The Five Mindfulness Trainings remind us of our deep aspiration to live each day with a calm mind and an open heart. They provide invaluable guidelines for mindful living.
The Buddha’s precepts encouraged his lay followers to abstain from five actions that create suffering: killing, stealing, engaging in sex with inappropriate partners, lying, and using alcohol and other intoxicants. In the Plum Village tradition, we study and recite the precepts as the Five Mindfulness Trainings, a reformulation for our time by Thich Nhat Hanh. The trainings are guardrails on the path of mindfulness that preserve and encourage our kindhearted practice.
Our commitment to the trainings enters us most deeply when we receive them formally, in a Five Mindfulness Trainings transmission ceremony. This transmission publicly joins us with the tradition of mindfulness practice passed from teacher to student in an unbroken line from the Buddha, through many Indian, Chinese and Vietnamese teachers, through Thich Nhat Hanh, to us.
As in past years, the Still Water Mindfulness Practice Center will join with the Mindfulness Practice Center of Fairfax (MPCF) for the transmission of the Three Refuges and the Five Mindfulness Trainings. This year the transmission ceremony will take place online on Saturday, January 2nd, 2021, beginning at 9:00 am (Eastern time).
Practitioners who are interested in receiving the trainings on January 2nd are asked to participate in preparatory classes. Still Water will offer a series of five classes, each exploring one of the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Each of the training classes will be offered twice per week, on both Thursday and Friday evenings, from 7:00 to 8:45 pm. Aspirants need only attend one of the evenings per week, though they may attend both evenings if they choose.
1st Training, Reverence For Life: Thursday November 12, Friday November 13
2nd Training, True Happiness: Thursday November 19, Friday November 20
3rd Training, True Love: Thursday December 3, Friday December 4
4th Training, Loving Speech and Deep Listening: Thursday December 10, Friday December 11
5th Training, Nourishment and Healing: Thursday December 17, Friday December 18
The preparatory classes will be offered as Still Water’s programs on Thursday (Silver Spring) and Friday (Open-to-all) evenings:
- If you are interested in receiving (or possibly receiving) the trainings in January, you are invited to register for the Still Water preparatory classes so we know of your interest. When you register, you will receive a Zoom link for both Thursday and Friday evenings.
- If you have been attending on Thursday (Silver Spring) or Friday (Open-to-all) evenings and do not plan to take the trainings, there is no need to register.
- If you would like to begin attending the Thursday (Silver Spring) evening, please send an email to ZoomTeam@StillWaterMPC.org.
- And if you wish to begin attending the Friday (Open-to-all) evenings, you can register for the group with this link.
(Information about the MPCF preparatory classes is on their website.)
We encourage all to attend the online ceremony on January 2, 2021. It is a joyous and heartening community event and our presence will support those who are receiving trainings.
Two of Thich Nhat Hanh’s books spotlight the trainings: The Mindfulness Survival Kit – Five Essential Practices, and For A Future To Be Possible. A helpful eight page commentary on the trainings from Good Citizens: Creating Enlightened Society is available on the Still Water website.
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