Update from Susa & Alexis, pause on ODMC weekly sit:
Alexis and Susa here. We hope this note finds each of you well, experiencing moments of resource, connection, and rest.
We’re writing to share the news that we will be pausing our weekly gatherings for the winter months. As some of you may know, we have both been eager for a period of long retreat – something we have personally talked about doing for many years. With the closing of all in-person gatherings and the global movement to virtual community, the timing feels right for us to realize this aspiration. In recent days, we have decided to extend our month-long retreat in November into the spring - most likely until the end of March.
Stepping away for this time means that we won’t be available to hold our weekly Monday night sits with Open Door. In the interest of not placing undue burden on individual practice leaders, Phoenix, or Hannah, we have decided to bring our weekly sit to a pause during this time.
Of course, this feels like an especially challenging time to make this choice given all that’s going on in the country and larger world: the pandemic, the economic and social upheaval, the ongoing climate crisis, and current political crisis. Fortunately, there is now an abundance of online Dhamma offerings available. With Hannah’s support, we will be putting some resources together with our recommendations of weekly or monthly online offerings, and sending out a newsletter soon. This includes the racial affinity groups (RAGs) that many of you are a part of. Perhaps some of you will choose to meet more regularly, or join a RAG if you aren’t in one already.
We’ll also be taking time to reflect and reassess the various forms Open Door might take when we gather again. We’ll be back in touch at the beginning of April.
This Monday, October 26th, Alexis, Susa + Phoenix will hold the sit together, before we head into retreat on November 1st. We hope to see many of you there.
With much care, love, and gratitude,
Alexis and Susa
There are so many teachers, lay people and organizations doing good work in the world to support our individual and collective awakening. Here are a few we value and can recommend with links to connect with each of them.
SAYADAW U TEJANIYA
Sayadaw U Tejaniya, Shwe Oo Min Meditation Center, Rangoon, Burma
Transcription of Meditation Retreat with Sayadaw U Tejaniya, Spirit Rock, CA 2015
Sayadaw U Tejaniya on Dharmaseed, online resource for dharma talks, guided meditation and Q&A
Tricycle Magazine: The Wise Investigator, Winter 2007
Daily Tejaniya, Sayadaw's daily email practice reminder
MEDITATION RETREAT + STUDY RESOURCES
Insight Meditation Society, Barre, MA
Insight Retreat Center, Santa Cruz, CA
Cloud Mountain, Castle Rock, WA
Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, Barre, MA
East Bay Meditation Center, Oakland, CA
True North Insight Meditation, Montreal CA
Dharmagiri.org, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa and online
Dharmaseed, online resource for freely offered Western Buddhist Vipassana Teachings
Tergar International, meditation resources grounded in the Tibetan Buddhist teachings of Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
RACE AWARENESS RESOURCES
Your Liberation is On the Line - Rev Angel Kyodo Williams, Lion's Roar Article, May 2019
Diversity + The Dharma at Insight Meditation Society , a series of video interviews with IMS teachers and staff on the importance of diversity work at IMS
Dharma Talk - "Belonging: The Racially Aware Bodhisattva" from Ruth King: https://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/539/talk/59365/
CLIMATE CRISIS RESOURCES
VIDEO: The Right to a Future: Conversation between Naomi Klein and Greta Thunberg + other youth climate activists and leaders - NYC, September 9, 2019
One Earth Sangha, Online resource that brings together Buddhist wisdom and practices with collective engagement on critical ecological crises.
ROHINGYA CRISIS IN MYANMAR
JUNE 2019 - SUPPORTING ASYLUM SEEKERS IN PORTLAND
June 16, 2019: Update 6/22: In response to the influx of nearly 300 asylum seekers to Portland in recent days, the Portland Expo has become a temporary shelter to provide food, medical care and resources. These recent asylum seekers started their journey many months ago from several African countries (mostly from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola) and have journeyed through South America, entering through the Southern US Border in San Antonio, TX.
For updated information:
TO DONATE to the Portland Community Support Fund visit: https://www.portlandmaine.gov/1554/Support-Asylum-Seekers or text the word EXPO to 91999. The City will use any monetary donations received to provide shelter/housing assistance and basic human necessities.
To support Rohingya refugees and speak out against violence:
To learn more about the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar:
Sign this letter to the Myanmar State Sangha and government officials, urging them to condemn the violence and support the refugees.
Spread the word. Share this information with friends and sangha; share on social media and email.