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Winter into 2013

Dharma Talk

Tuesdays, starting December 11th

4-5:30 pm $5-10 by donation

Meditation Basics 1

Tuesdays, December 11th-January 29th

10-11:15 am $75

Meditation Basics 2

Thursdays, December 20th-January 24th

10-11:15 am $75

Foundations of the Path

Thursdays, December 20th-January 24th

11:30-1:30 pm $75

Call (978) 462-9737 for information, or to register.

June moon tune

 

The April classes approach. Woooo

This means that also, soon the April classes will be gone. Then June/August classes.

Here are some thoughts on what those months will look like:

– Poetry of the Sages (poetry, language, and the spirit of the dharma)

– Practice intensives (daylong retreats, or longer)

– Basic meditation 2 (building on Meditation 101, we’ll extend the teachings on mindfulness, and work with a few “new” meditation techniques)

– Communication, space, mind (communication is one of those big buzzwords- what does it mean, how does this relate to energy, what’s the line between skillful communication, gentleness, and manipulation, what’s the line between skillful communication and magic?)

– Practicing with nature (meditation and dharma in the context of the natural world)

I’m getting enthusiastic thinking about it! Good stuff. If you’re interested, let me know. If you’re tentative, maybe don’t let me know, or maybe you could. If cost is an issue, as always, just “start a conversation” as a teacher friend of mine used to say. I’d rather have more people in a class, and a little less moolah than a small class with everyone “paid up.”

One more thought- Recycling! The way I see it, these groups could extend way beyond classes. If there’s interest, we could spend some time outside, walking around, cleaning up trash from an area. Why not?

Lots fermenting…

 

Deutsch: Bodhidharma

Deutsch: Bodhidharma (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Four reminders

I’ve been doing a practice called “the four thoughts that turn the mind to the dharma,” or the “four reminders.” I’m going to offer up a thought I had first, before I mention my interpretations. My thought was this: it can be pretty easy to think up ideas about life, the dharma, religion, what have you, but it’s remarkably hard to realize those, in the moment. There’s a stubbornness to life, and to people’s minds (and maybe hearts). For the past few weeks I’ve been contemplating these four thoughts, and it took me a while to notice that I could think about them pretty well, have some good ideas about what this meant, but then somehow these ideas weren’t happening in real life.

Of course, it takes time. Ideas take time to sink in, and then you have to keep remembering to apply them. My teacher has mentioned “concentration” very specifically to me a few times now, and I’m seeing that I need a lot more of that. I’m generally extremely unfocused. Anyway, here are the four thoughts, in overview, and then my thoughts about the thoughts.

1. Precious human birth

2. Impermanence (change and death)

3. Karma

4. Suffering

I think that’s a pretty good summary. So here is some thoughts I’ve had on this.

1. It’s hard to find a good situation, one in which you can practice the dharma (or, at least, have a satisfying life).

2. You never know how long you’ll live, so this is a good motivation to get stuff done.

3. Learn about cause and effect.

(Karma often takes on mystical or mythical overtones for Americans, I think. It can just mean cause and effect.)

4. Work on overcoming clinging, to get to a balanced state of mind.

That’s all for that one. Time for some coffee and food.

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