That is, to free ourselves by working to free others from suffering whenever and wherever possible. The statement was something like "Knowledge of Mindfulness without a personal practice is like knowing how to swim without the use of water".
Same goes for acts of kindness and generosity. It takes practice. and actually doing kind and generous things. In Mindfulness training we learn that radical change and benefit occur through short periods of awareness, repeated many times, becoming automatic and continuous. Much like mindfulness, it doesn't take huge leaps and bounds to make real change and lasting impact on your life and the lives of others through acts of kindness and generosity. It just takes consistent practice, and it starts with small things, repeated many times, becoming automatic and continuous.
Being of service then becomes as much an act of nurturing as it is of self-care. Sure, an altruistic motive is cleaner, but why not enjoy the benefits of feeling good about what you can see of your actions? Because many times more, you'll just never know the rippling, sometimes even contagious and far-reaching effect one small act of kindness may have.
On the shadow side of this, sometimes we unintentionally cause confusion or harm beyond our intentions or knowledge as well. The risks of humanity and especially communication. May I always be open and available to your comments, questions, and concerns. Please forgive me for any mistakes or confusion I may have caused.
May we all awaken the compassionate heart, for the benefit of all living beings.
May all beings be happy
May all beings be at ease
May all beings be free from suffering.
OK... One last thing...
THE OAKLAND BUDDHA
Here's how one random, perhaps even somewhat self-serving act of kindness and generosity transformed a whole community in Oakland.
Check THIS out!
That's all for now, good people.
Keep sitting and keep smiling!
with Metta, Jeff & Emily