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VAJRA BELL Volume 8 Issue II

Right Speech Finding Wisdom by Watching Our Words By Stephen Sloan

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ight Speech is the first limb of the Noble Eightfold Path that is oriented towards ethical conduct. (The first two, Right Vision and Right Emotion, are oriented towards wisdom.) Ethical conduct, part of the threefold path of meditation, ethics and wisdom, is actually inseparable from the other elements of the path. The importance of speech in the context of Buddhist ethics is clear from its occupying its own limb - words can break or save lives, make enemies or friends, start wars or create harmony. There are four aspects to Right Speech: first, to abstain from false speech, especially not to tell deliberate lies and not to speak deceitfully; second, to abstain from harsh words that offend or hurt others; third, to abstain from idle chatter that lacks purpose or depth; and fourth, to abstain from slanderous speech and not to use words maliciously against others. More positively, we work towards telling the truth, speaking kindly, gracious and harmonious words, and speaking only when necessary. The Buddha offered advice to Prince Abhaya on Right Speech. He said: [1] “In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them. [2] “In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them. [3] “In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. [4] “In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, RIGHT SPEECH

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Aryaloka Buddhist Center 14 Heartwood Circle, Newmarket, NH 03857

April 2010


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From the Editor By Eric Wentworth Perfect Speech, the third step in the Noble Eightfold Path, is what we’ll be looking at in this issue of the Vajra Bell, and for many it can be one of the most challenging areas to work on in one’s practice. I know it is for me. Speech is a central element of Buddhist ethics, being one of the Five Precepts and nearly half of the Ten Precepts that are taken on when nearing Ordination. This emphasis on abstaining from utterances that are untruthful, harsh, frivolous, and slanderous, and undertaking to speak only in ways that are honest, kindly, meaningful, and harmonious shows how important speech really is. In our culture we often hear the phrase, “Actions speak louder than words,” and this statement is true. However, sometimes we miss the fact that words speak volumes as well. The

words that one uses and the way in which one chooses to say something are often a mirror reflecting that person’s mental states. If our mental states are clouded in some way, it is easier to lose track of how we are coming across. By maintaining awareness and non-reactivity, and working with our mental states as best we can, we do ourselves and others a great service, and the powerful echo of mindful speech becomes more and more apparent. There are so many opportunities to practice speaking mindfully! Speech is found everywhere - in crowds, in private conversation, in body language, in books, in the arts, in nature, in the placement of objects, in cleaning the house - there is even something said by silence. Whenever and however our lives and the lives of others meet and find expression, there is speech. Speech can build or it can destroy. Every moment is another chance to make the best of what we say; thus, the importance of this limb of the Noble Eightfold Path. Speech is one way in which we create the world.

Musings from the Chair By Dh. Dayalocana When I first came to Aryaloka 21 years ago I was amazed and happy to find a community of people seriously intent on following ethical precepts. It was wonderful for me to find people who looked closely at their behaviors and their speech with a strong desire to not cause harm. Not only that, but when harm occurred they were able to acknowledge their action and resolve to do better. And today I find sangha members

equally determined to understand within ourselves what leads to destructive words, actions or thoughts. I find in our community a deep desire to bring about harmony. In the book The Essential Sangharakshita, the last sentence reads “If you find the right sort of encouragement and the right sort of conditions, you can change at any time of your life.” Many thanks to everyone who has helped in the last 25 years to make Aryaloka a place where conditions abound for the development of cooperation, for individual change and for the deepening of harmony and peace. Dharmacharini Dayalocana Chair, Aryaloka Buddhist Center

The Aryaloka Council minutes are now posted on the bulletin board at the foot of the stairs.

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Contact Information Aryaloka Buddhist Retreat Center 14 Heartwood Circle Newmarket, NH 03857 603-659-5456 info@aryaloka.org www.aryaloka.org

Aryaloka Council Dayalocana dayalocana@comcast.net Saddhamala dh.saddhamala@gmail.com Amala amalamaeve@gmail.com Vihanasari vihanasari@comcast.net Candradasa candradasa@gmail.com Viriyalila viriyalila@gmail.com Tom Gaillard tgaillard@bottomline.com Samayadevi samayadevi@mac.com Arjava havaughan@comcast.net

Vajra Bell Kula Eric Wentworth, Chair eric@wintercrowstudio.com Vihanasari vihanasari@comcast.net Stephen Sloan sloan@comcast.net Suzanne Woodland suzannemw@gmail.com Elizabeth Hellard ekhellard@comcast.net Daniel Bush daniel.bush21@gmail.com Ashley Bush ashleybush@comcast.net


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How Can You Contribute to the Vajra Bell? As a sangha, one of the most important things we do is to share our individual experiences of the spiritual life. By contributing our own stories to the richly-flavored stew of dharma life that surrounds our center, we create strong connections between each other and strengthen each others’ practices, sometimes without even knowing it. Just by telling another person about something you know or an experience you’ve had, you may provide the missing part to a puzzle that has been unfinished in their mind. You may bring them peace, simply in the knowledge that they are not the only one struggling with an issue. You might say the right word at just the right moment that will alter their lives forever.

With this in mind, if you’ve ever been interested in contributing to the Vajra Bell, this is the time to do it! Have you taken an amazing photo lately? We can use one! Trying your hand at poetry? We’re eager to share one of your poems. If you’ve attended a retreat or event at an FWBO center, we would love to have you write something about it for us. If you have a great website to share, a dharma movie you’re eager to talk about, or a pageturner of a Buddhist book that you have to let everyone know about, let us know! There are so many ways that you can enrich the pages of the Vajra Bell - let your imaginations run wild! So, you say that you’re not a great writer?

Well, now is the chance to challenge that self-view. The Vajra Bell kula has among its volunteers an excellent set of editors to help you on your way. Have an idea, but you’re not sure if it’s prime-time material? Let us know what you’re thinking - it may grow from a seedling thought into a solid story. The important part is to take the leap. You never know what will happen unless you give it a shot, and there may be someone out there just waiting for what you have to say. To contribute, or to suggest an idea for a future issue of the Vajra Bell, you can contact any of the kula volunteers, listed in the contact column on page two of this issue, by email or in person.

