Greetings from HSC Executive Director

 

 

Dear Halifax community,

It has been two months since Aimee Silver and I assumed leadership of the Halifax Shambhala Center, and one month since I last wrote to you.  Now, as I look out my kitchen window, I see bare trees and grey skies – truly a late November look! 

What is HSC’s guiding principle right now, as winter approaches?  What comes to mind is Trungpa Rinpoche’s analogy of “combing our hair.”  We are slowly, mindfully and appreciatively going to our roots. This is manifesting in many ways.

The refuge and bodhisattva vow ceremony last Saturday was splendid, with 12 people taking the refuge vow and 5 the bodhisattva vow.  Thank you, Acharya Noel McLellan and all the staff of that event, and congratulations to the new refugees and bodhisattvas! As a follow-up to the vow ceremony, Acharya Eve Rosenthal will be offering tonglen instruction on two Monday evenings in December.

Weekly discussions of the Robert Wright videos began on Tuesday, allowing us to examine the roots of some of our societal habitual patterns around sex and gender.  The first session was well-attended and was skillfully facilitated by Mara Toombs. If you want to explore this topic, please drop in! The videos are available for free at Shambhala Online, but it is helpful to contemplate these important issues in a group setting. 

When I think of going to our roots, there is nothing more basic than families and children – our future. We are inviting all children, families, members and friends to enjoy our Shambhala Centre for a playful Children’s Fun Day on Saturday afternoon, December 7.  Stay tuned for more details from the host, Aimee Silver. If you would like to offer an activity for this event, please let Aimee know.

This day is a prelude to the annual Children’s Day Solstice Ceremony at 5 pm on December 21.  This magical event is a traditional favorite, and you are warmly invited to attend. 

To end 2019, there are two exciting practice and study opportunities, where we will come together and explore our profound roots.

During the week of December 16, Walker Blaine will offer a 3-evening course, “Meeting Shambhala: Introduction to the Shambhala Lineage.”  This is open to all and it will provide an opportunity to take a fresh look at the Shambhala lineage and teachings, and to clarify questions about the path.

This will be followed by our annual Holiday Community Practice Gathering, led by Shastri Mary Campbell and Shastri Bob Gailey.  This year, everyone is warmly invited to enjoy our kinship as dharma practitioners. We will have six days of practice and study, with sitting, tonglen, chants, discussion and community time. There will be reading, contemplation, and conversation based on the Profound Treasury, vol 2: The Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion especially “Part 6: Bodhisattva Activity,” with possible video teachings on some days.

While these events are some of the highlights, it is important to acknowledge the wealth of on-going classes and practice sessions that continue to thrive at HSC.  Thanks to the tremendous support of the Acharyas, Shastris, teachers, coordinators and a band of dedicated volunteers, there has been vibrant energy at the Centre this fall.  This includes a strong practice of the contemplative arts at HSC, with our two tea senseis holding regular classes in the Way of Tea, our ikebana group creating wonderful flower displays each Friday, and a variety of art exhibits in the community room.

I look forward to seeing you in the coming weeks.

With love and appreciation,

Meg
Executive Director

 

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