Details and registration information for Overwhelmed? Worried? Stressed? Learn to Let it All Go!, a day of mindfulness in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh with Dharma Teacher Rowan Conrad, Saturday, June 21, 10:30 am - 4:30 pm at Unity Temple on the Plaza, Classroom C.
How did you first encounter mindfulness practice in Thich Nhat Hanh''s tradition and why did you adopt the practice?
I was a Soto Zen guy and my teacher was Baker-roshi (Zentatsu Richard Baker, dharma heir of Shunryu Suzuki, author of Zen Mind, Beginners Mind). Baker-roshi was quite skeptical about many other teachers, but was quite in love with Thich Nhat Hanh–– called him a living Buddha. So anybody who had not only his approval but was praised had to be great. So I kept trying to get into Thich Nhat Hanh's retreats but by the time I found out about them here at the end of the earth (aka Montana) they were always full. Finally, in 1989 he did one for therapists in Winter Park, CO and I parlayed my job into an acceptance letter and one camping stop later in my old mini-van three of us landed in Winter Park. The rest, as they say, is history.
Why do you continue to practice today?
The same reason I started in the first place. I just know it is the right thing to do. And one other reason that I discovered on the way to joining OI. When I joined, you were interviewed by a panel. And they cheat. No objective folks. All people who know you. Mine was Joan Halifax, Judy Gilbert, and Therese Fitzgerald (all old Baker-roshi students although Joan was the only one I knew from there). After some chit chat, Joan fixed me with that psychic tinted gaze of hers and said, "All right Rowan, let's cut to the chase. Why do you want to do this?" I teared up, and from somewhere deep inside bubbled up something of which I was unaware. "For the children. We have to quit destroying the world for all the children."
Why do you think someone would want to adopt mindfulness practice?
We all continually answer one question overall and from situation-to-situation. How do I want to live? And once you know about mindfulness, who would want to live any way other than mindfully? To be truly alive means to be in touch with ourselves, the world, and each other. And that requires being present to ourselves, to nature, and to each other. Well, that's mindfulness.
The interview with Rowan Conrad will continue next week.
Other Events of Note
Next Morning of Mindfulness May 17th. Mornings of Mindfulness offer time for additional practice with HCML's Order of Interbeing members and aspirants. We are learning about the practice of beginning anew, taught by Thich Nhat Hanh to promote good circulation of communication and to prevent knots from developing in our relationships.
Join us on Saturday, May 17 for our next Morning of Mindfulness from 9:45 - 1:30 ish at Ericks. Learn more and RSVP.
The Practice of Mindfulness, Finding Peace retreat with Br. Chan Huy, May 8 - 10. For information and registration contact Sue Rempel or 913.484.6890.
21-day retreat offered in California, following the talks offered at the 21-day retreat in Plum Village via the internet. Begins June 13. Details and registration information.
True Mind Prison Pen Pal Program needs you, especially men. Contact Peter Kuhn or 619.890.1832 for information.