Sakyadhita Canada
NEWSLETTER 
   JANUARY, 2015
        DONATIONS
2015
( Memberships )

It's a new year and time to renew your membership and support for Sakyadhita Canada. 
Find out about Buddhist women (and men) in Canada: what are their traditions, forms of practice, needs and concerns. Your generosity and kindness will help to nurture and encourage Dhamma (the teachings of the Buddha) in our day-to-day lives.

Please take an active part in Sakyadhita Canada. Volunteers are needed (specifically in areas of treasurer, membership, publicity) and SC welcomes and appreciates your ideas, suggestions and talents - we would be happy to hear from you! Please contact: info@sakyadhitacanada.org Check out the website:
There are some excellent articles in the Resources section.

We share the goodness of our practice and hope it brings blessings to everyone. Thank you for your kindness & generosity. Wishing you blessings of peace and well-being, and may you have radiant joy & peace in your hearts.
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Prajna
Praj´┐Żā is often translated as "wisdom", but is closer in meaning to "insight" or "discriminating knowledge"

Back in March of 2013, I wrote an article for this newsletter titled " The challenge of making the right decision."  It was in reflection to making decisions for myself, but more so at the time for my elderly mother. In conclusion in that article, I realized that there perhaps isn't always a right or wrong decision, and that the best we can do is be as mindful as possible of our choices.

At the beginning of 2015 decisions for my mother continue. (she is now in hospice and at end of life.) And I continue 'to try' and explore, and practice as mindfully as possible.

One thing that I feel has been of tremendous help and support for me is to read the Dhamma. A book I have been recently reading is called, "The Body", Dhamma Reflections on ageing, sickness, and death, by the nuns of the Theravada Community.

It is a collection of writing by different nuns, and I wanted to share one of these stories with you. Since it wasn't printed on the internet, I could only do this by typing it out.

( and I am not a great typist!) But as I went along, I realized what a wonderful opportunity to really absorb the teachings, and to bring mindfulness to my actions.

I chose, "Why and How We Meditate" This, for me, was full of tools, and a great reminder why I choose to continue to bring meditation into my life.

May you find it helpful. And may the year ahead bring you mindfulness and peace.

Kind Regards, 

Susan Pesut

 

Why and How We Meditate 

 

 



  Welcome to a New Year, and to a new look for Sakyadita Canada's newsletter.
  You may have noticed that we have been out of circulation for the past few months. This was due to reassessing the direction we would like to go with the newsletter, and also the challenges of life taking up a considerable amount of time. 
  Due to these time constraints , we have decided to now post this newsletter every 2 months, on the full moon, instead of every month like we have done in the past. Hopefully this will feel more manageable for our contributors, and will still welcome an interest in our readers.

Thank you for your continued support,
Happy New Year,
Sakyadhita Canada

The Relationship between Virtue and Joy

 

For one who is virtuous and endowed with virtue, there is no need for an act of will: "May non-remorse rise in me!" It is natural that non-remorse will rise in a virtuous person. 

For one free of remorse, there is no need for an act of will: "May gladness rise in me!" it is natural that gladness will rise in one who is free of remorse. 

For one who is glad at heart, there is no need for an act of will: "May joy rise in me!" It is a natural law that joy will rise in one who is glad at heart.                             (An. 10:2)

 

 

Knowing the benefits that we will receive by doing so, January is a time when many of us rededicate ourselves to strengthening our practice for the New Year. When doing so, it is important to keep in mind that to follow the Buddha's path with any hope of success, it is essential that one understands the ground upon which it is laid. Virtue is the soil from which all of the higher states of consciousness spring. The practice rests on virtue for a very simple reason --- it frees the mind from remorse. This is important because remorse, guilt, locks the mind in the past where no solution to the suffering it causes can be found. Obviously the past action, the event promoting guilt, is no longer taking place. What is taking place is the emotional aspect of the past action --- the feeling within --- which by its very nature reinforces guilt, being simultaneous with it. When guilt is reinforced, the belief in guilt is reinforced, and the mind sets about seeing this reinforcement outside of itself in the world, quite literally making the world that is perceived. Virtue, on the other hand, counteracts this process. 

Virtue is understood to rest on the absents of intentional actions that cause remorse, either consciously, or as a stain on one's conscience. These actions --- killing, stealing, lying, harmful sexual behaviors, and taking drugs and alcohol for the purpose of heedlessness --- are physical manifestations of psychological motivations. They are motivated by greed, hatred or delusion, all of which have an underlying component of fear. They are neutralized by refraining from them. As the psychological impulse is not acted on, it is degraded. This degradation opens the mind to a higher state of consciousness. This state is usually defined as Wisdom; sometimes as Love, 

It can be seen that this all takes place on the psychological level - the level of the mind. As the mind clears, the impulse to "do" is reduced. When the need to "do" is reduced, being present is possible. When present, when not "doing" by dragging the past into the moment or speculating about the future, there is no place for remorse or for fear; therefore, gladness and joy are the experience that the moment has to offer. When seeing through the lens of Wisdom, we do not see the past, with its errors and fears, we see only the Love that is present!! How could joy not be present? It is only natural that it is. 

Sarāni



The picture above "JOY" was created by Yulia Brodskaya,
an artist and illustrator known for her detailed paper illustrations.
Portrait of a Buddhist Chaplain
By Donna Lynn Brown
( a member of Sakyadhita Canada)

Mandala magazine recently ran an article about chaplain Holly Hisamoto. While chaplaincy in North America has long been the preserve of religious professionals of Christian and Jewish backgrounds, increasingly diverse populations have led to the field opening up to those from other faiths. Although there are no specifically Buddhist chaplaincy training programs in Canada, there are several in the US: at Naropa University, University of the West, Maitripa College, and Upaya Zen Center, for example. Chaplaincy itself has evolved with the times, and most chaplains are now officially "interfaith". They provide pastoral care to people of all backgrounds, while remaining grounded in and supported by their own faith and practice. Buddhist Holly Hisamoto is part of this new wave of interfaith chaplains. This article profiles Holly and describes her life as a hospital chaplain in Portland, Oregon. 

The article appears in the online edition of Mandala at :   

Mandala January-March 2015   

 

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