Friday, February 21, 2014

Buddhist Roots of Secular Mindfulness & Ethics

Insight Journal published an interview with Frank and me as part of our upcoming course in May at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in Barre MA. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mindfulness or Mindlessness - an attempt to appease lay followers?

A fascinating talk on the way "bare attention" became the icon of mindfulness (it's more historic than we think going back to the Mahasi tradition). It's a rich talk and very instructional on the issue surrounding the nature of practice, not only for the issues related to current use of mindfulness.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Remembrance Walk - Nov 3rd

Dear Friends,

A slight shift in our schedule! Given the ever-changing nature of our weather, we've moved the remembrance walk in Beechwood Cemetery up to November 3rd, our next session.

In the Christian tradition, All Souls' Day (Nov 2) is a time to pay respects to those who have died. In Japanese Buddhist traditions, it is the rites of "segaki," a ritual to feed the hungry ghosts (gaki). It is a time of compassion and maitri, being a spiritual friend, to those caught (and even aspects of ourselves which are caught) in clinging and craving.

We will meet in the parking lot of Beechwood Cemetery on Beechwood Avenue at 10AM. For directions, click here. We will proceed in walking meditation from the parking lot to a small gravesite near the south-east entrance. There will be a short talk at the site and we will proceed to another site in the military cemetery for a second talk.

Dress warmly. Please bring a small flower and/or sprig of evergreen.

After the ceremony, we can go to Coconut Lagoon for lunch if you wish.

Lynette Genju

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Brahma Viharas Program for September-December 2013

Dear Friends,

We will be studying the Brahma Viharas from Sept-Dec with the support and teachings of various teachers and texts. The practice begins with a grounding in concentration and insight meditation out of which the cultivation of compassion, equanimity, resonant joy, and metta can arise. Folded into this study is a powerful talk by Robert Chodo Campbell and Koshin Palley Ellison of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care on how to be caregivers in the world. Their talk will lead us into a contemplative practice at Beechwood Cemetery - a very traditional Buddhist practice of honouring those gone beyond and reflecting on our own impermanence. The resources for study are listed at the end of the program.

We hope you will enjoy this practice season and look forward to dropping into the Diamond Sutra in the January-June practice period.

The program is published on the Practices & Schedule page.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Path to a Better Way of Death

My review of Katy Butler’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death. This is the story of a family caught in the velocity of a medical momentum which erupts when someone enters the chaotic zone between a good life and good death. It is a heart-wrenching telling of what happens when we unwittingly place our trust in systems rather than people, in hope rather than clarity of thought. It is also a revealing, investigative and hard-nosed exposé of the death-preventing devices we hope would be life-sustaining. Butler invites us to journey with her to the realization that “(t)he honest, natural death is no longer the default pathway.” She begins by bringing us into her parents’ kitchen, sharing a cup of tea with her mother. This is a scene that can evoke memories of sweet poignancy of beginnings or endings; but here, here, there is a different evocation, a different prayer for an ending. Read more...