InterMindful News - Newsletter for the Sangha - Dallas, Texas
InterMindful News
January 7, 2010

Earth Light Dear mindful friends of "Awakening Heart" —

Happy New Year! Happy 2010!

Preparations are underway for our own annual new year celebration, the Lunar New Year Celebration of Compassion. It will be held on Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 5pm at Unity Church of Dallas and will feature music, dance, ritual, sharing, and a message by Brother ChiSing.. Please mark your calendar now. Details will be coming shortly...

Also mark your calendar for Sunday, January 24. Best selling author and founder of The Work, Byron Katie will present Loving What Is at Unity Church of Dallas at 6:00 pm. Awakening Heart is recommending all of our members try to attend this event. Since it coincides with our Serenity Sunday gatherings, we will meet at our usually time of 5:30 and hold a short sitting meditation prior to the Byron Katie event (Awakening Heart will not have childcare or yoga practice on this evening). Tickets are $40 and are available in advance at the Unity bookstore or online at the CSL website.

Please read the following message from Brother ChiSing:

Sent from Brother ChiSing on January 7, 2010

Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex
Meditation Schedule
(January - June 2010)

Dear mindful friends,

Happy New Year!

While I am away on a month-long Sabbatical during January, both the Sunday (Dallas) and Monday (Grapevine) meditation sanghas are continuing each week as usual. How wonderful that the sanghas are now able to take care of themselves!

Starting in February, there is a possibility of a new meditation sangha forming on Tuesdays in Plano. We will know more in a few weeks. How exciting! Also, someday, I would like to start a sangha in Forth Worth on Wednesdays, so if any of you have any connections to the Unity Church of Forth Worth or other open-minded churches, please help us make a connection.

Also, starting in February, I will be leading a special event every 1st Saturday of the month. If several of you would prefer that I lead this monthly special event on 3rd Saturdays instead, I will change it, but I must know ASAP. Here are the special events for the next few months:

February -- Field Trip (we will visit 3 or 4 of the most beautiful and largest Buddhist temples in DFW)
March -- Morning of Mindfulness Retreat
April -- Day of Mindfulness Retreat
May -- Morning of Mindfulness Retreat
June -- (to be determined -- possibly a weekend retreat or another field trip)

Also, starting in February, I will be with the sanghas on the 1st and 3rd weeks of each month in general. For example, for the Sunday meditation sangha, that would look like this:

February 7 & 21
March 7 & 21
April 4 & 18
May 2 & 16
June 6 & 20

Please note that we have 2 big events during this first half year:

LUNAR NEW YEAR - February 21
WESAK - May 16

Thank you for your support, both financially and in active participation, of the AWAKENING HEART (Art of Mindful Living) ministries, especially in the DFW Metro. If you haven't made a monetary contribution in a while and would like to, you may send a check to:

P.O. Box 863961
Plano, TX 75086

Again, thank you for your continuing and faithful practice of meditation and mindful living. Your practice is healing the world, one heart at a time. Below, I end this letter with a poem by Thich Nhat Hanh, roughly translated from the original Vietnamese. I dedicate this poem to all of you who have been away for a while. I encourage you to come back home to the Truth … to the Buddha, to the Dharma, to the Sangha … to your True Home, your True Self, your True Refuge.

Namo AMITABHA Buddhaya
(I bow to the INFINITE LIGHT of your Awakening),

Brother ChiSing

A Teacher Looking For His Disciple
- by Thich Nhat Hanh

I have been looking for you, my child,
    since the time when rivers and mountains still lay in obscurity.
I was looking for you when you were still in a deep sleep
    although the conch had many times echoed in the ten directions.
Without leaving our ancient mountain I looked at distant lands
    and recognized your steps on so many different paths.

Where are you going, my child?
There have been times when the mist has come
    and enveloped the remote village but you are still
        wandering in far away lands.
I have called your name with each breath,
    confident that even though you have lost your
        way over there you will finally find a way back to me.

Sometimes I manifest myself right on the path
    you are treading but you still look at me as if I were a stranger.
You cannot see the connection between us in our former lives,
    you cannot remember the old vow you made.
You have not recognized me
    because your mind is caught up in images concerning a distant future.

In former lifetimes you have often taken my hand
    and we have enjoyed walking together.
We have sat together for a longtime at the foot of old pine trees.
We have stood side by side in silence for hours
    listening to the sound of the wind softly calling us
        and looking up at the white clouds floating by.
You have picked up and given to me the first red autumn leaf
    and I have taken you through forests deep in snow.
But wherever we go we always return to our
    ancient mountain to be near to the moon and stars,
        to invite the big bell every morning to sound,
            and help living beings to wake up.

We have sat quietly on the An Tu mountain with the
    great Bamboo Forest master
        alongside the frangipani trees in blossom.
We have taken boats out to sea to rescue the boat people as they drift.
We have helped Master Van Hanh design the Thang Long capital,
    we have built together a thatched hermitage,
        and stretched out the net to rescue the nun Trac Tuyen Nguyen!

The sound of the rising tide was deafening
    on the banks of the Tien Duong river.
Together we have opened the way and stepped
    into the immense space outside of space
        after many years of working to tear asunder the net of time.
We have saved up the light of shooting stars
    and made a torch helping those who want to go home
        after decades of wandering in distant places.

But still there have been times when the
    seeds of a vagabond in you have come back to life.
You have left your teacher, your brothers and sisters.
Alone you go…

I look at you with compassion
    although I know that this is not a true separation
        (because I am already in each cell of your body)
    and that you may need once more to play the prodigal child.
That is why I promise I shall be there for you
    any time you are in danger.

Sometimes you have lain unconscious on the hot sands of frontier deserts.
I have manifested myself as a cloud to bring you cool shade.
Late at night the cloud became the dew
    and the compassionate nectar falls drop by drop for you to drink.
Sometimes you sit in a deep abyss of darkness
    completely alienated from your true home.
I have manifested myself as a long ladder and
    lightly thrown myself down
        so that you can climb up to the area where there is light,
    to discover again the blue of the sky and the
        sounds of the brook and the birds.

Sometimes I recognised you in Birmingham,
    in the Do Linh district or New England.
I have sometimes met you in Huangjiao, Xiamen, or Shanghai.
I have sometimes found you in St. Petersburg or East Berlin.
Sometimes, though only five years old, I have
    seen you and recognized you
        because of the seed of bodhichitta
            you carry in your tender heart.

Wherever I have seen you, I have always raised
    my hand and made a signal to you,
        whether it be in the delta of the North, Saigon or the Thuan An seaport.

Sometimes you were the golden full moon hanging
    over the summit of the Kim Son mountain,
        or the little bird flying over the Dai Lao forest during a winter night.
Often I have seen you
    but you have not seen me,
        though while walking in the evening mist your clothes have been soaked.

But finally you have always come home.
You have come home and sat at my feet on our ancient mountain
    listening to the birds calling and the monkeys
        screeching and the morning chanting echoing from the Buddha Hall.
You have come back to me determined not to be a vagabond any longer.
This morning the birds of the mountain joyfully welcome the bright sun.
Do you know, my child, that the white clouds
    are still floating in the vault of the sky?

Where are you now?
The ancient mountain is still there in this
    place of the present moment.
Although the white-crested wave still wants to
    go in the other direction,
        look again, you will see me in you and in every leaf and flower bud.
If you call my name, you will see me right away.

Where are you going?
The old frangipani tree offers its fragrant flowers this morning.
You and I have never really been apart.

Spring has come.
The pines have put out new shining green needles.
And on the edge of the forest, the wild plum
    trees have burst into flower.