Aloha from the Kailua Shambhala Meditation Group Coordinator

Aloha mai kākou,

I’ve been a little under the weather lately, not as communicative as usual, and have decided to try to accomplish two things at once with this email: let both our operations team and group members know what’s up with the group.

First, I’ve been finding myself inspired by our first group event practicing the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa’s “The Sādhana of Mahāmudrā.” It took a little while to unpack the experience and mentally digest it, as it was the first time most of us had participated. The Sādhana contains a vivid description of the obstacles presented by physical, psychological, and spiritual materialism in the modern age, and prescribes unwavering devotion to wakefulness as the antidote to the materialistic outlook. The intense visualization of Dorje Trollo, a wrathful manifestation of Padmasambhava, during the chanting of the Sādhana, together with the feast offerings in the physical form of the great mountain of torma, helped us understand how emotion and wisdom, energy and space, can work together. If you were not able to practice with us in person, or online hosted by Chronicles of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, we hope you can participate the next time this powerful practice is offered.

A second point of inspiration this month is Dr. Dean’s 2007 book, Don’t Waste Pain: A Healthcare Perspective from the Ancient Kingdom of Shambhala. There’s a section that really spoke to me about helping one become more aware of feeling oneʻs body. Our meditation practice deemphasizes our thoughts and creates a space for us to sink into the bodily sensations of our emotions, which allow fresh intuitions to arise about them. If we can stay with our emotions with gentleness and wakefulness, we can just be there in the present with them, not acting out or suppressing our emotion–in the middle ground of Nowness. “It comes at a cost. It is the price of the melting of your normal boundaries between ‘me’ and ‘other,’ between ‘in here’ and ‘out there.’ It is the price of sensitivity, of living with a sad and tender heart. It is the cost of humility and outrageousness at the same time. But the upside is that the world explodes into a vaster love affair. This is an invitation to a more vivid and present dance” (Page 32).

My third, and favorite point of inspiration comes from you, our operations team and group members. Iʻve really been encouraged by how youʻve have stepped up to lend support in so many different ways. We have had several new members join the group recently and make a donation that has allowed us to order cushion covers from Great Eastern Imports. We hope to have them in place on when Eric and Stacey Schrager host our first ʻEwa Beach group meditation at their home on May 13th at 10 am–please check our monthly calendar for details. For our Sādhana practice, Jaynine and Dean opened their house for us as a venue and jumped in to lead the practice when Maria fell ill that week. Also, Kathy Southard, took charge of the feast aspect of the practice, preparing the torma and procuring/preparing our wonderful dinner. We also have a potential new venue for group meditation practice in Honolulu at the Church of the Crossroads that Iʻll be working on getting up and running with Kathy in the next few months. Moreover, having Shelley and Lila working together to keep our finances in order has been a real blessing. Many thanks to all of you for bringing to life the meaning of the word sangha.

Best,

Arleen Garcia-Herbst
Group Coordinator
kailua.shambhala@gmail.com
808-376-8965

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PRACTICE & EDUCATION

ʻEWA BEACH: Practicing The Lost Art of Good Conversation — A 2nd Sunday Monthly Dharma Gathering

The danger is that while we are more connected now to the whole world than we ever have been before, we are less connected to people in our everyday life. We are having fewer conversations. — Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, The Lost Art of Good Conversation

Join us for food, conversation and meditation at our monthly Sunday dharma gathering in ʻEwa Beach. We will be reading from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s new book “The Lost Art of Good Conversation” as the inspiration for how listening and speaking from the heart, and other practices of genuine conversation can help to build bridges, heal isolation, and create a kind and awake society.

The gathering features a reading of the Sakyong’s book, discussion, meditation instruction, a short period of meditation, and light refreshments.

Open to all. No advance reading or reservations necessary. Drop-in’s welcome. Donations gratefully accepted. Please check our monthly calendar for details.

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FINANCE

The Path of the Patron

The Kailua Shambhala Meditation Group relies on membership dues and donations to pay our basic operating expenses, and views financial generosity as part of our practice of creating Enlightened Society. The practical instruction for generosity is to consider what would feel like a “generous offering” for you, and give a little bit more.

Become a Member

Becoming a Shambhala member is a statement about your personal inspiration, curiosity, and commitment to the path of awakening. Anyone interested in Kailua Shambhala is welcome to become a member. Local membership includes membership in Shambhala, a global community committed to cultivating mindfulness, awareness and compassion―personally, culturally and within society. Learn more about resources available to members.

AmazonSmile

Have you considered supporting our group every time you shop on Amazon by setting/changing your AmazonSmile Charitable Organization to Kailua Shambhala Meditation Group (AKA “Vajradhatu”)? On your first visit to AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), you are prompted to select a charitable organization from their list of eligible organizations. You can change your selection at any time.

To change your charitable organization:

  1. Sign in to smile.amazon.com on your desktop or mobile phone browser.
  2. From your desktop, go to Your Account from the navigation at the top of any page, and then select the option to Change your Charity. Or, from your mobile browser, select Change your Charity from the options at the bottom of the page.
  3. Select a new charitable organization to support.

Remember, only purchases at smile.amazon.com (not www.amazon.com or the mobile app) support our group as a charity.

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KASUNG CONTEMPLATIONS

Varieties of Kasung Practice: Part 1

Over the years, a variety of practice types have developed and this month we’ll focus on local practice opportunities. Gatekeeper practice usually involves staffing the desk post at a Shambhala center and includes taking your seat, looking out, and extending your awareness to the environment and other people. Sangha service is aimed at protecting the harmony and wellbeing of our fellow practitioners and may involve formal counseling, crisis intervention, working with problems of addiction or domestic difficulty, and other community-oriented activities. Event guarding, such as for a visit by the Sakyong, is a powerful group protector practice and is particularly related to manifesting the three metaphors of wind, container and horizon before, during and after the event. Service to principals, such as the Sakyong, his family, visiting teachers, Acharya and others, includes house and Court guards, airport service, transportation, personal service, guards and event shifts, and provides a precious opportunity to work closely with the spectrum of wisdom encompassed by Shambhala society. Lastly, Kalapa Court service comprises service at all levels to the Sakyong, his family, as well as the principals and entourage of the Mukpo and Ripa lineages, such as personal service, transportation, Court guards, duty officers, schedulers, and airport coordinators, and the main focus is protecting the environment and atmosphere of the Court.

Excerpt from “The Dorje Kasung Handbook”

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SOCIAL MEDIA

For those of you that would enjoy following us on social media, please visit us on any of the following:

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, as well as our Kailua Meetup and Honolulu Meetup.

Look for an West Oahu meetup coming soon!