Virtual Sit-and-Share Topic 27-01-2020

Fifth Precept Fellowship - Meditation and Mindfulness for Recovery from alcohol drugs and other addictions and compulsions - Sit and Share Meeting 27-01-2020

“If we are mindful, we will know whether we are ‘ingesting’ the toxins of fear, hatred, and violence, or eating foods that encourage understanding, compassion, and the determination to help others. With the practice of mindfulness, we will know that hearing this, looking at that, or touching this, we feel light and peaceful, while hearing that, looking at this, or touching that, we feel anxious, sad, or depressed. As a result, we will know what to be in contact with and what to avoid. Our skin protects us from bacteria. Antibodies protect us from internal invaders. We have to use the equivalent aspects of our consciousness to protect us from unwholesome sense objects that can poison us.”

The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching Book by Thich Nhat Hanh *

The following paragraph strikingly extends the meaning of the topic…

“The Buddha offered this drastic image: ‘There is a cow with such a terrible skin disease that her skin is almost no longer there. When you bring her close to an ancient wall or old tree, all the living creatures in the bark of the tree come out, cling to the cow’s body, and suck. When we bring her into the water, the same things happens. Even when she is just exposed to the air, tiny insects come and suck.’ Then, the Buddha said, ‘This is our situation, also.”

This is Monday’s topic for contemplation, reflection and sharing at the online virtual ‘Sit-and-Share’ meditation meeting via Skype from 7:45 pm ready for a prompt start at 8 pm (UK time).

All welcome.

This week’s topic was chosen by Jessica, who will be our ‘Sit-and-Share’ host on Monday.

Please read ‘How to attend a Virtual Sit-and-Share meeting’ –

Closing dedication of Merit:

We dedicate the merits of this practice to all suffering beings.
May everyone be free of suffering, and the causes of suffering.
May everyone enjoy happiness, and the causes of happiness.
Keep sitting; and keep smiling.

Virtual Sit-and-Share Topic 20-01-2020

Fifth Precept Fellowship - Meditation and Mindfulness for Recovery from alcohol drugs and other addictions and compulsions - Sit and Share Meeting 20-01-2020

“When peacocks roam through the jungle of virulent poison,
though the gardens of medicinal plants may be attractive,
the peacock flocks will not indulge in them;
for peacocks thrive on the essence of virulent poison”

“Likewise, when the heroic bodhisattvas enter the jungle of cyclic existence,
though the gardens of happiness and prosperity may seem beautiful,
the heroes will not become attached to them;
for heroes thrive in the forest of suffering.”

~ The Wheel of Sharp Weapons verses #1 and #2 by Dharmaraksita ~ taken from Essential Mind Training, Translated & Introduced by Thupten Jinpa (Tibetan Classics)

First alternative translation –

When the peacocks roam the jungle of virulent poison,
The flocks take no delight in gardens of medicinal plants,
no matter how beautiful they may be,
for peacocks thrive on the essence of virulent poison.”

“Similarly, when the heroes roam the jungle of cyclic existence,
They do not become attached to the garden of happiness and prosperity,
No matter how beautiful it may be, for heroes thrive in the jungle of suffering.”

http://www.tenzinzopa.com/Ebooks/mirror%20to%20your%20life.pdf

Second alternative translation –

“In jungles of poisonous plants strut the peacocks,
though medicine gardens of beauty lie near.
The masses of peacocks don’t find gardens pleasant,
but thrive on the essence of poisonous plants.”

“In similar fashion, the brave bodhisattvas remain in the jungle of worldly concern.
No matter how joyful this world’s pleasure gardens,
these brave ones are never attracted to pleasures,
but thrive in the jungle of suffering and pain.”

https://studybuddhism.com/en/tibetan-buddhism/original-texts/sutra-texts/wheel-of-sharp-weapons/wheel-of-sharp-weapons-poetic-rendering

This is Monday’s topic for contemplation, reflection and sharing at the online virtual ‘Sit-and-Share’ meditation meeting via Skype from 7:45 pm ready for a prompt start at 8 pm (UK time).

All welcome.

This week’s topic was chosen by Eileen, who will be our ‘Sit-and-Share’ host on Monday.

Please read ‘How to attend a Virtual Sit-and-Share meeting’ –

Closing dedication of Merit:

We dedicate the merits of this practice to all suffering beings.
May everyone be free of suffering, and the causes of suffering.
May everyone enjoy happiness, and the causes of happiness.
Keep sitting; and keep smiling.

Virtual Sit-and-Share Topic 13-01-2020

Fifth Precept Fellowship - Meditation and Mindfulness for Recovery from alcohol drugs and other addictions and compulsions - Sit and Share Meeting 13-01-2020

“People talk endlessly about their suffering and their joy.
But what is there to suffer or be joyful about?
Joy from sensual pleasure always leads to pain,
and suffering while practicing the Way always brings joy.
Wherever there is joy, there is suffering.
If you want to have no-suffering, you must accept no-joy.”

