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Spiritual Program Notes

 

Posted September 19, 2018

         On Wednesday nights, Geshe Gelek has completed his teaching on the Three Principal Aspects of the Path and has returned to teaching lamrim from the full Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, by Lama Tsongkhapa.  You can follow along in Volume I of the three-volume set, starting on Chapter 22, page 327, or in Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, page 463 in the blue-cover version of the book.
 

Saturday, September 22, from 1 to 5:30 pm, we will have a special Tara practice, A Treasury of Two Siddhis, in which we will spend time with each of the 21 Taras, contemplating her specific enlightened activity and engaging in the Seven Limbs of practice:  prostration, offering, purification, rejoicing, entreating Tara to remain, requesting Tara to teach, and dedication.

We will bring our Tara statues out from the main altar to a special altar in the center of the gompa, so that we can also circumambulate.   

The major part of the setup will take place Friday afternoon, beginning at 1 pm.  Anyone who wants to help is welcome!

Making offerings to Tara is part of this practice, so everyone is invited to arrive starting at 11:30 am Saturday to create a beautiful, bountiful array of offerings – and you are welcome to bring your own flowers or food (avoiding food with eggs, meat, onion, garlic or radish).

Geshe Gelek will join us for this practice.

  
   

On the next two Sundays, our own Denise Flora will be sharing some tools for integrating practice into our daily lives using the natural rhythms of life, which she gathered into her just-published book, The Rhythm of Virtue. This coming Sunday there will be a chance to sample some of the techniques, and the following Sunday we’ll celebrate her accomplishment with a book launch during our Sunday Tea Time after the teachings.

Denise will also offer three longer workshops drawing on the tools in the book, in October, November and December.

Denise has worked for many years with FPMT’s Universal Education for Compassion and Wisdom project.

 

We are close to completing the current cycle of Discovering Buddhism classes!  If you participated in the course, please come to our celebration on Monday, October 8 at 7 pm.  We will begin a new cycle in January.

In the meantime… during November and early December, we’ll have Dharma discussion on Monday nights with "Taking it to Heart: Making the Dharma Your Own."  This is the chance to explore Dharma questions with fellow students and DB teachers, in a context where there’s time to wander down the byways and side streets of inquiry.

 

 

 

Posted June 21, 2018

Summer heat wave getting you down?  Step into the cool breeze of spiritual practice!

Kadampa Center is hosting some wonderful opportunities for practice in the coming weeks. There’s something for everyone - whether you are looking for a party honoring His Holiness, a one-time compassionate action, a weekend of teachings or a weekend of intensive purification practice!

Here’s what is coming up:

The party

 On Sunday, July 1, we will celebrate His Holiness XIV Dalai Lama’s birthday in the gompa form 10:30 am to noon. We will begin with prayers for his long life, then a movie about His Holiness’ life, and – whoa, no birthday party is complete without cake! Children from our Family Program will offer the projects they’ve been preparing for his birthday.  Everyone will have an opportunity to offer a kata as well!

   

 

The one-time compassionate action

    

His Holiness has often said that the best gift anyone can give him is to act with compassion. With that in mind, Kadampa Center is hosting our second annual Blood Drive in honor of His Holiness’ birthday. We will set up our gompa for the drive, so that donors can be surrounded by buddhas and bodhisattvas and meditate on compassion and loving-kindness while offering our very bodies to benefit others.

Last year we exceeded expectations with a total donation of 39 pints.  Everyone who participates – donors and support volunteers – will be invited to sign our special birthday card, that we will send to His Holiness so that he will know about our actions honoring him.

It all happens from 10 am to 2:30 pm on Friday, July 6. Come be part of this loving act of generosity.

This drive is our participation in Compassion Day, started by the North American Region of our mother organization, FPMT.

 

The weekend teachings

Every Sunday morning we begin our time together with the Four Immeasurables, a simple but very profound prayer that offers love, compassion, joy and equanimity to all sentient beings.

In this weekend workshop with visiting teacher Don Handrick, we will explore the meaning of this prayer in depth.  Don will also teach the first session of Discovering Buddhism: Transforming Problems, on Monday. As always with visiting teachers, everyone is invited to participate as a volunteer and/or sponsor, and get a little deeper into the action.

Details:  Friday, July 6, 7-9 pm, Saturday & Sunday, July 7&8, 10am-4pm, Monday, July 9, 7-8:30pmDon't miss it!

 

 

 

The intensive purification retreat

 

Kadampa Center is very happy to be hosting a wonderful and rare opportunity for doing the Nyung Nä retreat. In my 18+ years at KC, this is only the third time we have been able to offer this practice.  Over the course of two days and a morning, participants will meditate on bodhicitta, recite prayers and mantras, and perform many prostrations – and in the process, will purify eons of negative karma. How amazing and wonderful! 

And here’s the exciting thing about this practice:  you don’t have to participate directly to gain merit from the retreat happening at Kadampa Center. Nyung Nä is a very powerful practice, so the merit earned in connection to the practice is also super-juiced.  Any support offered to the retreat, whether volunteering (we need a cook!) or helping to defray the cost by sponsoring the retreat, is an opportunity to share in the merit of those who are doing the practice.  How cool is that?

The Nyung Nä will take place Thursday, July 19 through Sunday morning, July 22.

If you’re interested in preparing meals for the retreat, let me know and we’ll talk about what’s needed.

 

So get ready to face the summer heat!  Slather on our special brand of sunscreen –  SPF (Spiritual Practice Factor) 108 – and dive into a refreshing pool of learning, practice, action and celebration!