July / August 2012

Meditation Opportunities 

Thursday evenings at 1st Presbyterian 

We will meet for meditation on all Thursdays in July and August from 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the fellowship hall (except July 26 and Aug 9 when we will be in the Manse). 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.    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.

Monterey Meditation July Retreat Day

Retreat Day    Saturday, July 28, 2012    8:30 am – 1:00 pm        

                      In the Manse (room behind Fellowship Hall)

For this Saturday’s Retreat day we will watch together a Pema Chodron DVD called  “Smile at Fear”.  The DVD is a recorded retreat given by Pema in which she shares teaching inspired by the book, Smile at Fear, which was written by her teacher Chogyam Trungpa. She and her teaching assistant, Carolyn Rose Gimian, also share practices they received from Trungpa Rinpoche for courageously meeting ourselves in the present moment.

In addition to watching the video together, there will be time for discussion and two periods of sitting and walking meditation.  Coffee, tea and refreshments will be provided.  A freewill offering will be available.  All are welcome. 

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

No August Retreat Day

August 14 – 19                           East West Meditation Intensive

Mercy Center Burlingame

August 15 – 19                           Centering Prayer Retreat

Mercy Center Burlingame

September 29                            MMG Retreat Day  8:30 – 1:00 pm

Sacred Poetry with Joseph Cotham

Summary of June’s Retreat Day

Monterey Meditation Day’s June Retreat Day was an extended day with a focus on the practice of Zen.  With the longer day we were able to spend more time in sitting and walking meditation and we experienced a tea ceremony together.

We also read together a talk by Suzuki Roshi from Zen Mind, Beginners Mind.  The title of the talk was “Control” and my favorite section is as follows:  “To give your sheep or cow a large, spacious meadow is the way to control him.  So it is with people:  first let them do what they want, and watch them.  This is the best policy.  To ignore them is not good; that is the worst policy.  The second worst is trying to control them.  The best one is to watch them, just to watch them, without trying to control them”.  This seems incredibly difficult and incredibly wise at the same time.  But from experience and lots of trying, I know that it is impossible to control others.  No matter how hard I might try.  The command to give the sheep or cow a spacious meadow feels very freeing.  And I know that I too like others to allow me space to be who I am.  Suzuki continues to teach that our thoughts in meditation work the same way.  We must put effort into developing the ability to allow the thoughts that come to us in meditation the freedom to come and go.  When we ignore our thoughts, we are not present and the thoughts will continue to come back.  When we try to control our thoughts, it doesn’t work.  So the best policy is just to watch our thoughts – let them come and let them go – and breath through them.  Suzuki Roshi instructs, “the true purpose of Zen is to see things as they are, to observe things as they are, and to let everything go as it goes”.


In closing,

 “Live in simple faith. . .

  Just as this trusting cherry

  Flowers, fades, and falls”




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