Dear Still Water Friends,
On Thursday, June 8, following meditation we will recite the five mindfulness trainings. The mindfulness trainings, at times referred to as precepts, were taught by the Buddha as principles for living. These are not commandments, or laws, but rather guidelines for living in peace and good fortune. They are seen by some as a vehicle for navigating the path to liberation.
The Second Mindfulness training, which will be the focus ofthis week’s discussion, is especially apt in today’s worldview. It reads:
Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing and oppression, I am committed to cultivating loving kindness and learning ways to work for the well-being of people, animals, plants and minerals. I will practice generosity by sharing my time, energy, and material resources with those who are in real need. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others. I will respect the property of others, but I will prevent others from profiting from human suffering, or the suffering of other species on Earth.
In the anthology For a Future to be Possible, Commentaries on the Mindfulness Trainings, Thay discusses the second training in terms of generosity and loving kindness (which translates from maitri in Sanskrit, metta in Pali). Loving kindness, he writes, “is the intention and capacity to relieve the suffering of another person or living being.”
He goes on to write:
“We speak of time, energy and material resources, but time is not only for energy and material resources. Time is for being with others – being with a dyingperson or with someone who is suffering. Being really present for even five minutes can be a very important gift.”
Join us, if you will, this Thursday at Crossings. The first sitting meditation will begin at 7:00 pm,and will be followed by walkingmeditation, a second sitting meditation period, recitation of thetrainings anda discussion. The best times to join us are just before the firstsitting at 7 pm; at 7:25, at the beginning of walking meditation; or,at 7:35, at the beginning of the second sitting.