Dharma Topic: Helping Hurricance Katrina Victims

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Dear Still Water Friends,

Dear Friends,

This Thursday evening, the sangha will focus on bringingmindfulness to action. Four hundred victims of the hurricane will arrive atthe DC Armory on Labor Day. They will need a lot of support.

How can we contribute as a sangha? This Thursday, we willlook deeply at the process of transforming suffering together.

In Being Peace, Thich Nhat Hahn wrote this in thechapter "Working for Peace." Though he was talking about ending thesuffering caused by war, it translates easily to the pain caused by thehurricane and suffering caused by humans in its aftermath:

"In Plum Village in France, we receive many letters from the refugee camps in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines, hundreds each week. It is very painful to read them, but we have to do it, we have to be in contact. We try our best to help, but the suffering is enormous, and sometimes we are discouraged. It is said that half the boat people die in the ocean; only half arrive at the shores in Southeast Asia. . .

"In Buddhism, the most important precept of all is to live in awareness, to know what is going on. To know what is going on, not only here, but there. . .

"Meditation is to see deeply into things, to see how we can change, how we can transform our situation. To transform our situation is also to transform our minds. To transform our minds is also to transform our situation, because the situation is mind, and mind is situation. Awakening is important. The nature of the bombs, the nature of injustice, the nature of the weapons, and the nature of our own beings are the same. This is the real meaning of engaged Buddhism."

Please join us Thursday night and explore how we canpractice engaged Buddhism in the aftermath of the hurricane.

The best times to arrive are just before the first sittingat 7 pm; at 7:25, when walking meditation begins; or, at 7:35, when walkingmeditation ends and the second sitting begins. To allow others to maintainconcentration and continuity, we ask that practitioners not enter during thewalking meditation.

May we find ways to transform our suffering and thesuffering of those hurt by the hurricane,

Lynda Martin-McCormick