The base of our practice
Meditation, love, generosity.
This does not mean that all our community meditates all the time, but it means that they get it. In fact some of our group are happy simply supporting our programs or being among us! Our ancient and even not so long ago ancestors lived a meditative conscientious life. We need to get that back. So many of us have minds that are over-stressed and scattered and this reflects in our bodies, well-being, and health, too.
The support of our practice
Good spiritual friends are everything.
We are a welcoming culture/community. There is an African philosophy that in its profound essence is translated simply “I am because you are.” This idea runs quite parallel with the deep Buddhist concepts of interdependence and impermanence and the sociological and psychological dysfunction that’s caused by not understanding them. When we come to understand, and accept our interdependence, we can see that it gives us more independence.
Our core values
We make every effort to respond to each other, our soul group, and our larger community with kind speech, generous actions, and caring thoughts. This also includes applying the core values of tolerance, inclusiveness, non-discrimination, and patience. We are each in different places in our lives and so we invite everyone to “come as you are” and to develop from where you are without judgement and comparison. We can then meet each other with open minds. This is a practice and the practice is a process on a path to radical change and happier minds.
Our progressive path
A mindful and conscientious lifestyle.
In order to practice a mindful and more meditative life we need to also enhance our quality of life. Keeping in mind that we are not all under the same conditions, we each need to use our own intelligence to determine how deeply we can practice. We can use a progressive yet interwoven path to self-correct. When we are mindful, we can see that by refraining from doing one thing, we can prevent another thing from happening and vice versa. We arrive at our own unique insights — not through rules imposed on us by an outside authority. In order to do this, we use five skillful efforts as guidelines in our daily lives to improve our lives and the lives around us, not as absolute.
Reference: The Five Mindfulness Trainings, Thich Nhat Hanh