Napa Valley Insight Meditation Message Board › Arinna: Bearing Witness
Just a quick reminders of two events happening this week.
First, Arinna Weisman will be appearing at the Sangha tomorrow at 7:00. She will be lead the mediation and give a talk she has entitled, “Being Witness to Ourselves and the World.” The focus here is on the power of the Sangha (community) in our practice, and how coming together as a community to bear witness to our sorrows and kindness can foster the conditions for transformation and love.
Arinna is struggling with a lung ailment and has made this a focal part of her teachings to help us come together around our own fears. As she writes, “I heard Pema Chodron quote her teacher Chogyam Trungpa that we often come to a spiritual practice to get a better 'now'. As I find myself living with lungs that have difficulty taking in oxygen, I am humbled by how often, almost every waking moment, my mind has slipped into strategizing a better 'now'. Of course I want lungs that can breathe, and it is learning again and again that the strategizing pulls me away from caring, love and presence - the energies that heal.”
“Sitting wrapped in my white comforter for -25 degree temperatures yesterday morning, I saw fear living inside of me and my mind was able to open to it, allow it and I felt myself dropping into myself, oh, the deep pleasure of opening. Of course it would have been fantastic if openings had happened all the time and yet in not opening I was brought to my knees and that is a different sort of opening. This is what I think Chogyam Trungpa was saying. It seems we learn this surrender from all sorts of angles, in all sorts of situations and that each learning is a drop of blessing, of nourishment in living with the now we are given.”
Second, tonight (Monday June 16), our friends at the Zen Buddhist group that meets at the Springs, 3460 Villa Lane, Napa, at 7 p.m. will host a Dharma Talk by Reirin Gumbel of Green Gulch Farm entitled, "How do the Precepts Work in Our Life?." If you have been interested in learning more about Zen, I’m sure you’ll find tonight’s presentation highly informative.
Bio: Reirin Gumbel has been a resident at San Francisco Zen Center since 2003, was ordained as a Soto Zen priest in 2007, and was Head Monk in 2012. She has held several senior staff positions at Green Gulch Farm. She has been serving on the Board of the Marin Interfaith Council since Spring of 2013. She has a special interest in youth and family programs. Prior to her residency at Green Gulch she owned a fiber arts business. She holds a degree from Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz in Germany, was a high school teacher for Music and English, and completed the Waldorf teacher training at Emerson College in England.