Dear Still Water Friends,
Mindfulness practice has a life all its own. At times our practice feels young and full of promise. At others it feels old and weary. We go through periods of rapid growth and exploration, and periods of more stability and maintenance.
Our determination to stay on the path and our ability to refresh our practice are vital. Groups like Still Water help us in these things as we support each other by sharing our practices, experiences, and presence.
This Thursday, we’ll recite the Beginning Anew practice from the Plum Village Chanting and Recitation Book. We’ll consider where our intentions lie today and what our hopes are for tomorrow. We’ll have the opportunity to share practices, experiences and appreciations for being on this path together.
I hope you can join us,
Excerpts from “Friends on the Path,” by Thich Nhat Hanh
The practice is to grow some roots. The Sangha is a place to practice for the transformation and healing of self and society. When you are strong, you can be there in order to help society. If your society is in trouble, if your family is broken, if your church is no longer capable of providing you with spiritual life, then you work to take refuge in the Sangha so that you can restore your strength, your understanding, your compassion, your confidence. And then in turn you can use that strength, understanding, and compassion to rebuild your family and society, to renew your church, to restore communication and harmony. This can only be done as a community—not as an individual, but as a Sangha.
If we see a group of people living mindfully, capable of smiling, of loving, we gain confidence in our future. When we practice mindful breathing, smiling, resting, walking, and working, then we become a positive element in society, and we will inspire confidence all around us. This is the way to avoid letting despair overwhelm us. It is also the way to help the younger generation so they do not lose hope. It is very important that we live our daily life in such a way that demonstrates that a future is possible.