Insight Community of Southern Maine
An unaffiliated, secular-leaning community devoted to the study & practice of core Buddhist teachings
836 Main Street ~ Westbrook, Maine 04092
The Maine Buddhist Community
From the MAINE BUDDHIST GATHERING
The Maine Buddhist Gathering is maintaining a listing of sanghas, meditations groups, and practice communities. If your group would like to be added to this on-line directory, or if your group's information needs to be updated, please respond to this posting, and changes will be made.
CLICK HERE for the link to the Maine Buddhist Gathering's website. (MBG's monthly newsletter is also available on the web-site.) If you would like your not-for-profit, dana-based, or free, dharma-related class, group, lecture, or retreat publicized in our next newsletter, please send a brief description to The Maine Buddhist Gathering Planning Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be delighted to list it for you. If you would like to be removed from this mailing list, please let us know, and you will be taken off immediately.
Together in the Dharma,
The Maine Buddhist Gathering Planning Committee
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New from Thanissara:
Time to Stand Up: An Engaged Manifesto for Our Earth. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books. 2015
From Thanissara and Kittisaro
Listening to the Heart: A Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddhism
North Atlantic Books. Berkeley, CA. 2014
North Atlantic Books
PO Box 12327
Berkeley, CA 94712
Husband and wife Kittisaro and Thanissara take turns coauthoring chapters in this deeply personal dharma book exploring the inner practice of meditation in support of awakening. Within the context of the lives of the authors, both monastics in their youth, awakening unfolds as a multifaceted process following the archetypal journey of the hero(ine). Traveling from innocence to disillusionment through the fields of trials and despair that lead to maturity, and ultimately to inspiration and a blessed life, Listening to the Heart tells the story of two unconventional individuals who have together embraced spirituality as the keystone of their lives.
At the heart of the book, through teachings on the nondual nature of reality, we enter the "intimacy with all things" as revealed in core Buddhist texts. Without ending at the goal of personal freedom, Thanissara and Kittisaro encourage us to go beyond the experience of inner peace to embodying wisdom in acts of service within the world. With a realistic appraisal of our current global crisis in which sustainability is threatened by catastrophic climate change, the authors encourage a preparedness that enables a mindful balance of equanimity and passionate engagement whatever the outcome of our global evolutionary journey.
The guiding refuge for this journey is the Buddha, the historical teacher and—most profoundly—that immediate and direct pure awareness, which we all can access. The book also draws on teachings and stories of Buddhist masters who are fearless, funny, and challenging. Eventually we are led into the Mary-like presence of the goddess of mercy, Kuan Yin who, as a great archetype within Buddhist cosmology, reveals the deepest mystery of our own hearts and our capacity for merciful and compassionate response. As the inner process of awakening unfolds, it transforms seekers and their lives, as modeled by the authors. It both heals the personal self in its journey through its wounds and shadows, and yet at the same time dissolves identification with the self. The book then ends by returning to the simplicity of the authors' primary teacher, Ajahn Chah, with his encouragement to "Be the Dharma."
The Heart of the Bitter Almond Hedge Sutra
"This poem weaves together contrasting themes; that of our deepest heart, which feels the intimacy of all things, and the walls the mind constructs, which separates all things. This paradox is contextualized by the Heart Sutra with its revelation of a seamless world, and the Bitter Almond Hedge, planted around Cape Town by early European Settlers in their attempt to keep Africa out. As the hedge became internalized, eventually birthing Apartheid, it inflicted a devastating wound against human sensitivity, empathy and justice.
This denial of our profound interconnectedness is now moving to its horrific conclusion in the Global Apartheid of a macro Petro-Empire which rages against the Earth and her magnificent and bounteous species. Throughout the poem we hear the haunting voice of the 1st Nation San as their decimated spirits roam landscapes, left lonely, without the great herds of wildlife. As we glimpse the majestic beauty of these ancient lands, we are encouraged to reclaim our wounded souls and hearts.
We are also implored to resist the march of ecocide, before it is too late. While this poem reaches back into the mists of time, it also offers vision and hope for our perilous age. Ultimately, it is a rallying call for a revolution that places Heart and Earth foremost, and central, so a more conscious world can be fully birthed."
You can also order a copy from email@example.com to be sent to you from within SA (please allow a few weeks for printing and posting).
An essay about our unfolding environmental crisis: