Sunday, March 15, 2009

Buddhist Peace Fellowship Peace practice

Is found on the Buddhist Peace Fellowship Site. It has changed in interesting ways.

1: August, 2007: Peace Practice

Trusting the Heart's Intention

This practice comes out of sharing and themes we've explored in previous gatherings. In mindful conversation, what arose was a need to connect our so-called "personal" issues with awareness of being in relationship with everyone. This led us to explore how each moment of hardship is an opportunity to listen deeply to the intention, which underlies it, and in doing so, begin to transform hardship into opportunity to realize this intention.

We can realize the heart's intention through a path of engaged spiritual practice.

In this season when we mark the anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and of Sept. 11,2001; we invite you to pause and reflect on the meaning of peace.

We invite you to do this in concrete terms, utilizing the tools of Buddhist practice.

We invite you to participate in this peace practice as we listen deeply and commit to trusting the heart's intention together with all beings.

Here's how the practice works:

Sit quietly for a few minutes. Then, allow each of the following three questions to drop in and listen deeply for any sensations, feelings, images, or thoughts which arise. There is no need to try to "think" about these. Please invite trust that the answer is already there, waiting to be heard once we can become quiet enough to hear it. Here are the questions:

1. Whenever anxiety or other forms of distressing/uncomfortable feelings or sensations arise, ask: What am I feeling right now and where do in my body do I sense it?

Try to be concrete with this and limited in scope, for instance: "I'm anxious and feel it as tightness in my chest."

2. After you realize the feeling and sensations, ask:

What is my heart's intention right now?

Notice the sensations, which arise as you consider this question. Offer yourself time to experience these and perhaps any shift in your state of mind/body/heart as you listen deeply.

For example: "I'm anxious because I really want to connect with this person and I'm not sure how."

3. After you notice your intention, ask:

What would support me in realizing this intention?

For example, you might hear a voice say, "Love you," and become aware of where you experience that sensation of loving or being loved. This might inspire you to keep breathing into this part of your body, deepening an experience of this sensation.

Your experiences and impressions are wholeheartedly welcome at the next BPFNY monthly gathering.

As we practice together in this season, may our heartfelt aspirations in each moment help us 'be peace' together with all beings.

in peace,
Judy

Judy Seicho Fleischman
Coordinator, BPF/NY


2: March, 2009:

Peace Practice: Choosing Peace

The season of the Buddha's passing into Nirvana is here and with it a new opportunity to focus on intention in practice as a way to (in the words attributed to the Buddha) "be a lamp onto yourself." During this time, which calls attention to impermanence and aspiration, the practice of mindfulness, especially while sitting or walking offers a concrete way to check in with intention and how it relates with changing feelings, thoughts, and sensations.

Specifically, when encountering difficulties, notably stress, how can we choose to meet the thoughts and feelings with an intention to connect, communicate and care? Right there, in the intention itself. This moment of choice, this path of peace, is a practice of acknowledging one's experience and then meeting whatever is happening right now with kindness and compassion.

Here's how the practice works:

Choosing Peace --- Connect, Communicate, Care

1. CONNECT: Whenever distressing/uncomfortable feelings or sensations arise, ask:

What am I thinking and feeling right now?

Try to be concrete with this and limited in scope, for instance:
Anxious, mind racing, angry, out of control. I've got to get out of here!

2. COMMUNICATE: After you realize the thoughts and feelings, ask:

Where in my body do I experience these?

For example:
Heart racing, palms sweating.

Offer yourself time to breathe into these areas, listening deeply.

3. CARE: Now ask,

What would help me to choose peace right now?

For example:
Breathe, slow down and breathe.

This might be followed by:
Love you.

Become aware of where you experience that sensation of loving or being loved. This might inspire you to keep breathing into this part of your body, deepening an experience of this sensation.

Pay attention to how these feelings and thoughts arise in relationship. Does interacting with certain people bring up these feelings and thoughts? Certain environments?

As you explore and let go of the mindstates fixated on judging good and bad, right and wrong, you can transform unskillful habits into the means of awakening, of naturally choosing peace, which is vibrant and fully functioning in harmony with everyone and everything.

Try it out and let's share what we discover. Feel free to write to the bpfny elist or share in person at the next BPFNY monthly gathering.

As we practice together during this season, may our loving steps reveal the marvelous path, which benefits all beings.

in peace,
Judy

Judy Seicho Fleischman
Coordinator, BPF/NY

http://www.bpfny.org/peacecommunity.html



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