A Bright Continuation
After years of reading Thay’s books and attending his public talks, I finally left the spiritual path I had been on and began practicing with a local Sangha (Organic Garden Sangha), becoming an “official” student of Thay’s when I received the Five Mindfulness Trainings from him in 2005. Before embarking on this journey, though, I had some concerns about what the practice/training would be like without regular direct access to the teacher, and what the practitioners and Dharma teachers would have to offer—what would Thay’s continuation look like?
One of the things I did was subscribe to the Mindfulness Bell. I remember when I received my fi issue in the mail. As I leafed through its pages and then began reading, I found myself on the edge of tears. I was so tremendously moved, reassured, comforted, encouraged, and inspired. I knew conclusively that I had indeed found my path, “my tribe,” as a friend of mine called it.
Years later, I still get excited and happy whenever the Mindfulness Bell arrives. I am deeply moved by it and grateful for its existence and for the skill and care that has gone into producing it over the years. The Mindfulness Bell is like a life raft to me, a huge gift, and I hope it will continue to be for me and for people like me for many years to come. Thanks to that first issue, I knew for certain that our tradition was strong and healthy, its future bright.
Thank you for your dedicated and loving efforts, so that people like me can still get that tingle of joy every time it arrives in our mailboxes. I truly appreciate it.
A beautiful lotus for you,
Chan Phat Son (True Buddha Mountain)
Culver City, California
How moved I was in reading Lennis Lyon’s recent article in the Mindfulness Bell [Autumn 2013]. The way she has practiced with her grandson is remarkably powerful. If all parents and grandparents would treat their children and grandchildren with so much respect and tenderness, there would be no conflict in this world.
Telling Our Stories
We frequently read from the Bell at our weekly Northern Lights Sangha. Last month I facilitated, and we read Brother Phap Ho’s “Love Letter to the 1%” [Summer 2013]. Everyone loved it and we had a fantastic discussion afterwards. Not only that, but a few of us later that day went to a meeting of folk interested in Joanna Macy’s work, and people mentioned the article. It had an impact!
In the latest issue, the Dharma talk is a wonderful reminder. I often think of Thay’s proposal after 9/11 for compassionate listening sessions as a way to heal our own people first. People just need to tell their stories! That came out strongly at the recent Forgiveness Conference here at Findhorn. A consistent theme was the need for understanding as the first step to forgiveness and reconciliation.
Blessings to you and all the contributors for your good work,