Friday, January 16, 2015


How 'bout that for creative!
At our practice on Saturday, January 17, I will announce our 2015 Practice Plan. (This will subsequently be posted on the Directions page of this blog. As we do every year just before the Chinese New Year,  I will outline directions for learning, practice and actions. It is important for us to understand that Buddhist living is not just doing some practice over and over again just because that’s what we do or because some great teacher used to do it. In our guiding text, The Lotus of the Wonderful Dharma, we are shown that our way is one of upaya, skillful means.

This tells us we act in awareness of what is occurring around and within us, so that whatever we do becomes an expression of our intention to expound the Dharma for all suffering beings. In the past few decade we have looked to the animal theme of the Chinese calendar to prompt us to consider what might be useful this year. For 2015, we are shaped by the Year of the Ram. This year stresses relationship building, care and creativity. These are quite skillful for us, as we adjust to practicing in a new community and look for creative ways to bring the Dharma to our community.

The plan is not the same as what business people call a “goal statement”. We understand that intentions are expressions of our awareness of the momentum of our lives and that we can set a direction or intention, but that we cannot guarantee any outcomes. We do not change or control the world, let alone our immediate environment. We align ourselves to it. The most any of us can do is to set a firm and committed intention and dedicate our selves to that.

I invite all to review our plan and offer any comment or suggestion which may better help us fulfill these intentions.

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