Today, the Sangha begins our winter study of the 14 Mindfulness Trainings of The Order of Interbeing. We will examine the trainings as tools for practical application in the world of 2016 with a mind of inquiry about usefulness, practicality and adaptation. We will begin with their origins and evolution from the original teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha and, through deep listening, insightful questioning, restatement and mindful discussion, discover a pathway for using the trainings to make meaningful change. For more about The 14 Mindfulness Trainings: http://plumvillage.org/mindfulness-practice/the-14-mindfulness-trainings/
Today we will engage the Sangha in our annual New Year ceremony.
We have evolved this tradition over the past 20 years. In many cultures and spiritual traditions there is a custom of using the start of a new year to let go of the past and offer the burdens we have carried into the new year with us to the universe, to God or perhaps to the Mother Earth in order to begin the new year with strength and new energy.
May we all by our diligent practice together become fully present and, using the wisdom mind of The Buddha, identify and release those unskillful habits, unwholesome mental formations and limitations that we may have cultivated and carried with us in the past.
By mindfully writing them on paper and letting the fire consume them with the presence and support of the Sangha and mindfuness practice, they are transformed and we can use this as a moment for our own transformation and that of the planet.
May the New Year Be Well!