Mindfulness is awareness of what is within and around you in the present moment.
By bringing awareness to the in-breath and out-breath, you gently bring your mind back to your body in the present moment. If a thought or feeling arises, simply recognize it and gently return your attention to the in breath and out breath following it fully just as it is.
In noble silence, we have two 20 minute sitting meditations, one before and one following the walking meditation. We sit alert and relaxed and practice mindful breathing, enjoying sitting.
Walking meditation takes place outside (weather permitting), and is the practice of bringing your attention to your feet as they touch the Earth and to your breath in that moment, enjoying walking.
A reading from one of Thay's books, a suttra, or a short Dharma Talk video from Plum Village is shared. The recitation of the 5 Mindfulness Trainings is the first Friday of each month.
Dharma sharing is the practice of deep listening and loving speech. We take turns sharing from the heart of personal experience our daily practice with the mindfulness trainings, our joys and difficulties. As one speaks, the others listen with open heart-mind.
To close the session, we sing, share the merit of the practice by honoring the joys and bringing awareness to the sufferings of all beings, and then chant the Metta, the words of loving-kindness... and smile!
We welcome all ages, backgrounds, and faith traditions of wellbeing to join us in these mindfulness practices.
A sangha is a garden, full of many varieties of trees and flowers. When we can look at ourselves and at others as beautiful, unique flowers and trees we can truly grow to understand and love one another. One flower may bloom early in the spring and another flower may bloom in late summer. One tree may bear many fruits and another tree may offer cool shade. No one plant is greater, or lesser, or the same as any other plant in the garden. Each member of the sangha also has unique gifts to offer the community.
We each have areas that need attention as well. When we can appreciate each member's contribution and see our weaknesses as potential for growth, we can learn to live together harmoniously. Our practice is to see that we are a flower or a tree, and we are the whole garden as well, all interconnected.
-Thich Nhat Hanh