position. For the time being, she will also be teaching many fewer classes, but will continue with Tuesday Sangha Nights, and be available for visiting groups. The Council expressed deep gratitude and appreciation for Amala’s many years of generous service to Aryaloka! Following up on suggestions from the sangha meeting that was held last fall, information about Council business will be posted on the downstairs bulletin board and will continue to be reported in the quarterly Vajra Bell. Our treasurer, Tom Gaillard, is in the process of reinvigorating and disseminating information about monthly pledges and fundraising efforts. People are welcome to sign up for the Aryaloka e-mail and mailing lists by writing their contact information on the sheet near the dana bowl. Outreach activities will be reported on more often using a variety of forums (e.g., see our Facebook page at http://www. facebook.com/Aryaloka). The Animals at the Center policy has been revised to read: “Pets are not allowed inside the Aryaloka buildings with the exception of working guide dogs. Further exceptions will be made at the discretion of the Aryaloka Chair. Pets are allowed on the grounds

outside if they are under control. Aryaloka will not assume responsibility or liability for actions of pets while on Aryaloka premises. Pet owners shall be responsible for any damages resulting from actions of their pets while at Aryaloka.” Arjava has rejoined the Council after several years’ absence and Samayadevi has returned from her six-month sabbatical. There are currently nine members of the Aryaloka Council (see complete list in this issue). It has been decided to switch to ongoing pledges during the current pledge drive rather than having a yearly pledge period. This year’s goal is for 100% participation by all Council members, Order members, mitras, and sangha members who attend regularly. Jean Corson recently shared some information about how the Council might restructure the way it currently functions. The Council will continue to look into this with Jean. Sangha members are welcome to attend Council meetings. Please contact Dayalocana in advance at Dayalocana@ comcast.net. The Council will next meet on Apr. 18 from 9-5, May 12 from 6:10-8:30 p.m., and June 16 from 6:210-8:30 p.m.

The Council By Vihanasari Since its inception 25 years ago, Aryaloka has been incorporated in Massachusetts. The Council has been working over the last several months to create a new New Hampshire corporation titled Aryaloka Buddhist Center with the intention to merge the MA corporation into the NH one. Many thanks to Atty. Bill Gaillard for assisting with this procedure. It looks like our Buddhist movement, established by our teacher, Sangharakshita, as the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order, will soon have a new name. This change has been proposed in order to establish one name for the movement world-wide and to acknowledge that not all centers are found in the West. The Friends of the Western Buddhist Order will become the Triratna Buddhist Community and the Western Buddhist Order (those who are ordained) will become the Triratna Buddhist Order. It is hoped that the change will become official sometime in May. Our center will continue to be known as the Aryaloka Buddhist Center for all legal and business purposes. Amala has announced her decision to step down from the program director’s


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Sangha Notes - “What’s Happening?” By Suzanne Woodland From information to inspiration, from method to motivation, members of the Aryaloka Sangha have been contributing in a variety of ways to support and encourage one another since the start of the year. Sadhu! Amala has been unpacking some of the many teachings encompassed in the Tibetan Wheel of Life as part of Sangha Night activities for many weeks. According to attendees, it has been an enriching investigation for those of varied experience levels. Arjava and Suzanne have been sharing the fundamentals of Buddhism using Chris Pauling’s excellent introductory book, Introducing Buddhism. Arjava has continued to offer an introduction to meditation each Tuesday evening as an adjunct to the regular silent sit in the lshrine room. Added to the Sangha Night mix for a number of weeks has been Narottama’s welcoming and steady presence. Varied voices from the community of friends have shared the responsibility of introducing the dana bowl on Sangha Night. Delightful. Bodhipaksa recently completed a six-week evening class for experienced meditation practitioners on the subject of samatha bhavana. The class was a welcome offering for those looking to work creatively with the so-called hindrances to meditation. The class explored the varied meditation experiences known as dhyanas. Complimenting

Bodhipaksa’s efforts were day retreats devoted to introducing meditation to those new to meditation or looking to reconnect with their mediation practice. In January, the Aryaloka Sangha welcomed Kumarjeev, a visiting Order member from India. Kumarjeev gave several talks on Buddhism in India and led a puja, a devotional practice. Suddhayu created a rich Parinirvana celebration with traditional readings, meditation and reflection in February. An online women’s mitra course, offered by Saddhamala, helped keep mitras not living in the Newmarket area connected and supported. Akashavanda, who has been travelling from Maine to lead the women’s mitra class on Thursday evenings, helped mitras explore the path of wisdom. Topics included conditionality, karma and rebirth, and the Wheel of Life. While Surakshita is on leave, enjoying sunny Florida, the men’s mitra study has been led by several Order members on the topic of conditioned co-production, or pratitya samutpada. Men’s practice days continued monthly through the winter. These days are open to men of any experience level. In January, the men finished the last segment of their series on the Noble Eightfold Path with the study of Perfect Samadhi. In February, men attending benefited from the insight of artist Eric Wentworth who led a discussion on arts in the spiritual life. In March, Zoltan Molnar led participants in an examination of the Eight Worldly Winds. In April the men’s practice day will be a day of service, when the men will gather to work on the Aryaloka grounds.

Saricitta and Dayalocana led a muchwelcomed women’s practice day in March devoted to Kuan Yin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. This day-long opportunity for women of all experience levels to gather in friendship, mediation and discussion concluded with a lovely puja and chanting. In January as well as March, Saddhamala and Michelle McComb led the Open Heart, Quiet Mind Meditation Retreat. This retreat, which combines both Kripalu yoga and meditation practice (development of lovingkindness, remains very popular and those seeking to participate in this lovely retreat in the future should register early. In early February, Vidhuma, Karunasara, Arjava, Bodhana and Vihanasari, a marvelously diverse and experienced quintet, offered retreat participants the opportunity to explore their emotions and their reactions within a Buddhist context. In March, Narottama and Bodhana organized a Noble Silence retreat, providing a retreat opportunity for those experienced meditation practitioners seeking great quiet. Finally, inspiration for me comes not only from those who teach, lead and organize, but arises when each one of us participates, turning out in good weather and bad to explore Buddhism, to sit in meditation and to engage in friendship. Those who bring questions that cause me to challenge my understanding of the teachings of the Buddha, inspire. Those who communicate experiences and perspectives that are new to me, inform me. Those who arrive with friendliness, motivate me. Do stay connected, we all make a difference.

Policy for Retreat Deposits: Retreats/Classes/Solitaries Those registering for retreats (including solitaries) and classes of any length will be asked to pay a minimum deposit of one-half of the total cost. If a registrant cancels two weeks or more before the event, s/he will receive a refund of the amount paid, minus a $15 processing fee. If the cancellation is received less than two weeks before the event, the registrant will forfeit the minimum deposit. Forfeited deposits may not be transferred to another event.

Yoga Retreats Those registering for yoga retreats will be asked to pay the full cost in advance in order to finalize the registration. If a registrant cancels two weeks or more before the retreat, s/he will receive a refund of the amount paid minus $35 that may be credited to another event. If the cancellation is received less than two weeks before the event, the registrant will receive a refund of $100. Thirty-five dollars ($35) of the remainder may be credited to another event, the rest will be forfeited.

