Update: Habitat Interfaith Build

There is still time to contribute to our sangha’s fundraiser for this year’s Interfaith Habitat Build. If you want to be a part of this, please send a check to Mindful Heart Buddha Sangha and write “Interfaith Habitat Build” on the memo line. Local Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Universalists, and Humanists are working together to raise money and then build a home with and for a local family who is in need of a decent and affordable place to live. Our sangha’s financial part of the Build will wrap up at the end of June by our sending a check from Mindful Heart Buddha Sangha to Habitat of Evansville. Hopefully soon, but after a total amount of $80,000 has been raised from all the groups, a schedule of workdays will be published. Stay tuned for more information. It will be a fun project!

FYI: Families receiving Habitat homes sign a 25 to 30 year contract to pay for their home. They also invest 300 hours of sweat equity before they move into it. These homes are affordable because the loans are interest free, much of the labor is done by volunteers, and the homes are energy efficient. The money from the homeowners’ payments actually goes forward to building a home for someone else, because their homes have already been paid for by donors…like you.

Katelyn and Caleb return

Past members Katelyn Sandy and Caleb Tomlinson are returning to the sangha for a visit on Sunday June 5th at 6pm. After the regular 40 minute sitting they will talk about their 2 month long Insight Meditation retreat and their practice. Finally there will be light refreshments and time to visit. All are welcome.

Practicing Compassion and Generosity

Practicing Compassion and Generosity through the Interfaith Habitat Build

Last year Habitat for Humanity of Evansville formed an Interfaith Advisory Council. This council’s mission statement is: We are dedicated to providing affordable housing through interfaith builds, advocacy, and awareness. We will model interfaith understanding and cooperation where people of all faiths and beliefs are celebrated and integrated into the community. In 2015 this interfaith council worked closely to build its first annual home for Aireal Hall and her daughter, Olivia. This group is currently raising money to build the 2016 Interfaith Habitat Home.

The Mindful Heart Buddha Sangha has received a generous gift of $500.00 from a member to be contributed in the name of our sangha to the 2016 Interfaith Habitat Build of Evansville, in hopes of encouraging other sangha members to contribute to this project in the sangha’s name. There will also be opportunities to do the hands-on work of building the house or preparing food for the workers, but this will be posted after the fund raising portion has been accomplished. At the end of June, the Sangha will send a check in the total amount it received for the “Interfaith Build” to Habitat of Evansville. If you would like to contribute, send a check to The Mindful Heart Buddha Sangha, writing on the memo line, “Interfaith Habitat Build.” (The contribution is tax deductible.) Participating in this project is a good way for the Sangha to help build a home for a deserving family, form new friendships with people of diverse backgrounds, and help build a stronger and more vibrant community. This is an opportunity to practice compassion and generosity in a very tangible way in our local community.

National Day of Prayer Ceremony

On May 5, 2016 Mary Lee McManus represented the Mindful Heart Buddha Sangha for the National Day of Prayer Ceremony held at the Four Freedoms Monument in Downtown Evansville. The ceremony celebrates the unity and the diversity of all religions in the United States.

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National Day of Prayer

MHBS will be participating in the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 5, 20l6
at Noon at the Four Freedom Monument. There will be a reading by Mary McManus.
The Sangha has participated in this event for several years. The program will
be over by 1 PM in consideration for those who must return to work.

Festival Of Faiths

MHBS will be participating at the Festival Of Faiths at the University of Evansville
Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 10 AM until 4 PM. The location is in the Ridgeway
University Center on Walnut. The event will be in Eykamp Hall on the 2nd Floor.

All participants of MHBS & their family members are invited, please bring your
children for the story telling events. Cookies, & Lemonade will be served.

Sunday evening, May 1, Festival of Faiths events will end with a service
at Neu Chapel at 7 PM. All are invited to attend this service too. There
will be the usual sitting at MHBS at 6 PM as well.

Please join the Sangha in celebrating Vesak

Mindful Heart Buddha Sangha will be celebrating Vesak on Sunday May 15. Vesak is one of the most significant Buddhist holidays. It is celebrated on (or near) the first full moon of May each year to commemorate the Buddha’s’ birth, awakening and death, all of which are reported to have occurred during the first full moon of May. Each year our Sangha uses this event as a chance to offer the opportunity for those interested to publicly take (or retake) Refuge in the Three Jewels and the Five Precepts. Since those who will be taking precepts will receive a commemorative certificate, please either notify one of the leaders or message the Sangha with your intention to participate in the ceremony by May 1 so that we can have the names for the certificates. If you have any questions about taking the precepts or what that entails please ask one of the leaders or contact the Sangha so that we can arrange to talk further about it.

Following the ceremony we will have a vegetarian pot luck. Please feel free to bring a dish or dessert. Also during Vesak it is customary to place fresh flowers around the Buddha, so feel free to bring flowers to be placed around our statue. Please arrive between 5:30 and 6 for the set-up of food items. The ceremony will start at 6 with food and socialization afterwards. We hope you can join us.

Further resources on Zen/koan study

Further resources on Zen/koan study

Several people at the recent retreat requested further information on the Zen lineage with which Jisho and I are associated, as well as further resources on koan practice. The organization with which we study is the Five Mountain Zen order (FMZO). Their web site is:

http://www.fmzo.org/

Jisho’s wesite (Dr. Richard Sears) is:

http://psych-insights.com/

Two books that provide a beginning discussion of koans and the context of koan practice are the following:

Ten Gates: the Kong-An Teachings of Zen Master Seung Sahn

Elegant Failure: A Guide to Zen Koans by Richard Shrobe

Thanks to everyone for making the retreat great!

Many bows,

Ryongwan Karuna