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I am in the midst of the Vassa, or annual three months' 'rains retreat', at Empty Cloud monastery in New Jersey. We are a happy community of six monastics. This week we are focusing on meditation practice. Other times we give time and energy to Vinaya studies. It is good to learn from one another and to sit together.
We are offering teachings mostly in house, on weekends. These are not recorded. However there are also online Dhamma sharings a few times each week
This summer has felt to me to be the best of times to consider uncertainty, this aspect of anicca, as the climate has been changing even more rapidly than expected. We're all witnessing unprecedented ice cap melt, forest fires, floods and record breaking temperatures on both hemispheres of our beautiful planet.
With these events unfolding, I've been contemplating the Buddha's teachings on dependent co-arising, cause and effect. Recognising how nothing happens without reason. This great way of seeing gives perspective and even though the process is painful, leads to peace and understanding.
From this resourced vantage point, it seems clear that the call is for compassion, for kindness and for calm amidst the storms.
How may I help? Can I engage in rightful action to support myself and others?
Here are some reflections on this theme - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXh6PCz8-tc&list=PLil4gnGzSzsUv-m-wq78T5oNMl-GST7AN&index=19 . . . the Dhamma talk follows a 30 minute guided meditation.
May we all be guided in this enquiry by the Buddha's ever helpful, timeless Dhamma teachings
With an abundance of gratitude, good wishes and loving kindness for us all and for the Buddha Dhamma, our greatest treasure.