* * * * * Note: In both categories above, special circumstances will be taken into consideration. * * * * *


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News from the Boston Sangha A Spontaneous Kind of Magic By Dh. Sunada “It was on Saturday before dinner. I was meditating with Savanna in the shrine room and the atmosphere in the room was special. I really cannot describe it but I felt so serene, happy and at peace with myself. I really don’t know why but it was a special moment for me. I had never felt this kind of feeling before. I was just happy to be there.” – Celine Yvan, describing her retreat experience at Aryaloka Retreats at Aryaloka are always special. But sometimes, a spontaneous magic arises that makes a particular one extraordinary beyond words. That’s what happened when the three sanghas from Boston, Portland, and New York got together for a weekend in February. The theme was “Living with Purpose.” It was a multi-faceted exploration of the concept of sampajanna – the idea of staying mindful of one’s direction in life, and staying true to one’s intentions and inspirations. We studied a small portion of Sangharakshita’s book, Living with Awareness, spent lots of time practicing together and sharing our personal stories and in general opened up to each other in ways that allowed us to palpably experience our beautiful interconnectedness as a sangha. There were so many occasions when this theme came alive and “real” for us. For the New York gang, it all started even before they arrived in NH. Gary Baker said, “The car ride was a major highlight. We truly didn’t know each other, for the most part, when we met on Friday for the drive up. Most of us had never even met. But we bonded immediately, and opened up to each other so wonderfully, during the long (7 hour) ride. We laughed, talked, learned, shared our joys and challenges, and came away feeling so close.” Honestly, when they arrived in Newmarket, it looked to the rest of us like they were all great sangha

buddies. One reason we seemed to come together so quickly was the fact that we all came from farther away sanghas. When one of us comes to an Aryaloka retreat individually, it can sometimes feel like we’re trying to fit into a well-established group of very close friends. Very friendly and welcoming ones of course! But it can feel analogous to moving into a house where all the other residents have been together and great friends for years. Even though we’re welcomed with open arms, we still need to find ways to fit into a web of friendships that’s already in place. As Theresa Weir from Boston put it, “Everybody was just as clueless about things as everybody else. We were all in the same boat together.” As odd as it might sound, this created an openness that immediately brought us closer together. Anne Marie Cooke from Portland said, “It was my first retreat. And although I was only there for one day, I can so see the benefits of staying the entire weekend. It is such a sense of community, all different types of people coming together to study and practice this wonderful way of life.” Gary, who was also there for the

first time, said, “The overall feeling of community during the retreat was fantastic. The three sanghas seem similar in many ways, truly enabling us to bond and work together. The food, and the cooperative work environment preparing it, was lovely.” Saturday evening was special for two people in particular. John Kavanaugh from Portland had a birthday, so we made sure to have a cake and celebration after dinner. And Bradford Malbon from Boston became a Mitra that night. It was especially poignant to have his ceremony in the context of a retreat focusing on spiritual purpose. To witness him making a commitment to the Three Jewels in that lovely atmosphere of supportive sangha was an inspiration for all of us. Several people mentioned it as a highlight from the weekend. As for Bradford, when he came downstairs from the shrine room after the ceremony, he said to me, “I feel very loved.” Yes, we made sure of that. Oh yes, and there was Suryadhamma and his service dog, Tighe -- an essential member of the sangha. “Every retreat CONCORD SANGHA

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Aryaloka Pledge Drive Launches!

Kula Corner

By Tom Gaillard

By Sheila Groonell

If you’re reading this, you’re probably actively involved at Aryaloka. And if you’re actively involved at Aryaloka, we hope you’ll commit to supporting our Center by making a financial pledge today! Aryaloka spreads the Dharma in a variety of ways - through classes, retreats and weekly programs. We are blessed to be able to count on Aryaloka for so many opportunities to learn, to share, and to progress! But Aryaloka counts on us, its committed members and friends, as the foundation of its financial health. Put simply, it costs money to run Aryaloka, and monthly pledges are our most stable source of income. Our pledge kickoff was March 23, and the enthusiastic volunteers of our Pledge Kula are reaching out for your support. Our goal is for 100% of local Order Members, Mitras and Friends to pledge monthly. You’ll find pledge forms in the Center, or you can request one from the office. Please put Dana into action by making your monthly pledge today! Your support is appreciated with generous thanks.

“Sumer is a i-cumin’ in. Lhude sing, cuccu!” (“Summer is a-comin’ in. Loudly sing, cuckoo!”)

Creative Kula Crafts 25th Anniversary Multimedia By Stephen Sloan Aryaloka’s 25th anniversary is coming up in August with a weeklong celebration planned. A number of sangha members with a creative bent have expressed interest in forming a creative kula to develop some multi-media content to show visitors during the celebration week. If you have an interest in participating please email ssloan@aryaloka. org. All ideas are welcome. So far one idea is creating a slide show type presentation with pictures of Aryaloka over the years. If you have any such photos please let us know.

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...sings the oldest surviving English language song. As I write this on March 16th, the torrential rains and floods of the recent Nor’easter have passed into a glorious, sunny, warm, fresh, breezy day. Loudly sing, indeed! The cuckoo sings with joy and gratitude and so do I. Here, at Aryaloka, we realize more and more, as our practice deepens, how dependent we all are on others, how we live only through the efforts of others, known and unknown. Our food, clothing, cars, homes, education, language, our spiritual home at Aryaloka, have all been provided to us by the efforts of others. Without these gifts, we would have nothing. At Aryaloka we are fortunate to have many people who give us their time and effort so that we may have a beautiful, peaceful, clean spiritual home. Their dana is our blessing. Let’s sing of them... The Aryaloka library is one of the largest of its kind in the area. Many people use it. Thanks to Anilasri, Diane Palaces, Kiranda, Scott Hurley, Tyler and Samayadevi, the books get registered, borrowed, returned, and shelved, over and over again. They’re sort of like the monks, sweeping the leaves on the path. There are always more leaves. There are always more books. Thank you for your diligence, book sweepers. We have two new kulas to help our visitors to Aryaloka. The Hospitality Kula members will help visitors feel welcomed by helping them shop for food, have some social contacts, and show them around Newmarket, Portsmouth or the Seacoast. These devis and devas include Denise Connors, Nina Jordan, Zoltan Molnar, Joan Rochette, Brian Jervis, Marianne Hannagan, Elizabeth Hellard, Stephen Sloan, Susan Sosa, and Janet Kelly. The

Transportation Kula, a.k.a. the Buddha Bus, will help visitors get from the C&J bus station to Aryaloka when they come. Volunteer drivers include Denise Connors, Bodhana, John Gregg, Zoltan Molnar, Debby Cardwell, Brian Jervis, Jahnay Pickett, Nina Jordan, Sue Sosa, and Elizabeth Hellard. John Gregg (bless you, John!) will be coordinating both of these services with our office staff. All good wishes for this new service venture. Speaking of office staff, let’s hear a huge SAAAAAADHUUUUUUUUU for Vihanasari, Center Administrator, and Steve Cardwell, Office Manager, who make everything hum. Just think: every phone call, every letter, every registration for every class, workshop, and retreat at Aryaloka goes through them. Scheduling and coordinating every activity on the calendars of Aryaloka, Akashaloka, and the solitary cabin is their responsibility. All dealings with outside vendors for heating, plumbing, recycling, electricity, and gas are with them. All bills go through their office. Publicity? Their responsibility. And who knows what else they do that no one knows about? They do everything! Phew! It takes my breath away just to contemplate the breadth of their responsibilities. Thank you for everything. Tom Gaillard is now heading up the Mandala of Supporting Friends kula which includes Dayalocana, Brian Jervis, Prasannavajri, Sheila Groonell, Mary Schaeffer, and Elizabeth Hellard. This kula asks all members of the Aryaloka community to commit to making a monthly financial donation to Aryaloka which is within their means. By doing so, Aryaloka can be placed on a more secure financial footing which it sorely needs. Not everyone is comfortable with fundraising so a special thanks to you, Tom and all others on this kula for your crucial work. My final thanks in this issue of the Vajra Bell goes to... the Vajra Bell kula! KULA CORNER

