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Spiritual Program Notes

Posted October 25, 2018:

Kadampa Center will offer some special programming in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, October 31, is Lhabab Duchen, a Buddha holy day that marks Buddha's return to teaching on Earth, after he had visited Tushita pure land to teach his mother. Lama Zopa Rinpoche says that on this day the karmic effects of our actions are multiplied one hundred million times, so it's especially good to do spiritual practice!

The Center will be open from 10 am to 7 pm for personal practice, plus these events:

12 pm:  Group reading of the Vajra Cutter Sutra
7 pm Geshe Gelek will  teach on the 12 deeds of the Buddha, followed by a reading of the Heart Sutra.

A wonderful day!

Sundays During the month of November, we will offer some exciting special programs on Sunday mornings, during the 10:30-noon period. Our Family Program will continue to operate as usual, with special activities in the gompa for all ages on November 25.

Here's what to look forward to:

November 4:    Geshe Gelek will teach

November 11: Developing self-compassion   In our journey to reduce troubling thoughts, develop our positive qualities, and extend our compassion to all sentient beings, some of us may stumble with bringing kindness, acceptance, and a caring attitude towards ourselves. This session will bring together insights from the
 increasing body of scientific evidence about the many physical and emotional benefits of self-compassion and how self-compassion fits into Buddhist psychology.
Led by Karen Edwards  

November 18:  Thinking of thanks Just in time for Thanksgiving, we will explore gratitude, how it benefits us and how to think about it in a meaningful way. We'll learn a little about how science has shown that gratitude improves happiness, and think about our own role models for gratitude.
Led by Denise Flora

November 25:  Giving.. is thanking.  In Buddhism, we practice offering a mandala - a whole jeweled universe of the best of everything - to our teachers and to the Buddhas. Geshe Sangpo reminds us that this is a wonderful practice for earning merit. On this Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, we'll offer a special mandala, created from items donated to benefit Interact. We'll learn about the practice, and use our day to benefit others!  
Led by Christy Batts, coordinator of our Family Program

Monday nights in November and December we will also provide a special new program - Taking it to Heart: Making the Dharma your Own.
In our Dharma classes we can discover a host of intriguing ideas that we want to chew over, debate, and turn inside out until we thoroughly understand them.  This is our opportunity to do so!  On Monday nights in November and December, we will offer facilitated discussion sessions, and we invite everyone --  past and future Discovering Buddhism students and teachers, and anyone else who wants to discuss foundational
Buddhist topics in the context of day-to-day practice.
Meets Mondays, 7-8:30 pm  Nov. 5, 12, 26,  Dec. 3 and 10

Also in November, the Wednesday night lamrim course will take a hiatus. Geshe Gelek began teaching on Karma this week, and he asks students to continue reading on the topic during November, make a note about any questions that arise, and prepare for some lively Q&A when the class resumes December 5.

 

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!