Tomorrow is the last day of a class on mindfulness that we coordinated through the Quad Cities area CommUniversity. We experimented with different meditation techniques and listened to guided meditations by several prominent National teachers. We really enjoyed listening to Tara Brach and we would like to share a link to an online repository of some of her talks and guided meditations. Click below. Enjoy!
Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation
4 Sundays in February 2-4 pm.
Led by Steve Spring and Leslie Ross of the Quad Cities Mindfulness Community (meditationqc.org)
TO ENROLL: go to communiversity.org to register for course #31
Introduce the week’s practice: 1) mindfulness of breath, 2) loving kindness – metta, 3) walking meditation, 4) insight /noting
Guided meditation 10 minutes
Silent meditation 15 minutes
Break: walking mindfully and use of noble silence
Mindful sharing and deep listening
Guest leader 30 minutes
Feb. 2nd: Jeani Mackenzie, Davenport School of Yoga – embodied practice/body scan
Feb 9th: Jay Wolin, Unitarian Church – mindful breathing
Feb 16th: Catherine Cleary, St. Mary’s Monastery – centering prayer
Feb 23th: Joyce Singh, Prairie Oak Sangha – mindful eating
Suggestions and aids for practice during the week
Closing and sharing the merit
Cushions, mats and chairs will be available
Communiversity requests that you register before January 15th, if possible.
Thanks very much to those who joined us for our annual Day of Mindfulness. We especially thank teacher David Haskin from the Snowflower Sangha in Madison, WI for leading and sharing his wisdom on the topic of the Art of Letting Go. In the interest of keeping with a great topic for this new year, please enjoy this video dharma talk on Letting Go that was given by Thich Nhat Hanh in 2006.
Many years ago, when military battles were fought with bows, shields and spears, a renowned warrior was in a fierce conflict. His armor did not cover the right shoulder. As he raised his sword, there, above the armpit, a barbed arrow rushed to pierce his flesh. The pain was intense. He ground his teeth with clenched jaws. Then parted the veil over his eyes to find the battle line again. His left hand wrenched the sword out of the right hand. And he slowly raised the sword. It glistened in the sun.
From across the field of contest, a skilled archer aimed another arrow at the esteemed warrior. With alacrity and luck, the missile found its mark in the right shoulder, hitting the exact spot where the first arrow had entered.
The noble warrior cried out in pain. His sword dropped harmlessly to the ground. He doubled over, left hand gripping the right shoulder. He fell to his knees and flailed in convulsions. The fierce pain of the second arrow was ten times the agony of the first.
The combatants, as one body, momentarily ceased while the honored one, now limp with trauma, was dragged to the rear of the action.
This story is not from Homer or the Gita. It is found in the teachings carefully passed down in the mindfulness traditions. I did embellish it in Homeric style. It is a parable about how we multiply our suffering. Our reactivity and judgment magnify whatever unskillful thoughts, feelings and perceptions arise. This unskillful habit energy is the second arrow, which we shoot at ourselves, and, too often, at others.
A great adventure in our practice is cultivating kindness towards whatever arises. Rather than scolding ourselves for unskillful states of mind, we aspire to cultivate calm abiding. Reactivity and self judging is deeply rooted within and can be quite subtle. With awareness of the breath as our anchor, mindfulness and compassion work naturally to gently lead reaction towards repose.
The Venerable Somnieng, our dear friend and Buddhist monk from Cambodia, is visiting here for a few days. You are invited to a Buddhist Service at 10:30 am Saturday, June 8th, followed by an Asian food lunch and a reception from noon to 1 pm.
Erawan Restaurant 3rd Avenue and 17th Street in Rock Island.
After the reception, Somnieng leaves for Des Moines and then Cambodia. Meet his mother and Venerable Chhoeum, visiting from Cambodia.
This week the locations of the Wed and Thurs meditations are changed. The Wednesday (today) meditation will begin at 6:45 pm at Vanderveer Park, near the Main Street fountain. In case of rain, meet at Christ the King Chapel on the St. Ambrose campus at 7 pm.
The Thursday evening meditation will begin at 6:30 pm at the Satva Center, 19th Street and 7th Avenue in Rock Island.
Both Friday groups and the Sunday group meditations will be at the usual locations.
The Venerable Somnieng, our dear friend and Buddhist monk from Cambodia, is visiting here for a few days. You are invited to a Peace Meditation Walk on Wednesday from 6:45 to 7:45 and a chapel service following at 8 pm.
We will gather at 6:45 pm Wednesday, June 5th, at Vanderveer Park, near the Main Street fountain at the south end of the park. Look for the Quad City Meditation banner and the rainbow colored prayer flag teepee.
The Walk will end at 7:40 and we will reconvene at Christ the King Chapel on the St. Ambrose campus for an 8 pm meditation service.
Use the St. Ambrose parking lot across from the Galvin Fine Arts Center (Gaines & High Streets). You may park there and walk to the park if the weather is good. Please bring an umbrella if the weather calls for light rain. If there is heavy rain, we will gather at the St. Ambrose chapel at 7 pm. For gnats we will have some coconut oil and some lotion to share.
Kindly invite others to share this practice time with Somnieng.
For those who will be unable to attend, there will be a Meditation with Somnieng on Thursday, June 6th, starting at 6:30 pm at the Satva Center in Rock Island.
May you be safe and protected
May you be peaceful and happy
May you be healthy and strong
May you care for yourself with ease
May you know your own goodness
May others see you with clarity
May your heart be light and spacious
May you open to holding all of life
May you accept things as they are
May you care for others, realizing you cannot keep them from suffering
May you cultivate liberation of the mind, practicing love.
May love be your vehicle and your foundation
May you stabilize love and exercise yourself in it
May you perfect love fully
Valentine, let us share a bow and a smile.