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News from Nagaloka By Gail Yahwak It feels like spring here in Portland and things have really heated up at Nagaloka! Our most exciting and wonderful news is that five sangha members have asked to become Mitras! On Wednesday, March 24th John Kavanaugh, Anne Marie Cooke, Jim Constantine, Janet Miles and Danielle Richard became Mitras in a ceremony led by Dharmasuri. Maitrimani has come forward to be a Mitra Convenor with help from Dharmasuri. What joyful news as the Dharma flows through our sangha. Thank you to Viriyagita and Prassanavajri for leading a Becoming a Mitra class which let these folks discuss their personal practices and get answers to questions. Our Wednesday night group has just

finished a seven-week study on meditation from the Dharma Training Course. It was a good intro as well as interesting review on the meditations taught in the FWBO. Bodhipaksa generously came up and led a two-week workshop on meditation. He reviewed the Mindfulness of Breathing practice the first week and Metta Bhavana on the second. It was a full house and really very helpful for beginners and experienced meditators alike. Thank you so much Bodhipaksa. Dharmasuri continues to teach a full intro class on Tuesday evenings and is planning to follow it with a Phase II Beginner class. Our Wednesday night group is about to begin the Wisdom section of the Dharma Training Course. Check out our website for upcoming events, www. nagalokabuddhistcenter.com.

A Note in Remembrance of Gordon Crandall Editor’s Note: Gordon Crandall, a member of our sangha and a mitra at Nagaloka in Portland, passed away recently on January 25th. This kind letter was sent to us by his daughter. In memory of Gordon it is printed here. Dear Sangha Members: Namaste. My father, Gordon Crandall, passed away in the early morning hours yesterday. He was a supporter of Aryaloka and had many beloved friends there. I will hold forever the memories of the retreats and pujas that he and I attended. He was so thrilled when Sunada sang the song of the “Old Roshi” for him the last time he was there. He left this world sitting with his head in his hands, in peace and with much metta for all. He taught me so much and had such wonderful stories to share. We all will miss him very much. Thank you for so much kindness. With much metta, Sharon Hawkes

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News from the Concord Sangha Developing Peace of Mind By Stephen Sloan The Concord sangha held one of its weekend retreats on March 19th and 20th. The theme of the retreat was “Developing Peace of Mind.” The retreat was well attended with several volunteers from the Aryaloka sangha and nearly forty men from Concord. The retreat began Friday night with the Refuges and Precepts and a period of meditation. Discussion followed sparked by a quote from Shantideva: “We who are like senseless children shrink from suffering, but love its causes. We hurt ourselves; our pain is self-inflicted!” Saturday was a full day. Rich Cormier from the Concord sangha was the retreat leader for the day. He facilitated a lively discussion culminating with a look at the Brahma-Viharas and the Meta Bhavana practice. During the final check-out everyone agreed that it had been a most fruitful weekend. The next Concord retreat will be in July.

A Letter from Bob Montgomery By Bob Montgomery As a person who searched the world over for my identity, I had to be in prison to stop and slow down long enough to openly and honestly look within and recover who I have always been - to find the Buddha within, without conditions. The world brings lots of conditioning by way of family, traditions, social acceptance or rejection in schools, psychiatry, and “the church,” or religion. These can be hard-lined, controlling, CONCORD SANGHA

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Compassionate Communication By Dh. Shantigarbha Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. ~ Rumi When I’m introducing Compassionate Communication, I usually ask the group to roleplay a familiar conflict situation. I invite you to imagine that you are standing in the kitchen with one of the people you live with. You are both in pain. One of you says, “You’re a slob!” The other replies, “You’re obsessed!” So, they tell each other their thoughts about what the other one is – they use labels: “slob,” “obsessed.” Hearing these labels, the pain in both of them increases, and the first one says, “You’re a bad person to live with.” The other replies, “You’re wrong about that.” So they make judgements of each other in terms of good, bad, right and wrong. The pain increases and they start overtly blaming each other and imposing their judgement: “It’s your fault – you should be more mindful!” And the other replies, “This is your problem – own it! You should go and see a psychiatrist about it.” Hearing the “shoulds,” the pain on both sides increases and they switch to the language of no choice; “You can’t carry on like this.” The other replies, “You can’t talk to me like that – it’s not allowed.” And to finish they resort to demands (threats) to make their point; “If you don’t tidy up the kitchen this evening then you’ve got to leave!” And the other replies, “If you don’t back off right now, I will!” Does this sound familiar? In my experience, this is the kind of language that comes out of people’s mouths when they are in conflict. It’s the language we’ve learned to speak when we’re in pain. I call it the Language of Disconnection. So what’s the alternative to this familiar slanging match? The way that I’ve found to be most effective is to get in touch with what is in the hearts of both sides – the “good reasons” why they are acting and

speaking in this way. These “good reasons” are distinct from any particular strategy that the two of them might have for fulfilling them. What’s important to the first person, the one who said, “You’re a slob!”? We could guess: “Do you long for a sense of order, or care around the house? Do you value mindfulness or awareness, or perhaps health?” And what’s important to the other person, the one who said, ‘You’re obsessed!’? We could guess: “Do you want a sense of perspective and self-responsibility? Do you value respect and autonomy, perhaps ease?” This is what I mean by creating compassionate connection: finding out what is important (what are the needs) on both sides. People usually have an “Aha!” moment just looking at these two lists of needs – realising that there are needs on both sides. OK, so maybe it’s easier for them to identify with one side or the other, but they get a glimpse that both sides are needing something, are longing for something that would enrich their lives. I’ve found that when people are connected at this level, whether they live in a Buddhist community in the UK, the

slums of India, war-torn Sri Lanka, or a US prison, they are only a short distance from finding a solution that honours both sides, where no one gives in or gives up. LIFE-ENRICHING QUALITIES What enriches your life? We’ve already got: • a sense of order • care for their living space • mindfulness / awareness • health • a sense of perspective • self-responsibility • respect • autonomy • ease What would you add to this list? Here’s what I would add: • love • honesty • empathy • freedom • wholeness • beauty • peace • harmony COMMUNICATION

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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

growth vitality to contribute to life meaning / inspiration / purpose to be valued food, air, water, shelter, rest, movement safety control / choice power (empowerment) understanding (to understand and to be understood) support and encouragement connection to matter and belong recognition self-acceptance creativity play spontaneity / authenticity

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unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them. [5] “In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them. [6] “In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings.” ~ Majjhima Nikaya 58 This advice suggests a deep practice. For us to know when words are factual or unfactual, beneficial or unbeneficial, endearing or unendearing, agreeable or disagreeable, we must pay careful attention to our speech before we even utter one word. We must know both our own state of mind that precedes our speech and the condition of those who will hear our speech. Just to consider one aspect of speech, truthful speech, requires significant work.

