Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Update of Spring activities & Summer Wishes

Dear Friends,

Happy Summer Days!

It's been a busy Spring with retreats and various activities around the sangha. The monthly gatherings are busy and we'll be adding another Monday evening to the calendar.

We began Spring with a weekend retreat in Ottawa on Mindful Self-Compassion lead by Christopher Germer. Chris is an amazing teacher with a deep practice in metta. It was a privilege to teach with him and made possible by the strong support of our Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic teachers and staff. We will be offering retreats in self-compassion in 2015! If you are interested in retreats offered by Chris Germer & Kristin Neff please check out their schedule here.

The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies retreat, Buddhist Roots and Ethics of Mindfulness, was a wonderful experience. We were blessed with 16 participants and their collective wisdom on secular, Buddhist & clinical mindfulness practices. Bringing the role of sila (ethics) into the curriculum of secular mindfulness was well-received and opened the practice to a new direction. The retreat will be offered again next year in July and for a longer period (4 days!). It is open to everyone and we hope to see you there.

The Heart of Mindfulness Practice retreat at Galilee Retreat Centre was also a terrific experience. It was a full registration and the depth community practice was powerful. The retreat is an gentle entry for those who have never been to a silent retreat - although there may be some debate about what we mean by gentle! There is actually no way to ease into hours of silence, is there? The dharma talks are available here.

Many thanks to our dear friend, Susan Kehoe, for her support in the labyrinth walking practice and in all we do together. Retreat assistants, Jen, Andrew, Heloise, Lori, Helen & Cathy, were indispensable to keeping the flow going and attending to the needs of the retreatants! Thank you!

See you in June 2015 for the third annual Heart of Mindfulness Practice retreat!

Frank & I are grateful for the growing practices and practitioners. Our relationship with dharma communities like Upaya Zen Center, BCBS and the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion supports our aspirations. We are equally grateful for your support and wish you a safe and joyous Summer!

Lynette & Frank

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sangha News

Dear Sangha Friends,

We hope you are all enjoying this Spring after a rather challenging winter! It's been a while since we've connected and much has developed!

The Upaya Sitting Group which meets on the third Monday of each month is growing wonderfully and we feel so happy to offer the opportunity to practice. It's also a lot of fun with co-teachers sprouting up each week! Remember also there is a secular mindfulness meditation meeting on the LAST Monday of each month!

The Heart of Mindfulness Retreat in June at Galilee Centre is full but there is a healthy wait list. If you have registered, thank you! If you have missed joining us, we carry you with us and look forward to seeing you next time.

The Mindful Self-Compassion training weekend retreat (April 11-3) with Christopher Germer was a smash success with a delightful group of people from across Canada! The biggest thrill was co-teaching this retreat and truly appreciating the ways we can honour vulnerabilities and pain. We certainly look forward to more opportunities to offer these practices in Ottawa.

Frank and I are off to the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies on May 1st to offer a retreat on Buddhist Roots and Ethics in Mindfulness Programs. The participants come from a wide variety of practice backgrounds and we are excited (and a bit terrified!) about sharing our work with them, as well as benefitting from their wisdom.

And, finally, we are thrilled to say our paper "Traditional and Contemporary Mindfulness: Finding the Middle Path in a tangle of concerns" will be published soon in the journal Mindfulness. It is a culmination of over a decade's work in this field and we are so grateful to have it available more widely.

A deep bow of gratitude to all of you who have assisted us in various events and evenings! None of this would happen without you - Bodhisattvas all! We look forward to seeing you in community and until then, may this practice bring merit to all we touch.

Lynette Genju

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