November THEME: Generosity
Commentary: Generosity is the first of the so-called “paramitas’ of Buddhism. November begins with the goblins of impermanence at the door. A cold wind blows the last leaves off the trees. Summer life is dying. But the lesson of Halloween is to meet goblins at the door with kindness and generosity. The practice of Thanksgiving is to prepare for scarcity, not with hoarding, but with generosity. Here is Rumi’s poem,
THE GUEST HOUSE:
This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
They may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame , the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
RETREATS For questions or to register, please email.
DECEMBER ZEN RETREAT. Sandy Gentei Stewart has encountered a family
conflict that does not permit him to hold retreat with us December 5
through 9. I (Gendo) would like to preserve this retreat in our schedule
and will do my best to lead in Sandy’s place at a lowered cost of $250
(instead of $300). Discounts for members and students still apply. I ask
all who have registered to indicate their intentions, given this change, to
still attend or not. Others are welcome to join us for this retreat and
celebration of ‘rohatsu,’ anniversary of the historical Buddha’s awakening.
Please respond to this email with questions or to register. Part time
attendance is possible (contact us) , but priority will be given to full-time
Also, see retreat page here.
FAMILY ZEN Please come join us for Family Zen on Sunday (November 18th) from 4-5pm at the Upper Valley Zen Center. The program is designed to engage children in an interactive and fun exploration of basic Buddhist concepts and practices like mindfulness, compassion, kindness and connection. The topic for the month of November is generosity. The session is generally one hour long with a variety of activities. The agenda for September Family Zen is below.