By Tara Mulay, Interim Guiding Teacher
Dear Insight Pioneer Valley Sangha,
As the deaths in the United States from COVID-19 reach 100,000 and above, I would like to invite you to come together in community on Thursday, May 28 from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm to honor those whose lives have been lost and all those who are facing challenges during this pandemic. A short dharma talk will be offered, and we will meditate for 20 minutes. Members of the community will be invited, if they choose, to share their reflections.
The motivation of this communal gathering is to further align our intentions with the dharma. The Pali word “sati,” which is often translated as “mindfulness,” literally means “to remember.” With mindfulness, we remember to be aware of the present moment and also to meet our present circumstances with compassion and wisdom, rather than with rejection, clinging, or denial. As we open our hearts we can experience greater tenderness in knowing the suffering of others and become aware of our profound interconnectedness, including the vital ways we draw strength from our communities and dharma friendships.
Many have recognized that our dharma practice is more precious than ever in the times of this pandemic. COVID-19 has changed our world, our lives, and the way we connect. As the pandemic has disproportionately impacted vulnerable communities and workers, it has laid bare inequities in our society that impact the health and livelihoods of so many. People of color, in particular, have been sickened and died in disproportionately greater numbers. Many feel an impulse to assist and to bring about change in the myriad conditions that are worsening the impact of the virus, and at times we can experience wholesome joy when we see so many acting out of goodness to contribute to others’ well being.
In 2007, Bhikkhu Bodhi called upon Western Buddhists to address the “systemic embodiments of greed, hatred, and delusion.” We can always begin by taking refuge in the dharma, the sangha, and the Buddha, which is manifest in our individual and collective capacity for awakening. In that spirit, I invite you to join in this community act of remembrance and honoring on Thursday at 5:30 pm.
Interim Guiding Teacher
By Tara Mulay
During this dharma talk and discussion evening, we will talk about the first noble eightfold path factor of Wise View or Wise Perspective and how it can support us as dharma practitioners in these times. We will also explore the understandings that can arise from external mindfulness and that can help us in meeting the current experiences of the pandemic.
Join Tara on Wednesday, May 26, 7:00-8:30pm.
with Jean Esther
How do we meet our lives as they are radically changing before us, impacting us individually and globally in ways we may understandably be unprepared to navigate? How can the Buddha’s 2500 year old teachings help?
Please join Jean in exploring these questions through guided meditation and a short selective Dharma talk followed by a period of reflective group inquiry. (Particular attention will be paid to the support and care of our nervous systems through meditative practices.)
This series may be attended as a whole or as individual drop in sessions by themselves. For experienced practitioners and beginners.
Saturdays, May 16 & 23; 10:00 - 11:30am
Suggested Donation: $0-25
This offering is Dana based. All are welcome.
Any offering you wish to make supports both IPV and the continuation of these teachings
This is a drop-in offering. No registration is required.
By Kim Weeber, IPV Teacher
During these times, we face so many challenges that most of us get caught up in suffering. Suffering/ Dukkha was the reason that the Buddha started his search to find true happiness, and he taught many ways that we can disentangle ourselves. We will explore the ways that we get caught, and look at various ways to get unstuck. We will also include the possibility of going through the door of suffering to find freedom, rather than spending all of our energy fighting reality. The evening will include questions and discussion as well as a talk.
Join Kim on Wednesday, May 20, 7pm for this drop-in practice and Dharma talk.
Blog posts are written by various IPV and guest teachers. Biographies can be found on the Teachers page.