To start off the new year our Sangha is going to take the month of January and explore the 5 precepts, one per week. Tuere will not be with us until the last week. If you would like to sit with Tuere she will be leading SIMS sits at Keystone Church for 3 Thursday, January 9, 16, & 23rd.
We are planning to use Thich Nhat Hanh’s book For a Future to Be Possible: Buddhist Ethics for Everyday Life, as a jumping off point. Here’s what Amazon says about the book: The Five Mindfulness Trainings — to not kill, steal, commit adultery, lie, or take intoxicants — are the basic statement of ethics and morality in Buddhism. In this fully revised edition, Zen master and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh argues eloquently for their universal applicability in daily situations. Nhat Hanh discusses in depth the value and meaning of each precept, offering insights into the roles that they could play in our changing society. In a world marked by moral and spiritual emptiness, he says, The Five Mindfulness Trainings offer a path to the restoration of meaning and value. The author calls the trainings a “diet for a mindful society” that transcends sectarian boundaries, and he presents simple yet powerful ways that people can come together around them to explore and sustain a sane, compassionate, and healthy way of living.
Sheila will facilitate next week’s discussion on the first precept:
Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I vow to cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to condone any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life.
Since not everyone has the book, it would be interesting to view this 15 minute video to help inform our discussion: COMPASSION FOR ALL, a talk with Venerable (Dr) Geshe Thupte.
NOTE: For the time being we have decided to continue meeting from 6:45 to 8:45 PM with no chanting and no potluck. We will re-evaluate in February.