Join us next Thursday for a social services forum

Today a small group of us gathered for our Annual Meeting and discussed several topics including how to welcome first timers, how to communicate that we are a Sangha and how we might engage in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. There will be more notes and specifics coming soon. But we wanted to get the word out right away that we’re going to participate in this discussion on homelessness on Capitol Hill next Thursday instead of having our usual sit at Pilgrim. We hope you’ll join us. You can RSVP via Facebook at but feel free to just show up also.

Spare the Change: Being a Changemaker on Homelessness in Our Neighborhood

Thursday, October 20 6-8 PM at The Summit On Pike, 420 E Pike.

Our goal is to inform, empower, and activate Capitol Hill residents and community members to help people experiencing homelessness.

Our program begins at 6:00pm with an open house – organizations and more will have booths with information on the work they’re doing the neighborhood and ways to get involved in make Capitol Hill more livable for ALL residents.

The panel begins at 6:30pm, includes:
1. Don Jensen, Community Lunch Capitol Hill
2. Millie Heye, PSKS
3. Silas and Johnny, YouthCare
4. Jackie St. Louis, MDT Outreach Team

At the end of the panel, we’re asking guests to help us gather supplies to distribute to our local homeless service providers/shelters (similar to our July 2015 event when we created care packs for people experiencing homelessness.)

Hosted by the Capitol Hill Community Council in partnership with the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and Capitol Hill Housing.

The Defilement of Grudge

What is a grudge?  A Japanese horror movie?  A persistent feeling of resentment resulting from a past insult or injury?  A grain of irritation around which we’ve built layer upon layer of protection, turning this into a precious treasure?

I would say yes, all of these!

Apologies for the late send, but here are a couple of readings on the matter.

The Removal of Grudges

The Healing of the Bull

I like The Healing of the Bull – if you all are game, perhaps I will read that aloud instead of talking.

Look forward to seeing you tonight, as long as we are not experiencing a full-on major storm!

—Jane Grafton

EDITORS NOTE: Reminder and last call for RSVPs for this Saturday’s Annual Meeting. You must RSVP for directions. More details here.

The Defilement of Inattentiveness

I wanted to talk about inattentiveness because I’m something of an expert. As a child, my parents had to occasionally run to the store to buy more milk because, after making my cereal in the morning, I would put the milk in the cupboard and the cereal in the fridge.

Most of the time, my inattentiveness has caused little more than spoiled milk. But it can have consequences. The same state of mind can cause both a misplaced glove and a lost camera. This can, in turn, lead to the arising of other defilements, like self-hatred, deception, or rage.

I see the stickier side of inattentiveness as restlessness, when our attention is drawn away from awareness because we think something else is more interesting.

Let’s talk about how we can practice with inattentiveness on Thursday.


The Defilement of Arrogance

Webster’s defines arrogance as “a feeling of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or presumptuous claims.” When we see someone acting in an arrogant way, we could be tempted to grab the nearest sharp object – a hatpin works well – and pop their inflated ego balloon. Don’t we all enjoy seeing arrogant folks get their comeuppance? After all, a lot of great comedy has been written and performed around this dynamic.

But what is it like when we are the arrogant ones? Like the defilement of humiliation, arrogance is all about me. My viewpoint, my opinion, my ego, my world-view. Do we go about our lives with an assumption that we’re “right” until we are somehow proven “wrong”? Perhaps we don’t notice our arrogance until it gets popped (a la the hatpin). When it is brought to our attention, do we care? Or do we dig our heels in and become even more rigid? It is so hard to just “be with” the pain that arises when we realize we have been arrogant.

When we discussed humiliation last week, Tuere offered up embarrassment as a feeling that is not as attached to the sense of self as humiliation, therefore the experience of embarrassment is much less painful. What is a less self-involved feeling when we’re concerned with arrogance? I have thought of confidence as perhaps the best example, because it expresses a poise and self-reliance that isn’t necessarily obnoxious! But let’s discuss it on Thursday, okay?

With metta,

Deb Slivinsky

Why Are We So Averse Of Unpleasantness?

Tonight we are going to start exploring the nature of specific defilements.  I have picked “humiliation” from our list of 108 defilements.  I think humiliation is the worst feeling ever.  I am noticing that I also hate even typing the word or thinking about it. Goodness!!

There is a sense that I must I fix whatever wrong occurred.  I think it is remarkable that simply bringing the word to mind brings up a flood of thoughts about past experiences of humiliation, very unpleasant body sensations and a lot of confusion.  In contrast, embarrassment does not carry so much weight to me.  Thinking about embarrassment feels lighter, almost funny.  I have some thoughts showing up and body sensations but not with the level of intensity of humiliation.  I can accept embarrassment without the need to change it.

Humiliation carries with it a sense of self.  Humiliation is about me.  It comes with a suitcase full of requirements and expectations.  I must defend and/or avenge myself.  It lessens me or my status.  Embarrassment, however, does not carry this same baggage.  It is an experience, an action, a moment in time.  It does not carry the same sense of unpleasantness for me as does humiliation.  This is an important distinction.  When unpleasantness is attached to the sense of self we lose a lot of capacity to simply “be with”.  So where is the escape – the freedom – the liberation from the suffering associated with humiliation?  We will explore this tonight.



Annual Meeting Date Change

Annual Meeting moves to Oct 15

Every fall members of the Sangha gather for an informal business meeting around our anniversary. Everyone is invited. Please mark you calendar now for the morning of Saturday, October 15. We’ll have a potluck brunch starting at 10 AM and plan to be together a couple of hours. The “business” we discuss is how we structure our weekly time together including handling tasks, timing, what’s included and the sequence of those things, sharing leadership, etc. We’ll meet in the Common House of Spencer & Sheila’s cohousing community near 12th Avenue Arts. Please RSVP to let us know if you’d like to attend by making a comment below. Your comment will not be posted. We’ll send email information closer to event with exact directions.

108 Defilements

We’ve spent the last 3 weeks listening to segments of U Tejania’s talk on “What is Meditation”. Next week Tuere will not be with us. She suggests we explore the list of 108 Defilements and choose one to work with for the week.