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• celebrating dreams/goals/values • mourning (mourning lost dreams and lost lives) REACHING OUT TO HUMANITY When I’m doing this with a group of people, I usually ask them at this point, “Are there any ‘needs’ on this list that you haven’t been in touch with in the course of your life?” I haven’t yet heard someone say “No.” Then I ask, “Do you think that there is anybody in this room who hasn’t been in touch with all of these at some point in their life?” Again, I haven’t yet heard someone say ‘No.’ Then I ask them to reach out in their imaginations to the people in the local town, the country, the continent, the entire world, and ask the same question, “Do you imagine that there is a human being who hasn’t been in touch with all of these at some point in their life?” There’s usually a

Often our perception of the truth is clouded by our spiritual ignorance. We cling tightly to a self-view and usually our speech is slanted towards that self-view. Perhaps unconsciously we “revise” our story so that it supports our self-view. For instance I might have given a speech to a local organization. There were about twenty people who heard my speech. However, when the local reporter call for information to include an article he is writing, I tell him there were nearly fifty people at the meeting. Literally my story isn’t far from the truth, but I have shaded the truth to make the event seem more important than it was. I’m sure all of us can come up with similar examples. Sometimes we even begin to believe our own stories making discerning the truth even more difficult. I’ve heard many stories concerning divorce that could fall into this category. So it’s important for us to try to overcome our ignorance in order to be able to practice Right Speech. Here’s what the Buddha said: “And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong speech as wrong speech, and right speech as right speech. And what is wrong speech? Lying, divisive, tale-bearing, abusive speech, & idle chatter.

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pause while people do this for themselves. I haven’t yet heard someone say ‘No.’ It’s at these moments that I quiver with a sense of common humanity – a sense of deeply belonging to the human race. When we are connected at this level, I trust that the words will come by themselves. About the author: Shantigarbha has been a regular visitor to Aryaloka for the last four years. He has appeared on Sri Lankan TV to talk about Non-Violent Communication, and has written regular columns on NVC in two UK magazines: Juno (a natural approach to family life) and Funky Raw (raw food). He’s just written a book on empathy from a Buddhist perspective. For more information about Shantigarbha, his trainings in the UK, India and the USA, and his writings, visit seedofpeace.org.

This is wrong speech... “One tries to abandon wrong speech & to enter into right speech: This is one’s right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong speech & to enter & remain in right speech: This is one’s right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right speech.” ~ Majjhima Nikaya 117:3 So in addition to working with ignorance, it is also critical to practice mindfulness in order to be aware before speech leaves our mouth, and to employ continuous effort to eliminate wrong speech. It is this interaction with the other limbs of the eightfold path that can make Right Speech a complete practice on its own. When we’re fully engaged in Right Speech, we’re touching the wisdom path (Right View), the meditation path (Right Effort and Right Mindfulness) and the ethics path (Right Speech). Spend a day (or week or lifetime) with the practice of Right Speech and you’re sure to appreciate the importance of this limb of the Noble Eightfold Path.


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Online In-Site By Eric Wentworth The Online In-Site column often flags websites of interest or discusses a new digital trend, but in this issue we’re going to focus our attention right here at home. There’s lots going on at Aryaloka and in the Triratna community at large. Much of it will bring our sangha into an exciting new realm, as we build community online to supplement and extend our real-world connections. One wonderful addition to Aryaloka’s online presence is its new Facebook page. You can find it at http://www.facebook.com/aryaloka Or you can also find it by searching for Aryaloka on your Facebook homepage. For any sangha members who use Facebook regularly, this is a great way to keep in touch with what’s going at moment-to-moment at the center. Just become a fan of Aryaloka on Facebook, and you’ll instantly receive updates, notifications, class descriptions, and other news. All of the vital contact information and details about Aryaloka are available under “Info,” and the “Photos” tab has a fantastic selection of uploaded images, including some memorabilia from the early days of the center. As the page comes even further online, there are tabs for discussion and event listings to be found there as well. So, become a fan today, stay informed, and share your comments! Other exciting developments that will unfold as the year continues are complete overhauls of Aryaloka’s website (http://www.aryaloka.org), Free Buddhist Audio (http://www. freebuddhistaudio.com), and the central website for the Triratna Buddhist Community. Keep your eyes peeled for announcements and changes - it promises to be an active 2010.

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Movie Review By Eric Wentworth “Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion” (2003), 100 minutes, Unrated Available on Netflix The jarring experience that this film induces can be summarized with a description of the first ten minutes. Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion opens with a soaring view of the Himalayan plateau in all of its beauty and glory. Prayer flags flutter at icy peaks against a backdrop of clear azure sky. One feels a sense of spaciousness which, in the following minutes, is brought crashing down as this beauty is contrasted with the recounting of a 1987 massacre of Tibetans and the ensuing uprising in Lhasa. These disturbing scenes of oppression, murder, abuse of power, and despair reveal the simple truth that the situation in Tibet is truly dire. Narrated by Martin Sheen, Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion took ten years to film, weaving its way through the scenery of modern-day Tibet, India, and Nepal and calling upon historical footage from a time when Tibet was still sovereign. The film borrows its name from the celestial animal of Tibet, the Snow Lion, found on Tibet’s national flag. Aside from being a visually rich movie, with fantastic filming and excellent source material, it is an excellent introduction to the current political and social conditions within Tibet, and it does a very good job

of explaining the culture and history of the region. I found the long view of Tibet’s history to be very rewarding, and it gave me a much deeper understanding of many things that were hazy before. There are fascinating explanations of, for instance, how Tibet adopted Buddhism, the role of the Dalai Lama in Tibet’s former religious and political climate, the details of China’s invasion of the country and the origins of the dispute around its sovereignty, and how the current situation has evolved from the conditions of Tibet’s past. One tidbit I found vastly interesting is that at the height of Tibet’s culture, 85 percent of its wealth was willingly spent to support the monastic community, with ten percent of the population having become monks and nuns themselves. Every family had a close relative who was a monastic - the entire culture was geared around producing enlightened people. There are also harrowing demonstrations of the subjugation and restrictions that the Tibetan people undergo in modern-day Tibet, under the rule of the Chinese that will open your eyes to what is happening to our Dharma brothers and sisters halfway across the globe. I asked myself many times throughout the film, “If this were my local sangha living under video surveillance, in utter poverty, restricted from openly practicing their religion, inundated with uncaring immigrants from an occupying nation, watching my fellow practitioners be beaten, tortured, and killed, and the monasteries and culture of my home being systematically eradicated, how would I react?” I asked, “Would I be able to compose myself in a way that is in keeping with a firm belief in non-violence, as these people do?” Such strength is inspiring.

