Dear Napa Valley Insight Meditation Community,
Inspired by a talk given by senior Insight Meditation teacher Tara Brach reflecting on racism and the aspiration for “Beloved Community”, this week I invite us to spend our evening exploring the ways in which our minds create separation and the daily life practice tools that can help us to become more aware of the conditioned, habitual patterns of our mind and cultivate a greater sense of clear-seeing, connection and compassion.
At the same time as the tragic killings in Charleston, South Carolina, Tara’s Brach’s Wednesday night class at the Insight Meditation Community of Washington in Bethesda, Maryland, was reflecting on racism and the aspiration for Beloved Community. As stated on Tara’s website, Martin Luther King’s term, “Beloved Community” points to our potential for living together with love, justice and respect.
Tara often speaks about the ways in which we inhabit what she calls “our spacesuit self” (our habitual personality and thought patterns that may keep us in our own separate bubble) and how we can use our practice to wake up out of living in the “trance” of separation and find a greater sense of belonging and connection. In this talk Tara expands this to include the importance of paying attention to the attitudes, beliefs and assumptions of our “communal spacesuit self” (the collective cultural identity and conditioning we are born into and take on) with honesty, curiosity and kindness. Tara’s honest and personal reflections as a white female deeply dedicated to examining her personal and collective conditioning for the benefit of all beings calls us to examine this territory with honesty and compassion. She says, “If we want to wake up from limiting identities that separate us we have two tools: one is to notice what’s happening. Notice what’s happening in our own bodies and minds. Notice what’s happening in the collective. And the other is to regard that with deep compassion…” (www.tarabrach.com, 6/17/15 talk, “Beloved Community”)
If it speaks to you, you may listen to all or a portion of Tara Brach’s 6/17/15 talk on “Beloved Community” here: http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/175/
As you go about your daily life, what supports your mind in seeing clearly your own habitual thought patterns and collective identity, and hold this with compassion? In what situations do you feel inferior or superior? What helps you to examine and hold your attitudes, beliefs and assumptions with curiosity and kindness? Who in your life serves as inspiration to practice exploring this territory? I invite you to bring your reflections and discoveries with you on Tuesday to share with the sangha or hold quietly in your own heart.
Tara Brach has practiced and taught meditation for over 35 years and is the senior teacher and founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington. Also a clinical psychologist, she is the author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge. If you are interested in learning more about Tara, you may go to her website: http://www.tarabrach.com/index.html
Please see below for exciting upcoming NVIM events.
Looking forward to our time together,
Napa Valley Insight Meditation
UPCOMING OFFERINGS, GENEROSITY & EVENTS:
NVIM’s next Day Long Event: Kevin Griffin, Buddhism and Recovery, Saturday, July 18th, from 10:00am – 4:00pm. Kevin, the author of the newly released Recovering joy, is a meditation teacher, musician, graduate of the Community Dharma Leader program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and a leader in the mindful recovery movement. Kevin’s Tuesday evening visit back in February was one of our most highly attended events and we are tremendously blessed to have him return to Napa! This day long will feature periods of sitting and walking meditation, as well as instruction and Q & A sessions on overcoming addiction. The suggested donation is $20 – $60 (no one is turned away for lack of funds) and all levels of experience are welcome! For more details/information please go to: http://www.napainsight.org/event/daylong-retreat-buddhism-and-the-12-steps/. Or you can go ahead and register right now at:http://eepurl.com/bskpJf.
If you have more questions, you can contact our Day Long Committee Coordinator, Susan DuQuette, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Berkeley’s Freight & Savage Coffee Shop will be hosting a comic performance by two of our favorite NVIM guest teachers, Nina Wise & Wes “Scoop” Nisker: July 10th @ 8:00pm – 10:00pm. For more information go to: http://www.napainsight.org/event/comic-performance-by-nina-wise-and-wes-scoop-nisker/
On-Going Generosity for Nepal: Thanks to many of your generous contributions, NVIM’s Nepal Disaster Relief Fund has raised over $2,600. The money we’ve raised will be used to help recovery efforts and provide capital to local organizations involved in the long-term rebuilding process. To donate, please click on the following link: https://goo.gl/drMNsv…
On-Going Thursday Morning Silent Meditation: For those interested in supporting their daily practice, we invite you to join NVIM on Thursday mornings for silent meditation. This 30-minute meditation will begin promptly at 9:00am and is a wonderful opportunity to nurture your practice in an intimate and supportive setting.