January 21, 2017
The first “Day with the Sangha” retreat of 2017 was held on Saturday, January 21. Thay Thanh opened the day with a brief welcoming followed by a seated meditation period.
The morning dharma talk included the concepts of the four frames of reference, with particular attention to our relationship with our bodies. After the discussion, the group learned to chant the Medicine Mantra before enjoying a walking meditation period before lunch.
A wonderful Vietnamese vegetarian lunch was enjoyed by the group in silence. After lunch, the group assisted the Ven. Thich Chuc Do with placing pink and yellow plastic flowers to tree branches in preparation for the Tet New Year celebration. Discussion as to whether the plastic flowers were real or fake ensued. Of course, they are real, plastic flowers!
Dave Edmonds presented the afternoon dharma discussion on the topic of Two Legs of Buddhism. The two legs are Study and Practice which result in Insight and Compassion. Dave suggested that words are needed for study and practice, but are inadequate for insight. A lively discussion took place on this topic.
The afternoon included a period of walking meditation, entertainment by Kyle who sang some he learned from his mother, who was marching in Washington DC with the women’s march the afternoon of the retreat. The entire group participated in a drumming session that was followed by the closing tea ceremony and wrap up discussion.
The next “Day with the Sangha” retreat is scheduled for Saturday, April 22, 2017.
Mark Palamara and Ruth Peele