~ A Vietnamese poem quoted by Thich Nhat Hanh [from his book ‘The Heart of the Buddha’s Teachings’]

This is Monday’s topic for contemplation, reflection and sharing at the online virtual ‘Sit-and-Share’ meditation meeting via Skype from 7:45 pm ready for a prompt start at 8 pm (UK time).

All welcome.

This week’s ‘Sit-and-Share’ host is Jessica.

Please read ‘How to attend a Virtual Sit-and-Share meeting’ –

Closing dedication of Merit:

We dedicate the merits of this practice to all suffering beings.
May everyone be free of suffering, and the causes of suffering.
May everyone enjoy happiness, and the causes of happiness.
Keep sitting; and keep smiling.

Virtual Sit-and-Share Topic 06-01-2020

Fifth Precept Fellowship - Meditation and Mindfulness for Recovery from alcohol drugs and other addictions and compulsions - Sit and Share Meeting 06-01-2020

“The single most important piece of meditation advice you can hold with you as you dive in is this: Thoughts are not the enemy. Remember that the mind thinks involuntarily just like the heart beats involuntarily, so please don’t try to give your mind a command to be silent. Instead, know that thoughts are okay—they’re actually a useful part of this process and now you have your trusty anchor, one, to come back to when you notice you’ve taken a mental field trip.”

~ Emily Fletcher [from her book ‘Stress Less, Accomplish More: Meditation for Extraordinary Performance‘]

This is Monday’s topic for contemplation, reflection and sharing at the online virtual ‘Sit-and-Share’ meditation meeting via Skype from 7:45 pm ready for a prompt start at 8 pm (UK time).

All welcome.

This week’s ‘Sit-and-Share’ host is Vince.

Please read ‘How to attend a Virtual Sit-and-Share meeting’ –

Closing dedication of Merit:

We dedicate the merits of this practice to all suffering beings.
May everyone be free of suffering, and the causes of suffering.
May everyone enjoy happiness, and the causes of happiness.
Keep sitting; and keep smiling.

Virtual Sit-and-Share Topic 30-12-2019

Fifth Precept Fellowship - Meditation and Mindfulness for Recovery from alcohol drugs and other addictions and compulsions - Sit and Share Meeting 30-12-2019

Lojong # 13
Be grateful to everyone.
Commentary: Others will always show you exactly where you are stuck. They say or do something and you automatically get hooked into a familiar way of reacting–shutting down, speeding up, or getting all worked up. When we react in a habitual way, with anger, greed, and so forth, it gives you a chance to see your patterns and work with them honestly and compassionately. Without others provoking you, you remain ignorant of your painful habits and cannot train in transforming them into the path of awakening.

~ Pema Chödrön’s Compassion Cards: Teachings for Awakening the Heart in Everyday Life

This is Monday’s topic for contemplation, reflection and sharing at the online virtual ‘Sit-and-Share’ meditation meeting via Skype from 7:45 pm ready for a prompt start at 8 pm (UK time).

All welcome.

This week’s ‘Sit-and-Share’ host is Samba.

Please read ‘How to attend a Virtual Sit-and-Share meeting’ –

Closing dedication of Merit:

We dedicate the merits of this practice to all suffering beings.
May everyone be free of suffering, and the causes of suffering.
May everyone enjoy happiness, and the causes of happiness.
Keep sitting; and keep smiling.

Virtual Sit-and-Share Topic 23-12-2019

Fifth Precept Fellowship - Meditation and Mindfulness for Recovery from alcohol drugs and other addictions and compulsions - Sit and Share Meeting 23-12-2019

‘Modern psychology has not been able to define emotion. Decades of brain research have failed to pin down what an emotion is. It fluctuates constantly; it is indefinable. So we may be sitting calmly in meditation, surrounded by a lot of other people, but when somebody else comes into the room our sense of calm changes. We are aware of a new feeling tone, perhaps an emotional charge in the body and we soon realize that letting go of it requires more than just awareness and willingness to let go. It also calls for wisdom, for understanding, so as to see deeply its true characteristics of anicca–dukkha–anatta – that it is impermanent, unsatisfactory, and not-self.

The terms ‘wisdom’ and ‘emotion’ seem to be foreign to each other. We don’t usually associate emotion with wisdom. Interestingly, emotions are closely connected to the water element. A well-known teacher in the Forest Tradition has pointed that we are very concerned about ecology and the purity of the elements on the planet, but we rarely consider how polluted our inner water element can be. When we are not mindful of our emotions, they can become septic. Unfortunately, through that lack of awareness, they can also become extremely powerful and affect our whole inner environment, just as water can filter through and pollute its natural environment.’

~ From Ajahn Sundara – The Wisdom of Emotions

This is Monday’s topic for contemplation, reflection and sharing at the online virtual ‘Sit-and-Share’ meditation meeting via Skype from 7:45 pm ready for a prompt start at 8 pm (UK time).

