Taking Refuge in the Sangha: Inauguration Week Retreats
By Trish Magyari | Dec 19 2016
In times of transition, change, and uncertainty it is more important than ever to come together and take refuge in the sangha (community), to feel the real possibility that the sangha itself can be a manifestation of Love. As a teacher, I have heard time and time again that “it is so much easier to practice in a group”. When we practice together, each of us practices individually for ourselves, and also, each of us supports each other and the sangha, through our efforts and our intentions. When the sangha collectively aligns with a lovingkindness, it can lift up us all.
The next Buddha will be Maitreya, the Buddha of love... and may take the form of a community ... practicing understanding and loving kindness.
~ Thich Nhat Hahn quoting the Buddha in “The Next Buddha May Be A Sangha”, 1994
The Buddha reminds us to start with our own healing, to nourish our own hearts through lovingkindnes so that what we give to others and the world comes from a place of wholeness and not from a sense of obligation or resentment. At times, this may feel too overwhelming to do on our own. Leaning-in to the support of the sangha can be a compassionate first step, allowing us to gather the strength needed to offer ourselves this nourishment.
Three upcoming day-long and half-day retreats during Inauguration week are designed specifically to help us to be with ourselves in a kind and friendly way, just as we are. They offer opportunity to draw support from the practices, from time in the beauty of nature, and especially from the gathered sangha--to come back into balance, to re-kindle an inner kindness, and to discern our way forward into Right Action. All retreats are open to the larger community and everyone is welcome.
On Saturday, January 14, Shell Fischer is leading a day-long, Finding Peace in the Chaos, from 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. in Stephens City, VA.
On Friday, January 20th, Trish Magyari and Trisha Stotler are leading an Interfaith Daylong on Inauguration Day, “Holding Fast to Love: Practices to Deepen Kindness, Courage and Community” at River Road Unitarian Church from 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
On Sunday, January 22nd, Trish Magyari is leading a half-day retreat, Coming Home to Wholeness: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Retreat for Women, from 1:30–5:30 p.m., in Baltimore, MD.
In December, Tara sent us these wishes: “My prayer is that we feel and nourish our connection with each other. May we take time to be quiet, may we take refuge in nature. May we include all beings in our heart.”
May these Inauguration week retreats, as well as the on-going weekly classes, be a support to you during the coming days. May the Buddha-Sangha awaken and offer its strength, solace, and a tender love to us all.