Ayya Santacitta & Ayya Anandabodhi joined the International Vipassana Teachers Conference at IMS, Barre, MA from April 2-6, 2017. Here is a beautiful depiction of the feedback on the outcome of the conference.
We invite you to come and join us on Sunday, April 30 for our first Community Work Day of the year at Aloka Vihara – and please bring a friend!
Work from 8:30am – 3:30pm with a break for lunch at 11:45am (please bring a vegetarian dish to share)
You are invited to arrive for 8:30am or for the meal at 11:45am.
At 8:30am we will begin with a short meditation and Dhamma reflection to set the tone for the day. There will be all kinds of work, heavy & light, outdoors & indoors. No special skills needed!
We will be maintaining the creek trail, creating walking meditation paths, weed-wacking, weeding, and some indoor jobs too.
If you plan to come and have any special skills you would like to offer on the day or on the long term, please RSVP to Becky at <email@example.com>.
We hope to see you at the vihara on Sunday, April 30!
With metta ~
Our intention is to march as an expression of our practice: to be grounded, compassionate, nonviolent, together, and in full expression of what we value deeply. Our ‘march-practice’ will include meditation and chanting, as we prepare, travel, show up, and debrief.
May all sentient beings be safe!
In the days surrounding the presidential inauguration, people of all faiths, all over the country will gather together in prayer and meditation for World Peace on our Mother Earth and a sustainable future for our children.
Read Bhikkhu Bodhi’s recent article in Lion’s Roar: ‘Let’s Stand Up Together’.
Please join us on January 20th at Aloka Vihara for a World Peace Vigil on Inauguration Day!
2 – 5 pm: Silent Meditation in our shrine room (sitting & walking)
5 – 7 pm: Tea in silence, rest & more meditation
7 – 9 pm: Evening Puja with chanting & meditation followed by a reading
You can come for the entire time, an hour or just a short while.
Inauguration Meditation & Prayer at Sacramento Dharma Center on January 20, more info.
Ayya Canda will join us for the first half of the retreat and Ayya Yeshe for the second half. We have a small but wonderful team of women supporting the retreat and benefiting from the deep silence too – Becky and Shannon will be with us through the whole three months, helping to take care of weekly shopping, cooking and other chores. There will be no overnight accommodation for guest over this time.
If you would like to stay connected through the retreat, here are ways you can:
- Join us for Lunar Observance Evening Pujas for chanting, meditation & Dhamma, 7:00pm ~ stay as long as you wish or until midnight:
February 3, 10 (Magha Puja ~ Sangha Day), 18 & 25
March 4, 12, 20 & 27
- Offering meal dana is a lovely way to support the sisters’ practice during their time on Winter Retreat. If you would like to offer a meal, please write to Becky or Shannon at <firstname.lastname@example.org> or call 530 647 8262. You could dedicate your offering, there may be a person you want to remember or honor, or an event to celebrate or commemorate (birth, death, marriage, graduation, etc).
- Offering items from our danalist.
Please note that the nuns will be keeping Noble Silence during the retreat. If you have any questions, please contact Becky or Shannon at <email@example.com>.
We are sharing the blessings of the special time with all of you!
Almgiving Ceremony 2015
Julie DeHart & Susan Ford are “offering the cloth” and their services to organize the 2017 Kathina. Please save the date for the Kathina Ceremony to support Aloka Vihara, which is scheduled for Sunday, Ocotber 22, 2017 at the vihara in Placerville. You can expect more detailed information in the Spring. Looking forward to working with and seeing all of you in the Fall!
There will be more information about this event at www.friendsofalokavihara.org soon.
Spirit Rock has just publicized their ‘Statement of Values’ as a Spiritual Sanctuary and Refuge. We fully stand behind this and are happy to be connected with Spirit Rock, as we share these very same core values, so important to us.
“As long as a society holds regular and frequent assemblies, meeting in harmony and mutual respect, can they be expected to prosper and not decline. As long as a society follows the long held traditions of wisdom, and honors its elders, can they be expected to prosper and not decline. As long as a society protects the vulnerable among them, can they be expected to prosper and not decline. As long as a society cares for the shrines and sacred places of the natural world, can they be expected to prosper and not decline.” —Mahaparinirvana Sutta (a text of Buddha’s last teachings)
Amidst the political and social challenges of our times and in light of our commitment to liberation, Spirit Rock declares itself to be a spiritual sanctuary and a refuge for all. We will honor and protect those who come here seeking the teachings of liberation.
We are stewards of the Dharma; we build bridges, not walls. A climate of divisiveness and fear cannot alter our innate human goodness, and it will never change our values as an organization.
Spirit Rock proclaims our continued commitment to the Buddha’s teachings of wisdom, compassion in action, interdependence and loving-kindness, excluding none.
We reaffirm these teachings: “Hatred never ceases by hatred but by love alone is healed. This is the ancient and eternal law.”
We reaffirm these 2,600 year-old Buddhist values in the face of cultures of violence and harm that threaten life on this planet and that differentially impact oppressed, exploited and marginalized people, people of color, immigrants and refugees, poor people, women, Indigenous and LGBTQI peoples.
We denounce racism, misogyny, xenophobia, trans- and homophobia and all forms of oppression and the valuation of certain lives over others. We value and celebrate diversity, inclusivity and respect for all beings and the inherent dignity of all peoples.
The Buddhist Path teaches that meditation and inner freedom must develop together with a foundation of generosity, ethical behavior and loving-kindness.
We affirm that human happiness requires intentions that are free from greed, hatred and cruelty; speech that is true and helpful, not harsh, not vain, slanderous nor abusive; and actions that are free from causing harm, killing, stealing and sexual exploitation.
We affirm the interdependent nature of reality. When one being suffers, we all suffer. Thus, our own well-being and liberation is bound in the well-being and liberation of others. The only basis for Dharma life is virtue, respect and mutual care.
Knowing this truth, we will resist the destructive forces of hatred, discrimination and recklessness and offer the powerful alternatives of fierce love and compassion.
With the Earth as a witness, the Buddha proclaimed his right to liberation and taught that all beings have the right to liberation, to be free from the oppressive forces of greed, hate and ignorance.
With the Earth as our witness, we offer a sanctuary for all to awaken together.
Spirit Rock will continue to be a light in our society, to respond to constantly changing conditions, and to offer practices, teachings, and refuge that nurture the internal life in support of external service. We practice not for ourselves but for the welfare, happiness and safety of all life everywhere.
May all beings be free, and may our actions contribute wholeheartedly to that freedom.
Founding Board President of the Saranaloka Foundation, Jill Boone, is visiting again after a couple of years, since moving to Seattle. It’s wonderful to have Jill with us and enjoy the fruits of our work together. Here we are holding the awards from Taiwan and Jill is wearing a honorary sash given during the award ceremony.
Thank you Jill, for all your support and generosity since we met first in 2008!