White Heron Sangha

President's Column -

Call to Practice

 by Carole Maurer

WHS President

I just 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 EventsIn 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 –


If there is light in the soul,
there will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person,
there will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house,
there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.

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