Today is an auspicious day for our Sangha, as we start our study and reflections on each of the Precepts in preparation for our next Jukai (Undertaking the Precepts) Ceremony in January. Together with that, our Jukai-ers each began hand sewing a Rakusu (small Buddhist robe) this past week, a wonderful practice in which one sews diligently stitch-by-stitch, but without thought of achievement. All is hand-in-hand with Zazen. Once again, our January Ceremony will be all-online, with folks simultaneously participating and receiving the Precepts in several countries and time zones. Here was our last ceremony ...
TREELEAF JANUARY 2012 JUKAI
If anyone is interested in undertaking Jukai, there is still time to jump in ... so please join through our forum.
TREELEAF SANGHA COMMUNITY FORUM
Today also marks the start of our Sangha's GLOBAL DAY OF SERVICE, in which we ask each and all of our Treeleaf Sangha members, for one day sometime during the period September 15-29, to spend a full day making their local communities, the lives of others, and this world a bit better. This is a chance to live the Virtues of Generosity and Giving, and our Bodhisattva Vows to Aid All Sentient Beings. We hope you will join in with us, and perhaps make it a family event for you to work together with your loved ones. More information here ...
GLOBAL DAY OF SERVICE
Folks have been very creative in thinking up ideas for service projects, some even from home for those who are housebound. Here are some examples ...
I pretty much have to work out of my home, so I will be knitting warm winter scarves to donate to our local Senior Center Thrift Shop. Also will look into telephone work for our wonderful, free spay & neuter clinic for the pets of low income people & seniors.
I will be taking my eight-year-old son out on a day-long island clean-up ... I really want to share with my son our most basic and important teaching - our connectedness to all sentient beings - trees, mountains, oceans, people, animals. We are all responsible for one another.
I am going to get involved with the local hospital and hospice to bring [our dog] Bodhi in to share the experience of just being in the moment with that cute little fur ball.
We have an alternative high school ... The students at this school haven't been successful in traditional classrooms and many already have criminal records and broken homes, so this school is designed to meet the special needs of these teens. Several years ago, I played a bit of chess and during that time I got to know a gentlemen who had created an organization that uses chess, martial arts and hip-hop music to illustrate the power that our decisions have. So to tie the whole thing together I'm in the process of implementing a chess program at the high school that will be followed-up some time in October or November by an on-site chess tournament put on by the Hip Hop Chess Federation. My goal is to get chess into the classrooms on a daily basis at our alternative high school.
I'm thinking of volunteering to teach some basic yoga poses (for free) for our local community. ... Also, for this saturday we're going to relaunch the reading program that I helped start two years ago [at a school here in the Philippines]. ... We're also gonna be planting in the school's vegetable patch by the end of the month. Hopefully, the harvest will be enough to supplement the feeding program.
These days I teach English to kids whose parent's can't afford an English School. My English is not perfect, but passing on what I know is better than not speak English at all.
I am planning on spending more time at my local hardware co-op. We take in old computers, refurbish what we can, responsibly recycle what we can't, and give computers to non-profits, the under privileged, and volunteers.
... and many more creative ideas. Of course, all volunteering and giving is to be undertaken for no personal benefit or credit, simply with awareness that the giver, gift, giving and recipients are one.
More here ...