Last week I learned that my friend, Buddhist peace-worker Paula Green, has died. I find these words of hers so relevant these days: “Our survival depends on a significant portion of the human race accomplishing a change in worldview, from one of patriotic and tribal loyalties to loyalty to life itself.”
The registration deadline for the Branching Streams Conference is March 15, next Tuesday! Please register! The conference, hosted by Austin Zen Center at Ancient Yoga Center in the Texas Hill Country, begins on April 25 and ends April 28. The theme is Healing Relationships. We are looking forward to a very interactive conference and to the joy of being together again after two years of the Covid pandemic. Here is the link for more information and the registration form.
Teresa Bouza, from Kannon Do Zen Center, is producing a video for the conference. She invites sangha members to share personal stories about practicing during the pandemic. “We would like to know how you kept practice alive and in what ways practice was supportive during this challenging time. We invite you to record a short video or audio clip with your cellphone and share it with me ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) by March 21st. You can share your videos via Google Drive, Dropbox, or another method. If you send audio, please also share some pictures to illustrate what you are saying. You can tell us stories about sitting at home and how that felt, your altars, your virtual sanghas… anything that sustained you during the pandemic.”
In response to the invasion of Ukraine, members of Zen Centers inChapel Hill North Carolina, San Juan Puerto Rico, and Vancouver, B.C. joined the European Buddhist Union’s online meditation for peace in Ukraine last Friday.
Brattleboro Zen Center in Vermont held a special ceremony, chanting the Loving-Kindness Meditation and “directing our hearts, minds, and the positive energy generated in our practice to the people of Ukraine and to victims of war around the world “
Two Streams Zen in Western Massachusetts will chant and sit for peace, love, and compassion for six Saturdays, starting on March 12 and ending on the pink full moon on April 16, 6 to 7 a.m. Pacific, 9 to 10 a.m. Eastern, and 2 to 3 p.m. Western European. Here is the Zoom link.
Richmond (Virginia) Zen Center’s Newsletter says: “We don’t know what will happen in Ukraine, but we do know there are ways to support life and reduce suffering going on there right now:
Nova Ukraine, Razom for Ukraine, World Central Kitchen, and Global Giving.
The Mountain Rain Zen Community, Vancouver, B.C. newsletter quotes H. H. Dalai Lama who calls us to “develop a sense of universal responsibility–of the universal dimension of our every act and of the equal right of all others to happiness and not to suffer, to develop an attitude of mind whereby, when we see an opportunity to benefit others, we will take it in preference to merely looking after our own narrow interests.”
Kate McCandless and Michael Newton add: “The cumulative power of many small efforts is greater than we realize, when we align of our hearts towards peace.”
Thank you for the many ways in which you and your sanghas are aligning your hearts toward peace.