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While we are only in the opening days of our Administrative Coordinator Fund Drive, join us in thanking our early donors who have brought us closer to our goal!

As the sangha grows, we are looking to hire a part time volunteer and administrative coordinator to help free Doug up from some of his administrative burdens so he can put more time into teaching, mentoring, and writing. If you are interested, let us know.

See this 
newsletter edition to learn more.
To pledge, visit this link

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Body Politic
      These days I find news from the body politic disturbing. One solution is to cancel the newspaper subscription and turn off the radio, TV, and internet. Sometimes I wish I could. But my concern for our shared well-being draws me back to the news. I suspect the middle way is neither abstinence nor indulgence. As I listen and reflect on the latest developments, it requires paying attention to the quality of my mind-heart rather than just getting lost in the story line of who just did what.

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      To put this in a larger context, let me step back and share some of the research of a non-Buddhist philosopher and psychotherapist named Eugene Gendlin.

      By the mid-twentieth century, there were three branches of psychotherapy: psychoanalysis, behaviorism, and humanist psychology. Within each branch were many distinct schools. Collectively these therapies included: Freudian, Jungian, Neo-Freudian, Reichian, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, hierarchy of needs, client-centered, gestalt, and existential, to name just a few.

      Eugene Gendlin looked at this proliferation and asked, “Which therapy gets better results?” After years of careful research he found that theoretical orientation made little difference. In all the schools, some clients did well, others not so well.

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So he honed in on the common elements of those who flourished. He found that if there was something in the therapist-client interaction that helped clients feel their own experience more deeply and intimately, they did well. If not, they didn’t do so well.

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      Today in Buddhism we have an analogous situation. There are three main branches: Theravada, Mahayana, and Tibetan. Within these branches are many schools. In all branches and schools there are those who do well and those who don’t do so well.
      I suspect that if there is something in how we engage meditation that helps us sense more deeply and intimately our own experience, we do well. If not, then our practice goes flat. For example if we have strong ideas of what we are supposed to experience in meditation and look for validation, we won’t go very far. Nobody exactly fits any mold. However, if we are curious and open to being surprised or perplexed, we are more likely to go further regardless of the flavor of meditation we use. After all, the Buddha’s dying instructions were “Be a lamp unto yourself.” He encouraged us to trust our own deepest experience first and foremost.
      Now, back to the Fall political season. If part of our way of being in the world is to attend to political forces, how we attend to those forces is as important as what’s going on out there. If we engage in ways that allow us to deeply and directly experience what’s going on inside us, we’ll do well regardless of the political weather. But if we can’t maintain an open mind and heart, we’ll be vulnerable to emotional shut downs or blow ups. We all have limits. So it’s also important to recognize those. As we approach our limits, it’s a good time to meditate, go for a walk in the woods, take a nap, play with the children, or otherwise find ways to soothe and ground. We don’t have to turn off the news forever — just long enough to gain a little equilibrium.

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      As the hurricane season and the mid-term elections barrel down upon us, it’s more important than ever to view our inner states with fierce honesty and open heartedness. Taking care of ourselves is a part of taking care of the world. And taking care of the world is a part of taking care of ourselves.
      Mettā,

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“Be kind to yourself. You are the truth unfolding”
                                                        — Joseph Goldstein
Easing Awake Events

Updated information can be found on the Easing Awake saṅgha web site and Doug’s web site.

Saṅgha Gatherings, Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30
Our regular Tuesday saṅgha gatherings are open to anyone practicing or wishing to practice using our Buddhist Easing Awake style of meditation. From September through June we have various programs after the 45 minute sitting to illuminate monthly dhamma themes. For more information click here. You can find program notes for specific meetings here. Please join us. 

Third Sunday peer-led retreats
A sister saṅgha in Yolo county is offering self-guided daylong retreats once a month. Most of the people have trained with me or Bhante Vimalaraṁsi. So the style of meditation is familiar. They don’t offer talks or instruction — just time to practice together. Here's where you can get information or sign up.

Spiritual Journey Group
Second Saturdays 8:30 to noon
We meditate for an hour, then explore other ways to deepen our practice, deepen our spiritual lives, and deepen our connections with each other. Note that we don’t meet during July and August. For information and sign-up, click here.

Meditation Class
Monday Evenings, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
This is up and going and will run though mid-November.

Walk in Nature & Meditation
Fourth Saturdays, September through June, 9:00 to 11:00
Meet Lance Ryen in the Effie Yeaw Nature Center parking lot at Ancil Hoffman Park, Carmichael at 9 AM, rain or shine, for a mindful walk on the nature trails and a 45 – 60 minute sitting in the park.  Bring your own chair for the sitting, or Lance will have some extras. For more information, send an email to Lance.

Daylong Retreat
September 29, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Roseville Sitting Group, 214 Judah Street, Roseville
A day of sitting and walking meditation for new and experienced meditators. For information and sign-up click here.

Weekend Non-Residential Retreat
October 19-21
This retreat runs from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon with meditators going home each evening. Home hospitality is offered for those coming from out of town. For information and sign-up, click here.

Daylong Retreat
December 1
More details to come.

Annual Nine-Day Retreat
June 23 to July 2, 2019
Information and sign-up for our annual June retreat at St. Francis Retreat Center in San Juan Bautista, click here.

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