November 2011

Meditation Opportunities

Thursday evenings at 1st Presbyterian

We will meet for meditation on all Thursdays in November and December (except Thanksgiving, Dec. 22 and Dec. 29) from 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the fellowship hall. Our format for the first hour is two 20-minute periods of sitting in silence with a 10 minute walking meditation in between.  For the second hour, we are practicing group contemplative listening.  We listen to a short reading from a contemplative author or poet, sit together for a period of silence, and share our reflections with the group.  This is a wonderful way to practice deep listening to each other.  All are welcome to join us at any time. 

Tuesday evenings at Hei’s house

Hei has opened his house to those who would like to join him for meditation from 6:00pm – 6:30pm on Tuesdays.  It is one half hour of sitting meditation. (no meetings Dec. 20 or 27)

Please call him at 899-4845 for directions and to let him know that you are coming so he can prepare a place for you.

November Retreat Day

Retreat Day    Saturday, November 19, 2011    8:30 am – 1:00 pm How to Turn Pain into Compassion

In addition to our sitting and walking meditation, we will watch and discuss a DVD by Pema Chodron, an American born Buddhist nun.  Pema Chodron will introduce us to Tonglen, “a simple and elegant meditation system for ordinary people like ourselves.  Through Tonglen, we can use the difficulties in life – those that cause the most suffering—as a way to befriend ourselves, accept the past we have rejected, and widen our circle of compassion”

All are welcome and a freewill offering will be available.                                


Upcoming Events

Ongoing                                       Hei’s Tai Chi class at Oldemeyer

Center (Tu/Thur at 10:30 am)

Ongoing                                       Satsang – with Mokshananda

Unitarian Universalist Church

490 Aguajito Road, 624-7404

2nd and 4th Tuesdays 7 – 9 pm

December 8                                 Bring Adopt-a-Family donations to


December 15                               MMG Cookie party from 8 – 9pm

No December retreat day

January 28, 2012                          MMG retreat day – Susan Raab

The Christian dimension of Harry Potter

Summary of October’s Contemplative Retreat 

Last month was our contemplative retreat with Ruben Habito and I would like to first thank those of you who were able to give an extra donation to help make the retreat possible.  It was very much appreciated and we received the $800 in donations to makeup our projected shortfall.  We are grateful.

On Friday evening Ruben began our evening with two statements:

“We are perfect just as we are” and “We have a lot of work to do”.

In our practice it is important for us to accept ourselves just where we are.  Our practice is not a self-improvement method.  However, it is a process of purification in which we are able to spiral into deeper and deeper levels of letting go.  This letting go is the work that we have to do.  Ruben ended the evening talk by reading us a lovely children’s book, The Three Questions based on a story by Leo Tolstoy by Jon J. Muth.  It was a beautiful story with beautiful illustrations that was about a young boy wondering what he should be doing in life.  The answer to his question is a nugget of wisdom that is included in the closing quote of this newsletter.

On Saturday we had a day of silence that included sitting and walking meditation, private interviews with Ruben, and two talks.

Ruben talked about the question, “What is Zen?”  Zen is coming home and being truly yourself.  Ruben teaches that our innermost core is where we meet the Infinite, and when we sit we meet the place where Spirit comes home.  Our breath is our guide in this.  Ruben teaches us to come home to our breath, to the Infinite, to the ground of our being.  Let the breath take over, not the ego.  The breath is the gateway to the Infinite. 

In closing, 

From The Three Questions by Jon J Muth

…”Remember then that there is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side. For these, my dear boy, are the answers to what is most important in this world.”

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