Year of Compassion
Our Sangha is committed to studying and practicing compassion in our lives. At the beginning of the year the Sangha came up with a list of studies, activities and Buddhist practices that would stimulate and develop our intention to compassionate living.
In January we held our annual Relinquishment Ceremony that is focused on letting go of our attachments, our mind habits that are causing difficulty in our lives. Relinquishing a mind habit can be quite complex as our brain built up many associative patterns even in just one mind habit. Undoing takes effort, awareness and openness to experience reality in new ways.
In late January Heart Sutra Writing was practiced – a quiet meditation that can be done with a brush or pen, in English, Chinese, or your native tongue. The important point is to observe what arises in the mind, then let it go. Writing distracts the mind and we then have a window into our mind’s functioning. The benefit of writing the Heart Sutra is immeasurable. The sutra penetrates one’s being in a fresh way. For more on this subject visit our website at http://www.bamboointhewind.org under Events/Heart Sutra Writing.
Beginning February 6 we began our study of Norman Fischer’s book, Training in Compassion Zen Teachings on the Practice of LOJONG. What I would like to do here is make accessible this teaching by sharing Fischer’s translated slogans. These slogans are helpful when studied for at least 1 week, keeping them available via a post-it note or through journaling. It’s also acceptable to repeat the slogans during meditation practice. In this way you will have a chance to incorporate the slogan teaching. Select ones that resonate with you as you travel with us on our journey. Should you have questions or which to comment you can contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Training in the preliminaries:
- The rarity and preciousness of human life.
- The inevitability of death.
- The awesome and indelible power of our actions.
- The inescapability of suffering.”1
1. p.8 Training in Compassion Zen Teachings on the Practice of LOJONG.