Please be sure Aryaloka’s windows stay closed in winter and remember to close them when leaving the center in warmer months. Thank you!


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Indian Order Member Kumarjeev Visits Aryaloka By Dh. Narottama In January our East Coast sangha members were treated to a visit by Kumarjeev, an Order member from Nagpur, India. He arrived late one evening, after 26 hours of travel, having been retrieved from Logan Airport by the capable and generous hands of Viryagita. A mound of warm clothing donated by local folks was waiting for him along with an evening meal prepared by Marianne Hannigan. I had the pleasure of spending many hours with this deeply devoted and dedicated man. We went for a long walk, drank many cups of tea and coffee together and played in the mid-winter wonderland, making snow stupas. Introducing him to the craft of forming and throwing a snow ball and walking through the white forest where deep green hemlock boughs whispered with the falling snow illuminated the magic of being playfully present with another. He had never seen snow falling from the sky nor knew how the roads were kept so clean of the cold white covering. In his very distant world Kumarjeev has a wife and two daughters in India and is part of the Ordination team that oversees approximately 1,500 mitras in Northern India. For Kumarjeev to travel 1,000 kilometers to a retreat that is attended by

many hundreds of people is not unusual in any given year. He is also chairman of two trusts that help raise and distribute funds to continue the essential work of bringing the Dharma to help liberate those entrenched in the oppressive caste system in India. Following in the insightful foot steps of Dr. Ambedkar, Kumarjeev works tirelessly, with much of his energy focused on helping the untouchable caste. His stories about the major obstacles in India of institutionalized prejudice and

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violence seem overwhelming and daunting. Yet if you spent time with him you see that Kumarjeev has a loving, steady, and dedicated heart that tirelessly strives to bring the Dharma to the poorest, most marginalized of the Indian peoples, in spite of the obstacles. He and his brothers and sisters of the Triratna Buddhist Community in India are engaged in active social change that positively impacts the lives of vast numbers of people in in that country. Telling his life story in the men’s mitra class and giving several talks brought a warm personal element to his life’s work. On another and very important level it allowed those attending his talks and being with him to connect with the international aspect of the Triratna Buddhist Community as we mindfully attempt to work in harmony with friends and brethren from all over the world to practice, study and realize the universal truths of the Buddhadharma as interpreted by Bhante Sangharakshita. We gave to Kumarjeev our gifts of hospitality and community. He gave to us a piece of his life vision that can inspire, support, and encourage our own individual and collective endeavors for the sake of all beings. May he come back again to continue to help enlighten our world in the East Coast Sangha.


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VOLUME 8, ISSUE II

Vertical Awareness: Overcoming Doubt in Climbing Meditation By Peter Ingraham Breathe in…breathe out. Breathe in… breathe out. Left foot, right foot. Left arm, right arm. Relax. Look up. See the next move. Breathe in…breathe out… The rock around me is plastered with white — rime ice and snow stick to every exposed surface. The frozen blue ice flow that I’m climbing bulges out of the gully amid craggy overhangs laden with icicles. Above me, stunted fir cling desperately to the cliff top, eking out a bleak existence on a wind-blasted ledge. As I ascend, I am totally focused: each ice axe placement a mix of finesse and force. Each crampon kick an exercise in control and balance. In this stance, 100 feet above my climbing partner, Michelle, there is not much room for error. A form of focused mental energy almost inaccessible to me in daily life takes over my existence, and keeps me moving upward toward the top. To lose focus would be to head uncontrollably in the other direction, a fact that is part of my current awareness. A thought arises, which I note and set aside for the sake of my mortal being: What other choice do I have? Mountaineering has been my refuge for many years—a time when experience is rich and reality is stark. Its beauty lies in exploring one’s limits, in pushing the physical being and, more significantly perhaps, exercising the depths of the mind. As the route steepens, the nagging doubt in the back of

the mind begins to fill the awareness. The only path to success is to focus on climbing. Achievement, in many cases, lies not in overcoming physical barriers like ice or wind or rock, but in overcoming doubt. It became clear to me recently, when I took up Buddhism and mindfulness, that in seeking new paths up mountains, at least in part, I have been seeking meditative practice. It would be easy to see mountaineers as escapists; macho weekend warriors with something to prove or adrenaline junkies craving that next thrill. I’m certain that view is correct for some. Indeed, though I may not admit it, those labels may have applied to me at times. But the truth lies elsewhere as well. Achieving utter concentration, setting aside all mental hindrance, and reaching a state of total focus brings a certain bliss that might not be the most apparent aspect of the sport. In walking meditation, standing and moving become the object of the practice. The movement of the limbs becomes the focus of mindfulness. My first try at it was a profound experience: I never knew my balance shifted quite that way, or that much, in my stride. How had I missed that subtle twist in my spine after so many decades? In the absence of meditation teaching, climbing is walking meditation, with orthogonal shifts in perspective. Walking meditation essentially forces attention to the walking; it’s difficult to stand and move deliberately without mindfulness.

Climbing, while done on a different plane, forces attention as well. One can’t help but be conscious of the void below. With that in mind, each movement becomes an exercise in precision and control, each placement of the ice axe the action that keeps one moving up, not down. Meditation is a mix of alertness and relaxation—a combination that is counterintuitive to the inexperienced. Climbing requires the same mix: One is constantly vigilant of one’s stance, the surrounding ice, or wind and weather. Simultaneously, one must move effectively and efficiently, the body and mind relaxed and supple, leaving the mental and physical space to find the next move upwards, to identify the next stance. When one is solving the vertical puzzle that is the climb, as with beginner’s mind, one must see all possibilities. To see only one is to miss the opportunity to find the good ice, the safe route, or the way home. When I arrive at the top, the world around me comes into focus. I leave the myopia of moving over ice and snow and take in the world beyond the gully. The mountainside sweeps down below me, the forest and talus below grading into the valley floor. The towering ridges across the valley are bathed in clouds that descend and evaporate. Michelle is on her way up, her own awareness shifted to moving vertically. I can hear her moving: left, right, breathe, relax. VERTICAL AWARENESS Continued on Page 14

Puja Evenings an Opportunity for Collective Practice By Stephen Sloan Puja is a Pali word that means “honor, worship and devotional attention.” There are several traditional elements that can be involved in a puja (thanks to www. buddhamind.info): • Offerings - Flowers, candles and incense that can be placed on the shrine. • Bowing - An act of humility before the

shrine, and what it represents. • Lights - These need not be limited to offerings on the shrine. • Chanting - The use of traditional chants to connect with both the wisdom teachings of the Buddha and to the devotional heart. • Meditation - Opening in silence to the “spirit” of the occasion or contemplating an aspect of the teaching. • Relationship - Developing a sense of communion with all present through

group activity, bowing, chanting, etc. Each month on the Friday nearest the full moon there’s an opportunity to join together at Aryaloka for a collective experience of reverence. This practice of puja during the full moon goes back to the days of the Buddha. Performing the puja together gives us a strong connection to the Buddha and all of the followers of the Way over the centuries. Please join us.