All welcome.

This week’s ‘Sit-and-Share’ host is Jessica.

Please read ‘How to attend a Virtual Sit-and-Share meeting’ –

Closing dedication of Merit:

We dedicate the merits of this practice to all suffering beings.
May everyone be free of suffering, and the causes of suffering.
May everyone enjoy happiness, and the causes of happiness.
Keep sitting; and keep smiling.

Virtual Sit-and-Share Topic 16-12-2019

Fifth Precept Fellowship - Meditation and Mindfulness for Recovery from alcohol drugs and other addictions and compulsions - Sit and Share Meeting

“Sensual pleasures are like salt water;
The more you partake of them, the more your craving will increase.
Therefore, when something arouses attachment,
To abandon it immediately is the practice of a Bodhisattva.”

~ The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas [#21] by Gyalse Tokme Zangpo

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to turn away immediately
From those things which bring desire and attachment.
For the pleasure of the senses are just like salty water:
The more we taste them, the more our thirst increases.”

~ Alternative translation : The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas [#21] by Gyalse Tokme Zangpo

This is Monday’s topic for contemplation, reflection and sharing at the online virtual ‘Sit-and-Share’ meditation meeting via Skype from 7:45 pm ready for a prompt start at 8 pm (UK time).

All welcome.

This week’s ‘Sit-and-Share’ host is Vince.

Please read ‘How to attend a Virtual Sit-and-Share meeting’ –

Closing dedication of Merit:

We dedicate the merits of this practice to all suffering beings.
May everyone be free of suffering, and the causes of suffering.
May everyone enjoy happiness, and the causes of happiness.
Keep sitting; and keep smiling.

Virtual Sit-and-Share Topic 09-12-2019

Fifth Precept Fellowship - Meditation and Mindfulness for Recovery from alcohol drugs and other addictions and compulsions - Sit and Share Meeting

“It is easy to forget how unstable and unpredictable our life is.
We often live carelessly, as if we were going to live forever.
We waste precious moments as if they were as cheap and plentiful as grains of sand.”

~ Ajahn Jayasaro

This is Monday’s topic for contemplation, reflection and sharing at the online virtual ‘Sit-and-Share’ meditation meeting via Skype from 7:45 pm ready for a prompt start at 8 pm (UK time).

All welcome.

This week’s ‘Sit-and-Share’ host is Vince.

Please read ‘How to attend a Virtual Sit-and-Share meeting’ –

Closing dedication of Merit:

We dedicate the merits of this practice to all suffering beings.
May everyone be free of suffering, and the causes of suffering.
May everyone enjoy happiness, and the causes of happiness.
Keep sitting; and keep smiling.

Virtual Sit-and-Share Topic 02-12-2019

Fifth Precept Sangha - Buddhist practices for recovery from addictions and compulsions

“When we say that the mind goes here or there, it’s not really the mind that goes.  Only concepts go.  Concepts are like shadows of the mind.  If the body is still, how will its shadow move?  The awareness that forms the present: that’s the true mind.  The awareness that goes chasing after concepts is just a shadow.  Real awareness – ‘knowing’ – stays in place.  It doesn’t stand, walk, come, or go”.

~ Ajahn Lee

This is Monday’s topic for contemplation, reflection and sharing at the online virtual ‘Sit-and-Share’ meditation meeting via Skype from 7:45 pm ready for a prompt start at 8 pm (UK time).

All welcome.

This week’s ‘Sit-and-Share’ host is Eileen.

Please read ‘How to attend a Virtual Sit-and-Share meeting’ –

Closing dedication of Merit:

We dedicate the merits of this practice to all suffering beings.
May everyone be free of suffering, and the causes of suffering.
May everyone enjoy happiness, and the causes of happiness.
Keep sitting; and keep smiling.

Virtual Sit-and-Share Topic 25-11-2019

Fifth Precept Fellowship - Meditation and Mindfulness for Recovery from alcohol drugs and other addictions and compulsions - Sit and Share Meeting

“If you look for the truth outside yourself,
It gets farther and farther away.
Today walking alone,
I meet him everywhere I step.
He is the same as me.
Yet I am not him.
Only if you understand this way
Will you merge with the way things are.”

~ Tung-Shan (807-869) quoted in the book ‘FALLING AWAKE: How to practise Mindfulness in Everyday Life.’ by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

This is Monday’s topic for contemplation, reflection and sharing at the online virtual ‘Sit-and-Share’ meditation meeting via Skype from 7:45 pm ready for a prompt start at 8 pm (UK time).

All welcome.

This week’s ‘Sit-and-Share’ host is Vella.

Please read ‘How to attend a Virtual Sit-and-Share meeting’ –

Closing dedication of Merit:

We dedicate the merits of this practice to all suffering beings.
May everyone be free of suffering, and the causes of suffering.
May everyone enjoy happiness, and the causes of happiness.
Keep sitting; and keep smiling.