:30 to 8:00 --- Potluck Dinner
8:00 to 10:00 --- Stan will do a presentation on the subject of "Indra's Net" (He plans on making it interactive).
10:00 to Whenever --- Social time
Padma will ask "spiritual singles meetup" folks to introduce themselves and create an opportunity to socialize.
The dialog for the evening will center around the beautiful metaphor from the Avataṃsaka Sūtra (English: Flower Adornment Sutra) of ‘Indra’s Net’ and how it portrays in words our shared state of interconnectivity (a.k.a. not 2-ness) and why once this fundamental state of being is perceived; objectless compassion (that being compassion for compassion’s sake only), fosters effortlessly.
To whet your appetite, from Thomas Cleary’s 1984 translation of the Flower Adornment Sutra:
The Buddha, without leaving the foot of the Bodhi Tree ascended Mount Meru and headed for the palace of Indra. Then Indra while in front of the Hall of Surpassing Wonder, seeing the Buddha coming from afar, adorned this place by means of his supernatural power. He put in it a lions throne of banks of radiant lights, all made of exquisite jewels, with ten thousand levels of dazzling ornaments and ten thousand nets of gold covering it …
Per Francis Cook from his 1977 work titled, The Jewel net of Indra:
Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung in such a manner that it stretches out infinitely in all directions. In each eye of the net is a single glittering jewel, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number - a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of the jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that there is an infinite reflecting process occurring - symbolizing a cosmos in which there is an infinitely repeated interrelationship among all members of the cosmos. This relationship is said to be one of simultaneous mutual identity and mutual causality.
Further, Ram Dass per ‘Compassion in Action’ (1992):
Compassion begins with ourselves. When we are kind and caring toward ourselves, we are nurturing our spiritual growth and our compassion for others [naturally follows]. Gandhi whose life was committed to relief of suffering for others, understood this, he said: “I believe in the essential unity of all people and of all lives. Therefore, I believe that if one person gains spiritually, the whole world gains, and if one person falls, the whole world falls to that extent.” What we have to give is who we are; when we are kind and forgiving to ourselves, we are more relaxed and happy and better able to be loving toward others.