White Heron Sangha

Summer 2020

Sunday Evening Programs

by Claudia Coleman

Greetings from the Sunday Program Committee!

We’ve just wound up spring quarter with a successful and prompt switch to an all-Zoom format for the Sunday programs, as we have for all White Heron Sangha events. It looks like we’ll be meeting on Zoom for some time to come. As we have seen many times over in our practice, even unfortunate events can prove fortuitous and open new doors of opportunity.

Many in our Sangha have, indeed, found benefits to the new online format. Not only can we now easily record our Sunday talks, those members who found it difficult or inconvenient to drive to our Center can now tune in from home and take part as much as they wish. Of course, we’re hoping to maintain the best of both and are looking into purchasing Internet service, so that once we’re back in the Center, those who wish can attend remotely. More on that later from the Technical folks.

I like for each quarter’s programs to provide a mini-series focusing on some specific element of Buddhist practice. The recent spring focus was on “Buddhism and …” with programs on Meditation and Qi Gong by Devin Wallace, Buddhism and Healing by Mike McGee, and Buddhism and Christianity by Larry Inchausti. Of course, we had a number of other substantial teachings, including (among others) programs on Zen koans by Mark Bloodgood, the seminal and beloved 11th-12th-century Tibetan teacher Milarepa by Claudia Coleman, reflections on a dharma book by Carole Maurer, Individual Home Retreats by Joan Carter and Rosemary Donnell, and a Discussion on the Three Jewels or Refuges during these fraught times led by Lynne Breakstone.

This summer quarter’s mini-series focuses on the Paramitas, an idea that arose from a suggestion by Sangha members following James Coleman’s talk on Shantideva’s The Way of the Bodhisatva in the spring. So after a general Introduction to the Paramitas in June, Alison Rittger, Mick Malotte, Rosemary Donnell, and James Coleman will speak on specific Paramitas for a deeper insight into them as practice. Note that each of these speakers comes from a somewhat different Buddhist lineage, so that will give us a wider sense of these important elements of Buddhist philosophy and practice.

We also have lots of other programs to look forward to. First off, Corey McIntyre will give us a video teaching by Robert Thurman, who is quite a character, and since Corey Mac is also quite a character, that should launch us into our summer programs in style. Plus our own very creative Wendy Liepman will offer us a musical celebration of the Summer Solstice, which will include some of her own pieces. Her husband Bob Liepman will join her on cello to offer meditative music as well. Words will be projected, so we can participate if we wish.

In July Devin Wallace will offer a program evocatively called Moon Over Water: A Sharing of Ancient Chinese Chan Buddhist Poetry. He’ll include readings of some nature-infused poems and tell us about the Buddhist/Taoist philosophy that inspired them.

In August Corey comes back to lead our traditional Bring-A-Reading program; there’ll be a panel discussion on the process of finding a teacher and maintaining a relationship with him or her. 

Note that recordings on Zoom are available for about one month only. Look for a link on an email sent to the shareWHS list.

Hope to see you on the screen! May we all be safe.

Claudia Coleman, Chair of Sunday Program Committee

Sunday Program Committee Members: Sylvia Alcon, Corey McIntyre, Kathryn Tribbey, Laura Bennett, Lynne Breakstone, and Mick Malotte

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