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Inner Discovery at Noble Silence Retreat By Dh. Narottama From Tuesday evening, March 2nd through Sunday, March 7th a Noble Silence retreat was held at Akashaloka. Attended by seven experienced meditators, the retreatants - Bodhana, Dave Macklin, Sheila Groonell, Karunasara, Steve Cardwell, Zoltan Molnar, and Narottama - began with an emphasis on collective support for each other as sangha members. We spoke of creating a spiritual community based in metta for ourselves and others that would support trust and confidence over this short period. This gave rise to a deep sense of unity and cohesion while being self-led, following our own individual meditation training directions. After the introduction period, Bodhana led us in a vow of silence in call and response: “I vow to maintain Noble Silence. Silence in body, silence in mind, and silence in speech for the next four days. I will strive to maintain stillness at all times. I will strive to maintain mindfulness at all times. I will strive to be joyful. I make this vow for the benefit of all beings.” With the exception of reciting the refuges and precepts in unison each morning, the meaning of which is foundational to being a Buddhist, we were in total silence until a Sunday morning puja to end the retreat. In silence, the depth and sensitivity of communication deepened as we became more concentrated and aware. Mindfulness and metta were king as we went deeper into stillness in body and mind. No food prep or clean up was required from the retreatants except from Bodhana, a ‘maestro’ in the kitchen, assisted by Narottama. There were no teachings, talks, or discussions of any kind. Cleanup after meals was not required, yet if a genuine impulse to participate arose dishes could be washed and food put away. If, however, using discriminating awareness, one wanted to help clean up just to be busy or wanted some form of recognition the encouragement was to stay as still as you can with that ego-clinging. This retreat allowed for a continuity

Noble Silence Retreat attendees (back row, left to right): Narottama, Zoltan Molnar, Bodhana, Dave Macklin, (front row row, left to right): Sheila Groonell, Karunasara, Steve Cardwell.

and building of momentum for stillness and mindfulness with the fewest possible external distractions. It was strongly advised to stow away all electronic gear and avoid recreational reading. The three Order members and four mitras sat in four two -hour blocks each day with meals and breaks between. As the retreat deepened, personal resistances were observed, met, and worked with as the rich ground of our individual egos and life conditions arose. In reporting out, some of the metaphors used to describe the parts of us that are hidden as we hurry through our busy days, not really in touch with our deepest selves, were a bullhorn shouting past unskillfulness, a basement door opening to allow thousands of bats to escape, and digging through old dirty laundry. We hit walls of our own unique design. The ego creates hindrances that follow like a comet trail as we travel through our lives semiaware of our actions and their inevitable consequences. What a fantastic opportunity for growth, which was held and supported

in spiritual friendship. As the resistances dissolved it left an ever-growing sense of peace and tranquillity that expressed itself in many hours of sitting together in silence, in the shrine, in the lounge, and at the table, appreciating each other and the flow of the present moment experience. The Dhammapada states that the person who bests a thousand others a thousand times in battle is not as great as the person that bests themself. Much appreciation and many thanks to those involved in offering support and guidance as the seed of this retreat was planted. May the rare and beautiful tree that has sprouted from this retreat continue to sink deep roots into Sangharakshita’s clarity of the Dharma, allowing the golden branches of spiritual friendship to open and expand outward into our sangha and the deep blue sky beyond. Love to all, Narottama


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VERTICAL AWARENESS

CONCORD SANGHA

As I sit here, the exertion of the climb wearing off and the chill taking root, I consider the scene before me. The ice is an almost perfect exemplar of impermanence. A few months ago it wasn’t here; in a few months more it will be gone again, washed clean in the spring warmth or baked in the summer sun. Indeed, if I were to look even more closely, I’d see the building ice along the cliff face as the sun melts the snow, only for it to refreeze below in the shadow of the gully. Were I to come back tomorrow, this climb might look totally different—a night of wind and cold could build the ice and add more frost. And so it is with this day in the mountains – a pleasure that can not last. Our climb has ended and we leave our realm of calm exertion to head down the other side, back to our lives outside of the mountains. Or do we? I know that, as in mindfulness meditation, this day, like all the similar days before it, will have an effect on the rest of my life. While a day at home is almost completely unlike a day on the mountain, that nagging voice of doubt can still be present in my awareness. And though my physical wellbeing may not be at stake, I can summon a sense of confidence cultivated on the ice: breathe in…breathe out…see the next move.

and exclusive. I survived more than fifty years of that and went to prison. After six years in prison I “arrived.” When I am asked, “Who are you?” I respond, “I am arriving.” I’ve worked on recovering since the first day of coming to prison and continue to do so. I found that the basic Buddhist understanding of life is similar to how I thought and felt as a child, but then I had no “acceptable” outlet to express or live it - how sad. How that hurts, and still does. It is an example of cause and conditions. However, I suffer less from that now

Continued from Page 12

BOSTON SANGHA Continued from Page 5

should have a dog as spiritually enlightened as Suryadhamma’s,” said Gary. “No doubt.” Many talked of coming away with a fresh perspective on themselves and their lives. John summed up his thoughts by saying, “What I took away was a sense of hopefulness. My journey over the last several years has been around the issue of learning to love and accept myself. It has been hard. To me, the message of Sravaniya’s talk was that to love others, one must learn to love oneself. This concept is very very important to me, especially since I am fast approaching my declining years.” Celine, who is from France, said, “It was one of the best experiences of my life

Continued from Page 7

KULA CORNER Continued from Page 6

The members of the Vajra Bell, the Aryaloka newspaper, under the leadership of Eric Wentworth, write, edit, lay out and publish the many articles, poems, musings, and photographs that appear in our quarterly publication. In addition they encourage other community members to write up their experiences with Buddhism and Aryaloka. You, the members of the Vajra Bell Kula, including Eric, Vihanasari, Stephen Sloan, Ashley Bush, Daniel Bush, Elizabeth Hellard, and Suzanne Woodland draw our community and a turning point in my spiritual life. I was a little doubtful before because it’s not easy for me to practice in a foreign country, in a foreign language, and in a city like New York. But I am not doubtful anymore. I know I made a good decision and will continue in this direction even though I know it won’t be easy.” Since this was the first time on retreat for several people, I asked if they had any words of encouragement for others who are still unsure about trying one out. Gary said, “Just do it. There’s no other way. It is likely to be an experience that will offer you tremendous rest, relaxation, insight, and comfort. Your meditation technique will be enhanced, and you’ll potentially be energized to make real improvements in your life. You’ll be

