Monday, October 16, 2017

Regroup-Refresh-Renew

     The life of a Sangha amazes me.The past few weeks has been a time of resting and renewing. Some members have moved out of town, some have had work commitments that did not fit the schedule, some have had serious health issues, some have taken up the challenge of leading groups that targeted particular issues.As I reflect upon the ever changing configuration of Singing Stones Sangha since it's birth in 2009, I am amazed at the impact on the life and work of the people who have been participants, the relationships that have been formed and life decisions that have been made. We have gone through incredible change and growth, both the deepest of pain and the highest of joy.
     From the onset of Singing Stones, I have felt  the challenges of today's life are demanding  we find the ways to live in communities that live mindfully in compassion and non-violent engagement. Mindful practice in a Sangha community is one way to nurture the awareness and skills to bring about  a more peaceful world. Participants may change, issues may change but the experience and dynamic energies of growth and healing continue in ways that continue out into the universe. Even a short time in a community of mindful practice gives us insights and skills that we carry with us indefinitely as we engage the world in our family and  our community. May the merit of our practice and our life together benefit all beings. Namaste

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mystery

In the silence
this space comes alive
with sound
The breath of Spirit
shapes and form infuse
with clarity
My Inner depths touches
All that lies beyond
All is good, so very good
I touch
am touched by Mystery
Deep Mystery
In the Silence
of this practice center

......wordweaver

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Prayer To Mother Earth

For your meditation taken from Plum Village website
New Year Prayer to Mother Earth
and all Our Ancestors


Dear Beloved Mother Earth,
Dear Ancestors, both Spiritual and Genetic,


We present ourselves before you at this solemn moment of the New Year to express our awareness, our gratitude and our aspiration as a spiritual family. We know that our ancestors are always alive in us and that we can always take refuge in you and in our ancestors.

Dear Mother Earth, breathing in, we see that we and all of our ancestors are your children. With your patience, stability, endurance and creativity you have raised us and guided us through many lifetimes. You have given birth to countless Great Beings, Buddhas, Saints, and Boddhisattvas.  You are the great Earth, you are Terra, you are Gaia, you are this beautiful blue planet. You are the Earth Refreshing Bodhisattva–fragrant, cool, and kind.  We see that though we and our ancestors have made many mistakes, you have always forgiven us. Each time we return to you, you are ready to open your arms and embrace us.

Because of our wrong perceptions and discrimination we have lived a life of separation, hatred, loneliness, suffering, and despair.  We have allowed individualism to prevail, and it has caused a lot of damage and hardship to you and to ourselves. We have run after fame, wealth, power, and sensual pleasures  and have forgotten that these pursuits could never bring us true happiness.

We have spent many lifetimes not able to recognize your presence as the Pure Land, as the Kingdom of God, as the most wondrous home that we have. We have run after a distant Promised Land, in heaven or in the future. This has caused us and you much suffering. Tonight as we touch the Earth, we let go and offer you and our ancestors our true presence. We have arrived. You are our home, our only home.

We have learned that only love and compassion can make our lives meaningful, allowing us to protect and preserve your beauty, and allowing us to heal ourselves.  We can learn to live as one family --  as a community of brothers and sisters, all children of the same Great Mother Earth, giving our descendants a chance for a healthy and a bright future. We know that only through building brotherhood and sisterhood in the present moment can we make this future a reality.

Dear Mother, tonight, on the occasion of the New Year 2012, we make the vow to learn to live in harmony and peace, in the very heart of our family and our community, just as bees in the same beehive and cells in the same body.  We promise that we shall remain openhearted and capable of communicating with the members of our family and our community.  We promise to always listen deeply and to use peaceful and loving speech.  We shall learn to listen to your voice, Mother Earth, to understand you deeply and to hear your guidance and the guidance of our ancestors.  We vow also to listen to our brothers, our sisters, our friends, and to our children so that we may live in peace and harmony with them. We promise to learn to see the happiness and well-being of our family and community as our own happiness and well-being.

Dear Mother, with great reverence, we give rise to the deep aspiration to begin anew. We promise to you and also to our children: that we shall learn to breathe and walk mindfully each moment of our daily life, to use the eyes and ears of the family and community in order to understand, to live simply and to love without discrimination, as you do. We promise to stop running from our suffering, but to recognize, embrace and transform it. Only by understanding our suffering can we heal and touch true happiness, and at the same time, restore your beauty and freshness.  You have been calling to us, and some of us have heard your pain. You have been asking us for many lifetimes whether you can count on us. Tonight, with palms joined and with one heart, we say “yes, Mother, you can count on us.” We shall practice for you and for all our ancestors so that joy, peace and harmony will become possible again. Please accept our offerings of incense, flowers, fruit, tea, and our love.  Yes Mother, we will be faithful to you.
(the image is of trees on the road leading to Capulin Volcano in North East New Mexico where prayer ties were placed)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mindful Presence as Practice

         These days are a dancing spiral of clouds and sunshine, of warmth and coldness. Moments and days of Silence are also that same dance, a dance where Silence is Absence and isolation,  an empty dark void where there is a draining black hole that drains the energy of your soul or there is the Silence of Presence where one deeply knows the power and empowerment of commitment and connection.
        In absence there is an  aloneness in the living of life that takes one into the depths of darkness of doubt, fear, judgement and isolation. The task becomes one of survival and one becomes enmeshed and entangled in all the power needs of survival.
            Perhaps as we engage the Disciplines of Mindful Practice we need to stay aware there is a profound difference between the Silence of Presence and The Silence of Absence and what is nurturing the deep energies of  Presence and Community. which leads to the outcomes of deep inner  peace, compassion and the living of loving kindness.
           Think about the shifts of energy that occur in your body, mind, thinking, your spirit self when there is the unexpected phone call, the cards of encouragement and appreciation, an offer of help and assistance for a tough job, or  the e-mail ,This does not even touch the power of  the unexpected visit or the invitation to a meal. These are the simple acts of loving-kindness that empower, encourage, connect, renew and heal. These simple ordinary acts are the makings of the soul of family and community. They are life builders, spirit healers and soul makers They heal, empower and create the manifestation of dreams and hopes.They transcend and transform all of the differences which we create to keep us separated as human beings.
       I encourage us all to stay aware of  the  vast differences between the Silence that is found in the Community of Presence of the Sangha and the absence felt in  Silence of the Void. We have an incredible gift inbeing able to  access  the  profound power in that Community of Presence. It is Peace and Compassion in every step.
We can choose the steps we take in the dance and the music to which we move. Where ever we are is a place of the dance.
.Be Present! Be Mindful! Be Peace!
Anne: Peaceful Home of The Heart OIB