Emory Buddhist Club Online Guided Meditation on Loving-Kindness — Thursday 4/9, 6pm

Thursday, April 9th at 6pm: Guided Meditation and TalkVia Zoom (use link: https://emory.zoom.us/j/515025945 )Led by Nun Đong Huệ
This week, Emory Buddhist Club welcomes back Venerable Đong Huệ who teaches and lives at the Kim Cang Monastery just outside Atlanta, GA. During our meeting tomorrow, she plans to lead a Metta (loving-kindness) meditation, followed by a Q&A session with her teacher, The Most Venerable Thich Hanh Dat, abbot of Kim Cang Monastery. Nun Đong Huệ will be translating for Venerable Thich Hanh Dat, who will speak in Vietnamese.  If time allows, she will also hold a Dharma talk after the meditation.

The EBC is a student-led effort. Our primary mission is to provide a free, weekly opportunity for anyone with any interest in Buddhism or meditation to meet, practice, and learn with qualified Buddhist teachers from the Atlanta area. Our meetings are always free and open to the public. We welcome anyone, regardless of meditation experience or point of view.

Free course on compassion.

https://www.buddhistinquiry.org/online-programs/compassion-and-awareness

Dear Sangha friends,

Please join us for this freely offered seven week online program with Lama John Makransky being offered though Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (BCBS) and the Foundation for Active Compassion (FAC).  

This course will teach you how to establish a core of inner safety, compassion and awareness that you can return to as needed for replenishment and empowerment in this time of fear, anxiety, and unease. 

During the seven-week program participants will meet on Thursday evenings from 7:30-8:30 PM EDT for a video lecture and guided meditation with John on Zoom, and a live Q&A session will be held on Friday evenings from 7:30-8:30 PM EDT.  The first session is Thursday, April 9, and the last is Friday, May 22. We hope you will join for the entire program but you may register at any time as previous talks will be recorded and posted on the website.

In recognition of the crisis we are in and the difficulty some people will have in paying for this urgently needed program, it is offered freely by Lama John, BCBS, and FAC. Our hope is that those who are able will make a significant tax-deductible donation to the support of the missions of the two organizations, who will share all donations equally.

PS: Instructions for joining the course via Zoom will be sent soon after you register.Learn more and Register hereDonate to Support this Offering

Barre Center for Buddhist Studies
149 Lockwood Road
Barre, MA 01005
978-355-2347
contact [at] buddhistinquiry [dot] org

Taming the Elephant Mind

John Kang’s post reminded me of the wonderful Tibetan tradition of paining the nine stages of calm abiding (śamatha) meditation in terms of the training of an elephant. The monkey, distraction, is present, too.

Traditional Tibetan depiction of mind-training. The mind is the elephant, which turns from black to white as the mind’s karma is purified. The monkey is distraction, which leads the mind at first. The monk is the individual, chasing after the mind until eventually he tames the mind and is able to ride the elephant, eventually realizing emptiness and ascending into the sky!

Lady Dooley

Those of you who were in our class meeting on Thursday had a wonderful surprise! Lady Claire Dooley visited us and stumped your professors with a tough question about the year that Emory’s student radio station, WMRE, was founded (it was 1989, not 1965!). Lady Dooley sat serenely stroking her tiger while her guard recited her poem:

Presidents may come, presidents may go. Professors may come, professors may go. Students may come, students may go. But Dooley lives on forevers!

Of course, it’s an ancient Buddhist practice to imagine everyone as a skeleton, thus reminding ourselves of impermanence and the preciousness of every moment! Lady Dooley was a good reminder that we should live each day as if it were our last… who knows how much more time we may have before we, too, become a real skeleton?

CBCT Compassion Training online

Emory University is the site for the development of CBCT, Cognitive Based Compassion Training. During the coronavirus pandemic, the CBCT team is offering free online instruction in compassion training. This training grows out of a Tibetan tradition known as “mind-training,” which itself looks back strongly to Śāntideva’s Bodhicaryāvatāra. I strongly encourage you to check it out. Here is the link. The message is also pasted below.

CBCT® Response to COVID-19

Feeling stressed, anxious or disconnected in the face of the uncertainty brought about by the novel corona virus is both incredibly common and completely understandable. This invisible adversary is challenging us to think simultaneously about self-care and the greater good while our routines are being upended. The only way we can confront the problem and slow the transmission of COVID-19, however, is by practicing kindness toward self and others. Through a recognition of our common humanity and our deep interconnectedness to all people, we can summon the courage to not give into despair over the things we cannot control, while focusing on what we can do.

Humans have remarkable resiliency and a tendency in times of great difficulty to respond with cooperation, compassion and generosity.  Whether assisting those in need through medical treatment, material assistance, or simply a comforting word or thoughtful gesture, we can all make a positive contribution—and by doing so, increase our own sense of connection and wellbeing.

Although we’ve had to suspend all live CBCT® classes for the time being, we wanted to create a place where we can meet together in community to remind ourselves that “social distancing” is about creating physical space, not about disconnecting from the family, friends and communities that help us feel anchored in the midst of turmoil.  We will be offering free, live, online compassion practice and fellowship sessions. All are welcome.

Beginning Sunday, March 29, we will hold these sessions twice per day:

Daily Morning Session: 9:00-9:45 am (Eastern US Time Zone)

Daily Evening Session: 7:00-7:45 pm (Eastern US Time Zone)

Accessing Live Stream:

To access the live CBCT stream, you can simply click on the follow link or copy and paste it into your internet browser:

Community CBCT®

Once entered, you will be directed to the zoom site.

If you already have the zoom application downloaded to your device, you will be given a prompt that states, “Do you want to allow this page to open ‘zoom.us’?

Please select the option “Allow” and you will be automatically connected to the live stream.

If you do not have the zoom app already and/or are not automatically connected, you will see a message that reads, “Your meeting should start in a few seconds… If Zoom does not run in a moment, Download & run Zoom. Then click here to join the meeting. If you cannot download or run the application, join from your browser.

If you would like to download the zoom app, please click “Download & run Zoom,” and you will be redirected to installation instructions.

If you want to just connect to the meditation without downloading the app, please click “Join from your browser,” and you will be redirected to the live stream.

If you want to just connect to the meditation without downloading the app, please click “join from your browser,” and you will be redirected to the live stream.

To join by telephone, please call +1 470 250 9358

If you are asked for a meeting code, please enter “276 440 184”

One professor’s approach

One of my colleagues alerted me to an article about one of her former colleagues, a professor of religion at UNC, whose social media post about how he redesigned his course in the face of the coronavirus pandemic has gone viral. You may be interested in the story, which you can find here. Or you might just like to see this image of the first page of his new syllabus (below). I’ve tried to take a similar approach but he expressed himself so much more clearly than I was able to do.