The second “Day with the Sangha” retreat of 2017 took place at the temple on a beautiful spring Saturday, April 22, 2017. A total of twenty-five people participated during the day with most participants spending enjoying the entire schedule of activities. The retreat coincided with the monthly Meditation for World Peace and Healing.
Sangha members participated in a series of meditation periods and dharma talks in the morning. Everyone enjoyed what has become a favorite tradition of these retreats—the vegetarian Vietnamese lunch taken in silence. After lunch, there was a walking meditation followed by a period of chanting the Medicine Mantra. Participants then chose to do the one hour Meditation for World Peace and Healing or a shorter meditation followed by a dharma discussion.
The afternoon ended with musical performances by sangha members Narissa Bond who was followed by Kyle Carrigan performing with Jannie Kenyon.
During the dharma discussions, the Venerable Thich Chuc Thanh shared these ideas with the group:
- Once a week, act like a visitor to your house, to your body. Don’t worry about fixing anything.
- Look at our body as a fine machine. Investigate it. Use it as a focal point for meditation.
- Mindfulness alone is not enough. Support your mindfulness practice with wisdom and the Five Precepts.
- Do not use meditation to escape or avoid reality.
- Train the body first. Then train the mind to meditate and practice.
- We need to learn how to be satisfied with what we have, with our body as it is now.
- When you relax, everything becomes profound.
- There is no sudden enlightenment. Even the Buddha had to practice many lifetimes and many years in this life to achieve enlightenment.
- Why does a river not flow in a straight line? We should practice our life like a river, not rigid in a straight line. Learn to be flexible like the river.
- The practice is like a filter. Use mindfulness of speaking and of acting as a filter.
- If a giver attempts to give something to someone else and it is not accepted, who owns it? The giver. If you offer anger, hatred, ill will, etc. to others and it is not accepted, it stays with you and only hurts you.
The next Day with the Sangha Retreat will be Saturday, July 22, 2017, 9 AM to 5 PM.
Mark Palamara, April 27, 2017