President's Column -
Call to Practice
by Carole Maurer
learned that May had been designated National Meditation Month for 2018 and May
15 was World Meditation Day, where people from all around the world apparently
gathered together to take part in group meditation sessions. It seems that
people everywhere are getting the call to practice mindfulness and meditation, perhaps
because we are all more affected by global stresses and anxieties now than ever
before. We’re learning that meditation is a way to slow down the activity in
the mind and become aware, even for just a few moments, of the importance of resting
in the space between the breaths and of our interdependence on one another and on
our shared earth.
And, looking at the attendance numbers for the White Heron Sangha Sunday and weekday programs, classes, workshops, discussion groups, and retreats, I’d say that people here in our county are getting the call to practice, as well. It’s heart-warming to see that our center is so well used and appreciated.
As Thich Nhat Hahn reminds us, “If you want happiness to bloom within you, simply water the seeds.” White Heron Sangha offers many ways to nourish the seeds of mindfulness and compassion that you planted this spring. We are now offering something nearly every day of the week, including meditation sitting groups, yoga and meditation classes, weekend and daylong retreats, Buddhism and meditation practice classes, discussions, and volunteering. In addition to our Saturday morning session, we recently added a Wednesday morning Mindful Yoga class. See this article. For information about all of our offerings in the center for this quarter, see these web pages: Sunday Meetings, Midweek Sittings, Retreats, Classes, and Special Events. In addition, there are Sunday morning meditation sittings at our satellite Sanghas in Atascadero and Oceano. Why not include some of these opportunities for practice in your summer plans?
On Sunday, June 17, we will be commemorating the first year in our new meditation center and honoring everyone in our Sangha. Please join us for this celebration. It will be a time to express our appreciation for the efforts that many of us are making to create our center into a sacred space.
If you have been to our center recently you will have noticed the beautiful drape above the altar covering the TV monitor, gratefully offered to the Sangha by Mary Renard.
Claudia Coleman and the Décor Committee are assisting the call to practice by placing Buddhist-related art works around the center in order to help establish a more contemplative feeling when we enter. Please read the article Art in the Sangha for more about their efforts.
When we come
through the door to our White Heron Sangha Meditation Center, we are entering a
sacred space, our sanctuary for the time we are together there. We need to be
mindful of the fact that we are here to practice, and part of this practice is treating
the space with respect: arriving before the meditation period begins, if at all
possible, in order to not disturb those who are already practicing; perhaps
removing our shoes as we enter, if that’s convenient; toning down the volume of
our voices during social time; and keeping noble silence during meditation and
the dharma talk, including the setup time. Let’s see if we can work these
little reminders into our practice. We’ll all be grateful for it.
Let’s practice together!
In gratitude –