I returned to Santa Fe and Upaya Zen Center to ring in the New Year still glowing after our December 27th dedication and precepts ceremony at Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community. To end 2017 with such a hopeful event brought so much light to the shortest days and energized the slide into 2018. I have heard from many of you who attended or sent good wishes from afar how glad you are to be a part of this new sangha. Practicing with you to create BLMZC is a great and amazing gift. A rare and warming treasure during these unusually cold midwinter days. I sincerely hope that you stay safe as winter rolls on, and find a little time to be still, drop into the breath, and enjoy some nourishing sitting that warms you deeply from the inside.
I wrote to you last week about our online study group. I am happy to say that we have fully enrolled, with 35 participants from Vermont and around the world. I am looking forward to learning how to use the medium of video-conferencing to stay connected to the Dharma and to each other.
In the other upcoming in-person programs this winter, our aim will be to introduce Zen fundamentals and to standardize the temple culture of Bread Loaf Mountain Zen. In doing this we create together a stable container of sitting practice that encourages focused attention, calm minds, and radical inclusion. Please join us for one or all of these gatherings. You can sign up through the website by clicking on “Events” above. As always, you can also reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope to see all of you soon, either online or at our Zendo.