Monday, January 5, 2009

Welcome to the Community of Mindfulness


Welcome to the Community of Mindfulness New York Metro. The Community of Mindfulness/NY Metro [CMNY] is inspired by the teachings and practice of Vietnamese Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh. The CMNY is part of a network of national and international sanghas [communities]: a “fourfold community” of laywomen and laymen, nuns and monks. Thich Nhat Hanh’s monastic training and retreat centers include Plum Village, France (www.plumvillage.org) Blue Cliff Monastery in New York [www.bluecliffmonastery.org], the Deer Park Monastery, Escondido, California (www.deerparkmonastery.org,) Magnolia Grove in Mississippi (www.magnoliagrovemonastery.org)  and in Vietnam.

To practice in community is a great gift. As a community of mindfulness we support each other in cultivating mindfulness and the capacity to embody and offer love in our daily lives: for ourselves, our families, friends and co-workers, and for the well-being of our society and our planet. Our practice has included weekly and biweekly meditation groups, days of mindfulness and weekend retreats, affinity groups for people with common interests, study groups, community sings, socially engaged practice and the practice of organizing and making decisions in a mindful and harmonious way. All of our activities and gatherings are grounded in the practices of conscious breathing and silent sitting and walking meditation. Beginners are welcome.

CMNY affinity groups have included Planting Seeds Family Practice, Touching Our Root Traditions, Being With Illness and Healing, Socially Engaged Practice and others.  Individuals have offered mindfulness practice with women and staff of an alternative to incarceration program, at a program for people suffering from mental illness, at centers for homeless people, at workplaces, schools, at the Open Center, at Columbia University and through the arts.

See 'Ongoing Meetings' link and 'Upcoming Events' link for listing of meetings. _______________________________________

“When we are in a Sangha [community], we are like a drop of water in a river. We allow the Sangha to hold us and transport us. Don’t be like a drop of oil in the river, not mixing with the other drops of water—that way you arrive nowhere. Allow yourself to be transported by the Sangha so that your pain, sorrow, and suffering are recognized and embraced. You have to trust the Sangha. Imagine you are a drop of water that would like to go to the ocean. If you go alone, you might evaporate, but if you allow yourself to be embraced and transported by the Sangha, then you will get there. You suffer only when you are a separate drop of water. Please remember this.” [Thich Nhat Hanh in Peace Begins Here, pages 42-3]

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