As we enter the final month of the calendar year 2020, I think we can all agree that this has been a unique year for all of us. We have had to adapt to a lot of change and process a lot of losses. The events and situations of 2020 have tested each of us multiple times in varying degrees. I am sure many of us would be happy to say goodbye to 2020.
Preparing to enter 2021, we might be hesitant to hold expectations for things to get better or worse. And it is wise to refrain from holding any expectations, as doing so risks increasing our suffering, especially if what we expect doesn't come to be. But refraining from holding onto expectations doesn't mean we are only to fly by the seat of our pants. It doesn't mean never looking ahead either. What is recommended instead, is to learn how to slow down and live consciously and intentionally. Living intentionally means remaining committed to knowing what we are doing and how we are keeping our minds moment after moment. Being rooted in the present as consciously as possible is how we make the most out of what we are given and establish our futures. Living consciously and intentionally is the very essence of the practice. Living consciously and intentionally slows us down. And when we slow down, we notice more. When we are able to notice more, we realize we have much more than ever realized, right where we are.
This Winter's Bodhicitta Gyeolje is the perfect way to commit to strengthening our skills in living intentionally and consciously. There will be some modifications to the Gyeolje, due to the corona-19 virus. The retreats held at the temple will not take place and instead we will schedule some virtual meetings and mini-retreats. This year the Winter Bodhicitta Gyeolje begins on December 8th, Bodhi Day, with a mini-retreat. We will launch our personal Gyeolje goals, meet our fellow retreat members, and practice some chanting and sitting meditation.
I hope you will consider signing up, establish your personal practice goals, and end 2020 and enter 2021 with renewed intention and a sharper consciousness!
For more information and to register for the Bodhicitta Gyeolje: https://www.lotusheartzen.org/gyeolje.html
December 8th: 7:00-8:30 (Gyeolje Opening & Chanting & Sitting Meditation)
January 17th: 10am (Formal Ceremony)
This year by the lunar calendar Bodhi Day falls on January 20th. Most sanghas celebrate Bodhi Day on December 8th (or as in our case the nearest Sunday to the 8th). But this is a strange year, for a lot of reasons, and as a result, the organization required to set up the service is going to take some time. So we decided to celebrate in January.
However, as I have thought of it, and because this has been a strange year, and for many of us a very difficult year, I thought it would be helpful for us to acknowledge Bodhi Day in a smaller, more personal way on December 8th and hold the formal service on Sunday, Jan 17th. December 8th will also be the start of the Bodhicitta Gyeolje and we will use that time to kick off the winter gyeolje.
Therefore, on Tuesday, December 8th 7:00-8:30 pm I will hold a chanting and meditation practice to honor Bodhi Day.
The link for that is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83103712156
A blog by the Lotus Heart Zen Meditation and Study Group members