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Sakyadhita Newsletter28                     
Full Moon January, 2014
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 2014 

Celebrate the beginning of 2014 and support Sakyadhita Canada. Find out about Buddhist women (and men) in Canada. What are their traditions, forms of practice, needs and concerns.

 

Offering & Sharing 
We invite those who share the goals and objectives of Sakyadhita Canada to join as members. To our members, it is time to renew your membership. Please support us and receive the lunar net letter  CLICK HERE or, if you prefer by regular mail download the membership/dana form.
 Please share with your friends and anyone interested.

Your support and participation are important to all of us!
By being together, we create a network of sisterhood, and a means of support to help us work towards our goals.

Generosity and kindness help to nurture and encourage Dhamma (the teachings of the Buddha) in our day-to-day lives.

Sakyadhita Canada always welcomes and appreciates your ideas, suggestions and talents - we would be happy to hear from you!
Please contact: info@sakyadhitacanada.org

We gladly share the goodness of our time and energy, and hope it brings blessings to everyone.

Thank you for your support of Sakyadhita Canada!
 
 
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                    Welcome to 2014

  Wishing you happiness and contentment

 
 
 

       " UNEXPECTED JOY "

                 by Julie Price

The Kalimpong Dental Project was the result of a casual conversation with an inspiring dentist Dr. Anna Wang, and a nurse colleague Donna Cannon, one afternoon on Vancouver Island, B.C.

Dr. Wang has participated in many humanitarian efforts. The Team included Sue Browne and Robin Garland as instrument sterilizers, Mahmud Motani as interpreter, and myself.

Our intention was to serve impoverished children with basic dental care, and the choice to go to India was due to circumstantial serendipity.

Being an SC member has given me a wonderful window into the lives of Buddhist women all over the world and I love the idea of connecting us through our stories and experiences. Kalimpong, nestled between Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan has strong Tibetan Buddhist roots.

I did not meet any Buddhist nuns there, although I did observe Buddhist women quietly working behind the scenes nurturing their families, maintaining the household prayer room and connecting daily to their communities.

   FULL ARTICLE WITH PICTURES                  

    

Owner of My Actions

I am the owner of my actions, heir of my actions, actions are the womb from which I have sprung, actions are my relations; actions are my protection. Whatever actions I do, skilful or unskilful, of these I shall become the heir. An V:57

January is the month that many of us resolve to spend more time acting in ways that we believe will improve our lives. Sometimes we succeed in doing so. Often we don't. When we don't it isn't because we are bad or because we are weak, it is because we have developed habits, and the energy behind those habits can be very strong. When we succeed it is because our resolve to do so is stronger than the habit. There is a deep level to this process; the strength of our conviction --- how deeply we believe that we will be able to succeed and how much we believe it is worth the effort to do so.   This is as true when we set out to follow the Buddha's path to the Deathless as it is when we make, or break, New Year's resolutions.

The Noble Eight Fold Path can be arduous. To follow it we must have strong resolve. To have strong resolve we must believe that it is a valid Path and that it is worth the effort required. We must be convinced that Siddhattha Gotama was a man who saw the nature of all things and as a result completely lost desire to partake in the continuing cycle of birth and rebirth; And, that by doing so he woke up, totally and completely, becoming The Buddha. We must also believe that when he said the Path, when followed, will lead us to the same state of awakening that he experienced is true. We must have faith that this is so.

The Faith that we develop must not be blind. It must be based on understanding --- Right Understanding; the understanding that when greed, hatred, and delusion rise in a person's mind the result is harmful. This understanding is the starting place for building faith in the Buddha's teaching, since the Path, at its most basic level, is nothing more than a set of practices that lead to harmlessness --- to the complete eradication of greed, hatred and delusion. This understanding, coupled with a strong desire to end the suffering inherent in harmfulness, and a deep conviction that the Buddha was a teacher who was honest and strait in his dealings with his disciples, will lead us gradually toward the enlightened state.

The best thing about this process is that we already have all of the qualities needed to assure success. For example, when we are watching or doing something that interests us, we are using our ability to concentrate/focus; when we get up in the morning, even though we would prefer to sleep more, we are using our intention and determination; if we cut a finger and feel pain, we are using awareness and observation. All of these qualities are present naturally. Although each of us have strengthened some and weakened others, we have them at our disposal. Faith, Energy, Mindfulness, Concentration/focus, and Wisdom are called the Five Higher Powers and each of us possess these qualities to some degree. When following the Buddha's teaching we use these qualities, along with others that we possess, to gradually lead us to clearer and clearer states of mind. As our minds clear, we become open to profound insight into the nature of reality. As we proceed along the path and experience the clarity of mind that comes with practice, a little bit of faith can become strong conviction and determination. We, too, can arrive at the destination; at the Deathless.

Sārani