It seems our first Sangha+ gathering at Marchmont St Giles was a success as there were many smiles and a lovely atmosphere.
The plan is to have something of a theme for each week, for that theme to emerge from the participants and for everyone to feel at easy with contributing. To help this along we will try and have a blog post here beforehand with some background just in case anyone wants to follow up on what was said or have time to reflect beforehand. It is just an extra. Not required reading!!
The next meeting is on Tuesday 9th June (Marchmont St Giles 7-9pm) the theme will be the first of the Five Mindfulness Trainings.
- You can read all the Mindfulness Trainings on the Plum Village Website and in many other places.
- The Trainings are the concrete version of the five Precepts used by our tradition that are common across all Buddhist traditions. There is background on the Wikipedia Page.
- The book we read from was: “For a Future to Be Possible: Buddhist Ethics for Everyday Life: A Guide to the Five Mindfulness Trainings” which seems very expensive on Amazon but not so bad on Kindle. Which is a shame as I’d like a copy. I think it was probably bigger in the USA than here.
- The first Mindfulness Training is Reverence for Live and goes as follows.
Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating the insight of interbeing and compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, or in my way of life. Seeing that harmful actions arise from anger, fear, greed, and intolerance, which in turn come from dualistic and discriminative thinking, I will cultivate openness, non-discrimination, and non-attachment to views in order to transform violence, fanaticism, and dogmatism in myself and in the world.
- Worth noting is that this covers both not killing AND fanaticism/dogmatism. Here is a video of Thay linking the two together.
And finally a lovely poem Joelle wrote about the night
We’re friends who come together
to notice, and count our breath
without numbers. Tonight
we gather, the first time
in this new upper room,
so that fresh ways to share
can form among us.
Around the building the wind
rattles the panes and wanders
like a mind finding its way.
The world is breathing –
and we are sitting, listening.
Any suggestions as of more I could add here please let me know.