Monday, April 28, 2014


So good to be back in sangha yesterday.  I have missed a good number of Sundays, either because I've been in Los Angeles or traveling elsewhere, or because of family: last Sunday was Easter, and we had our daughter and grandson staying here.  When they come, we usually try to allow Sarah a much needed sleep-in in the morning, which she doesn't get at home.  Which means that I don't get to sangha.

So yesterday was my first hour-long sit in weeks, and it felt especially good to sit in the company of old friends.  Even though we sit with our eyes closed, each absorbed in our own process, there is a sense of community that pervades both mind and body that serves to redouble individual efforts. Also, I do not often sit for a full hour when I meditate alone, and there's something about the mutual support that makes it possible.

After the hour, we listened to a recorded dharma talk by Ajahn Pasanno, on the occasion of the death of a faithful member of the extended community of his Abhayagiri monastery; and it was good to simply sit and listen to the words of a man who has devoted his life to Buddhist practice and teaching.  His talk reminded us of the futility of the question: Why?  Life's deeper challenges are generally inexplicable, and reason alone serves little in confronting them.  "Why?" leads directly to the head and sidesteps the greater wisdom of the heart.

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