VOLUME 8, ISSUE II

as I am “arriving” and taking refuge in the Three Jewels through study, daily meditation, being with other prisoners, and especially with the company of those from Aryaloka Retreat Center who volunteer to be here with me in prison. The other day a new volunteer for a support group in prison asked me how long I have been a Buddhist. I snapped right back, “All my life.” Then I smiled and explained. He knew what I meant. So nice to be. I am. Bob Montgomery November 2009 closer together and inspire us through the Vajra Bell. We are very grateful. Once again , I am overwhelmed with gratitude at the efforts of our community, our spiritual family, to share the path and its responsibilities, the inspiration and its fruits, through our kula system. May all members of our sangha find a joyful place of giving in the Aryaloka kula family. Thus we all can be baby bodhisattvas to each other. Now that’s a song to sing! Please contact me at 778-7522 or sgroonell@comcast.net, if you are inspired to join our giving family.

hanging out with the most accepting, friendly, open bunch of people you’re likely ever to meet. They’re there to work on themselves, and to help you work on yourself.” Celine said, “I strongly encourage anyone to do it to deepen their practice. Even if it’s a little scary. It’s so worthwhile! It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It’s very stimulating for your practice and such joy to feel that you’re part of a sangha. I often practice alone and it’s not easy. With a retreat experience, taking refuge in the sangha makes so much more sense.” And so when Sunday afternoon came, we said our goodbyes with hugs, radiant faces, and even a few tears of joy. We will definitely do this again. No doubt.


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Poetry Corner granite, over fire. We listen hard

Faith

By Lin Illingworth End of season.  March wind keens across the white quilt of this pond, patterned in drift and stitched with periwinkle tree-shadow. Fresh powder shushes each snowshoe step over ice a foot thick, over sleeping fish, over

UPCOMING

Continued from Page 16

27 28 28 29 30

Sangha Night - 6:45-9 Insight Meditation Class (4 wks., experienced meditators) – 7-9, Bodhipaksa Introduction to Meditation and Buddhism, 7-9 p.m. Women’s Mitra Class Meditation and Puja – 7-9

MAY 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 6-9 9 10 11 12 12 13 14-16 14-16 17 18

Introduction to Meditation – Metta Bhavana – 10-4 GFR Women’s Day Men’s Day Men’s Mitra Class Sangha Night – 6:45-9 Introduction to Buddhism and Meditation, 7-9 p.m. Women’s Mitra Class Open Heart, Quiet Mind Yoga and Meditation Retreat String Quartet Concert – Talk at 5:45, Concert at 6:30 p.m. Men’s Mitra Class Sangha Night – 6:45-9 Introduction to Meditation and Buddhism, 7-9 p.m. Council Meeting- 6:10 p.m. Women’s Mitra Class Living With Mindfulness Retreat, Viriyalila Insight Retreat, Bodhipaksa Men’s Mitra Class Sangha Night – 6:45-9

20 22-23 24 25 28 29 31

for the crack and boom of this indigo glass giving way, hear only the nicker of what sun calls forth, invisible sap and the faint hum of what seems so far off yet which our bones sing back as certainty.

Women’s Mitra Class Working Together Weekend (center maintenance/upkeep) Men’s Mitra Class Sangha Night – 6:45-9 Meditation and Puja/Wesak Celebration – 7-9 Order Day Men’s Mitra Class

JUNE 1 3 6 7 8 10 11-13 14 15 16 17 19 20 20 21 22 24 24-27 25 27 28 29

Sangha Night – 6:45-9 Women’s Mitra Class Pancake Breakfast to support women’s ordination process Men’s Mitra Class Sangha Night – 6:45-9 Women’s Mitra Class Yoga Weekend, Lily Sibley Men’s Mitra Class Sangha Night – 6:45-9 Council Meeting - 6:10 p.m. Women’s Mitra Class Introduction to Meditation – Mindfulness – 10-4 Men’s Day Women’s Day Men’s Mitra Class Sangha Night – 6:45-9 Women’s Mitra Class – alternate location Rental Meditation and Puja – 7-9 Possible Order Day Men’s Mitra Class Sangha Night – 6:45-9


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VOLUME 8, ISSUE II

Upcoming Events (All events are subject to change. For the latest upto-date information, please call the office or check our web site: http://www.aryaloka.org) (Akasaloka events are in italics.) APRIL 1-3 1 3-5 3 5 6 7 7 8 11

NVC Basics – begs. 4/1 at 7 p.m., ends 4/3 at 3:30 p.m. – Shantigarbha Women’s Mitra Class NVC Deepening + Conflict (intermediate level) begs. 4/3 at 7 p.m., ends 4/5 in p.m. - Shantigarbha The Mindfulness of Poem-Making – 10-3, Saddhamala & Lin Illingworth Men’s Mitra Class Sangha Night - 6:45-9 Insight Meditation Class (4 wks., experienced meditators) – 7-9, Bodhipaksa Introduction to Meditation and Buddhism (6 wks.) 7-9 p.m., Narottama Women’s Mitra Class Pancake Breakfast to support women’s ordination process

12 13 14 14 15 16 17 17 18 18 19 20 21 21 22 24 25 26

Men’s Mitra Class Sangha Night - 6:45-9 Insight Meditation Class (4 wks., experienced meditators) – 7-9, Bodhipaksa Introduction to Meditation and Buddhism, 7-9 p.m. Women’s Mitra Class Heather Maloney Concert – 7 p.m. Introduction to Meditation – Mindfulness – 10-4 Women’s Day Men’s Day Council Meeting 9-5 Men’s Mitra Class Sangha Night - 6:45-9 Insight Meditation Class (4 wks., experienced meditators) – 7-9, Bodhipaksa Introduction to Meditation and Buddhism, 7-9 p.m. Women’s Mitra Class Rental – all day Order Day Men’s Mitra Class UPCOMING

Continued on Page 15

Ongoing Sangha Night at Aryaloka

Full Moon Puja

• • • •

The rich devotional practice of meditation and puja is shared on these special Friday nights by those who find devotion an important part of their practice.

Every Tuesday evening, 6:45-9:00 p.m. Led by Amala, Arjava, and Suzanne Open to all who have attended an introductory class at Aryaloka Fee: Suggested donation $10 per class No registration necessary

Typically, our Tuesday night activities include: • • • •

6:45 - Gathering, tea and announcements 7:00 - Meditation and shrine room activity 7:45 - Study, discussion or a talk on the evening’s topic 9:00 - End

With all of the activities, you are free to participate or to just sit and listen. Nothing is compulsory. If you have any questions, please ask!

Friday evenings as scheduled. See the Aryaloka website or Vajra Bell events schedule for dates and locations. 7:00 p.m. meditation, followed by puja.

“When we celebrate the Sevenfold Puja, which combines faith and devotion with poetry and sometimes an element of visual beauty, we find that our emotional energies are to some extent refined. When this happens, it becomes possible for the vision and insight of the higher thinking center to act through these refined, sublimated emotional centers directly on the moving center. In this way, the whole of life is completely transformed.” Sangharakshita ~ Ritual and Devotion

Vajra Bell newsletter - April 2010  

* "Right Speech: Finding Wisdom by Watching Our Words" by Stephen Sloan * "A Spontaneous Kind of Magic" by Dh. Sunada * "Compassionate Commu...