Monday 17 December 2018

This week @ Beaches - Celebration

Hi all.

This week @ Beaches Sangha, we are having a celebration for two reasons. First, to mark the end of our 2018 Sangha year. And secondly, to mark the end of the weekly meeting format as we've known it for the last 10 years.

Last week, those of us who felt moved to ensure the Sangha continued, met and discussed some ideas. We decided that Beaches Sangha will become a monthly dharma study group, meeting on the last Thursday of each month from January to November. Initially we'll work through the second half of the book we are currently studying: The Basic Teachings of the Buddha by Glenn Wallis. I'll continue to lead these sessions.

At the start of next year, those of us who plan on participating regularly will be contributing $130 to cover our attendance for the full year. This way the Sangha's viablility (cost-wise) is assured and not dependent on fluctuating numbers of attendees. If you'd like to participate on a casual basis that's still fine too. The cost for ad hoc attendance will be $15 + dana. 

This is a significant change to the shape of our Sangha. Some sadness arises for me, knowing that I won't have my weekly re-set of a few hours with my dharma friends. But I personally have some other dharma projects that I want to bring to life and part of that for me, is letting go of the weekly responsibility for Sangha. I'll keep you posted about those projects, and I'd love you to be a part of them. 

I'm also deeply glad that Sangha is continuing in some form, and that form will deepen our knowledge and practice of the dharma.

Thank you for your contribution to Beaches Sangha over the last decade - for attending and engaging with the material and our discussions, for sharing your experiences and your friendship. And a special and very heart-felt thank you to those who have been, at any time, a SOGgie (Sangha Organising Group). Your generosity of time and care has been so valuable. The group would not have lasted this long without you. Thank you so much!!! 

If you've ever been a member of Beaches Sangha - whether that's as a regular, a semi-regular, a once-was-regular, or a casual member, we'd love to see you this week to celebrate the 10 years of spiritual friendship and learning that we've had together. Bring along some food to share, something to drink, and a plate or bowl to eat from. We'll have a 15 minute meditation, then spend the rest of the evening sharing food, each other's company, and celebrating the group that has been a very positive part of many of our lives.

One last time...I hope you can make it.

P.S. If you were unable to attend the meeting but would like to join in with the regular dharma study group, please let me know either in person this week, or by using the Contact Form on the right of the home page of the web site. 

Monday 10 December 2018

This week - important Sangha meeting

Five years ago we celebrated Beaches Sangha's 5th birthday. We got creative and painted rocks from the Peace Park to symbolise what Sangha meant to us. It was marvellous that our group had continued to arise for five whole years, given there is nothing locking people in to coming, not even obligation, just the desire to be part of the group and to learn and practice the dharma. 

Sangha has now arisen every year for 10 years - dependent on the help and care of many. Personally, it's been my "re-set button", a source of great learning, friendship, grounding and connection. I cherish the very real conversations and explorations we have together about this human experience. 

We now need to decide what happens next. I'm ready to relinquish the role of central organiser, so as a group we will determine the next chapter. Maybe someone will be happy to take on that role? Or maybe we'll transform into a once-a-month sutta study group? Or someone might have other ideas? Or maybe the necessary conditions won't be present for Sangha to continue at all. We will find out this week.

If you'd like our sangha to continue in any way, it's really important that you come along this Thursday and be a part of the discussion. Your interest and energy are among the conditions needed for sangha to continue.

Whatever the outcome, Thursday next week will then be our last meeting for 2018, and our tradition is to have a short meditation and an end-of-year celebration where we bring some food and drink to share.

I hope to see you on Thursday.

Monday 3 December 2018

This week @ Beaches - last sutta study for the year

Hi all.

This week at Beaches Sangha we have our last sutta study session for the year, which marks the half way point in the book. It's another short one, and another one looking at our constructed self - this time as a burden that we can put down. I hope you can make it.

Also, a reminder that next week is a very important meeting for Beaches Sangha where we'll decide if and how our sangha continues to arise in 2019. If you value Beaches Sangha, please make sure you come along and be part of the discussion.

See you Thursday.