Each day brings new changes and recommendations to contain the spread of the coronavirus. We continue to adjust our practices to meet these changed circumstances.
Most of our regular classes and practices continue to be webcast.
We hope the practices we continue to offer are a support — both on and off the cushion. As you go about your daily activities, these words from Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche’s “Rebel Buddha” on the paramita of the month, joyful diligence, may be useful for contemplation:
“Ordinarily we equate diligence with a lot of effort. On the one hand, there’s a sense of physical or mental sweat. On the other, there’s a sense of being a good, industrious boy or girl – we’re working hard toward a goal and not letting up. But being diligent on our spiritual path doesn’t mean that we’re meditating for hours, vacuuming the shrine room and serving meals at a homeless shelter all in one day.
Transcendent diligence means that we take whatever opportunities we have to practice and we do those practices with a sense of appreciation and delight. In this sense, diligence is energy, the power that makes everything happen. It’s like the wind, a driving force that keeps us moving along the path.
Where does this energy come from? It comes from the enjoyment and satisfaction we experience as we get further into our path. The primary obstacle to diligence is, of course, laziness — the absence of energy.
One problem with laziness is that it takes up so much time. Think of how much time taking it easy or spacing out requires. The problem with activities like going to the beach or hanging out is not that they’re negative; it’s our attachment to them. I’m sure more people go to the ‘beach’ than to all the resorts in Mexico. Laziness shows up in other ways too. We can be attached to bad ideas or bad friends, or we can tell ourselves that we don’t have what it takes to be on this path. We can also get stuck in laziness by just remaining very busy all the time and never making time for our practice.
So in the beginning, some ordinary exertion is required. Yet when we break through our habits just a little, we begin to feel this rising breeze of delight. As it grows stronger, we become so inspired that no matter what happens, we never lose our sense of appreciation or enthusiasm for our path. Then whatever we do becomes as effortless as sailing on the open sea. The work of getting away from the shore and catching the wind has already been done. All that’s left to do is just to keep our hand on the tiller.”
Continuing Classes & Practices
To support your practice, we are offering the following sessions on Zoom. Links and passwords are emailed to sangha members. Please sign in a few minutes early and place your microphone on mute.
You may have noticed new security practices on Zoom. One new feature is a “waiting room.” Please add your name to your phone or computer settings so the umdze can see who you are. Otherwise you may be asked to identify yourself.
If you are new to Zoom, please see the link posted at the bottom of this article.
- Mondays at 7 p.m. Enrolled students in Hinayana 2020 will receive login information via email. Registration
Fresh Minds Book Group: In Love with the World
- Thursdays, April 9 to June 4 at 7-8:30 p.m. This is a continuation of a Nalanda West book discussion group.
- Thursdays, 9-10 a.m. Weekly online sessions provide members with peer support, in a safe and supportive environment. Each session includes a mitra or another senior teacher, plus at least one member of either the Sangha Care team or Path of Mindful Activity team.Zoom links and passwords are sent via email.
- Fridays at 7 p.m. Tara Practice
Open Heart Practice
- Every other Sunday (May 3 and 17) at 11 a.m. Have a candle ready to light during practice, if you wish. Open Heart Practice
Upcoming Events & Programs
- Sat. April 25 from 1:30-3 p.m. Lynne Conrad Marvet will guide us to reflect, intuit and create during this online workshop.
May 3 at 1-2 p.m. Sangha members are invited to join this second event in our new series of short orientation sessions about our sangha traditions. Midori Nakamura will discuss creating and caring for a personal shrine. There will be plenty of time for Q & A. The link and password will be provided via email.
New to Zoom? It’s easy. Just follow these instructions.