Hello, and Happy New Year! 2013 is upon us now, and I woke with all the hope and possibility of a new year on my mind, rather than a day, so here's my little twist on a favorite old Thich Nhat Hanh quote that accurately reflects my mood when I woke today:
“Waking up this morning, I smile. Twelve brand new months are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.” ~ TNH (sorta)
Starting off 2013, I'm beginning the last month of a four month dedicated practice session (that i started with my best bud Kayla) focused on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness and using the book by Bhante Gunaratana "The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English".
October was easy for me with Mindfulness of the Body. November was insightful with Mindfulness of Feeling Tone. In December I really got benefit from the third foundation practice, Mindfulness of Mind. I broke with my dedicated practice only once, to practice Metta, the day that the teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary became heroes in the face of tragedy and saved so many little kids lives. And today, January 1, begins the final month on the fourth foundation, Mindfulness of Dhamma! So I'm looking forward to reading the final part of the Bhante G book and practicing with that all month.
I addition to that, Kayla's Buddha Book Club I participate in is reading Tara Brach's book Radical Acceptance. I've read it before, and loved it. I'll be re-reading that and participating with the group discussing it on the Facebook page.
I'm also doing some dharma study to help a friend stay on track with their studies and benefiting from that myself as well. Mostly I'm just supporting and discussing those teachings as a sounding board to assist them in their efforts and treating it as a foundation for my own future studies.
I rang in the new year with family at my home, and then promptly sat for 30 minutes with some of my #OMCru community. I took refuge, and renewed my precepts, to mark the beginning of our Buddha Heart - A Yearlong Dedicated Practitioner Group. We'll be reading the TNH classic Heart of the Buddhas Teaching and studying it together over the course of the next year, and I couldn't be more excited about that.
Lastly, I have my own ever growing stack of dharma books to read. So while that all may sound like a lot, it's really mostly slow paced reading with lots of practice. The goal is to study the dharma, but more so to implement it fully in to our lives off the cushion. And I fully intend to do that as much as possible in 2013.
Please contact me if you're interested in participating in any of the above resources. They are all full of the warmest, most helpful and friendly members. It's a great virtual sangha.
And speaking of virtual sangha, I just want to thank all the twitter friends, Facebook friends, sangha members in all the countless Sanghas I have been privileged to visit all over this country. You all have gone from online "friends" to true meaningful friendships in both virtual and real life and I'm so very very grateful that I have that in my life. It's been amazing to be a part of and I have seen that it is so sorely needed for so many people out there.
So, to wrap this post up, I thought I would highlight of few of my intentions that I'll be focusing on this year in various areas of my life:
New Year intentions with family:
- Show by being.
- Continue my healthy path.
- Continue to teach my child compassion is the key.
- Work on small things now that will aid long term plans.
- Make big effort to be more fully present with my family as my travel increases.
New Year intentions with practice:
- Focus it.
- Retreat more, to...
- Deepen it, so I can...
- Implement it more fully and...
- Continue working toward facilitator training.
- Start second sangha group which is open to all.
- Take steps toward my goal of a local dharma center.
Thank you and please have a safe, happy, and compassionate new year!