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Thread: Treeleaf Global Service Days March 22 - April 5 2013

  1. #1
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Treeleaf Global Service Days March 22 - April 5 2013

    Hello all,
    Our next Global Days of Service period is upon us!

    There is someone out there who is homeless or alone and would like to share a meal with you
    There is a child who would like to share a book
    Don't forget that someone's grandparent likes books too
    Or even the silence of companionship in the twilight

    There is a tree that needs planting
    or nourishing;
    Wind-strewn nest looking for a branch

    A shoreline that needs to be unburdened of what the ocean has cast upon it
    A line of dunes that need to be anchored

    A trail in need of care
    Street in need of sweeping
    Playground in need of children
    Swings silently asking "fly with me"

    Illness and suffering to be witnessed;
    Loneliness paired with companions
    A lonely voice in need of a friendly presence

    You and I have what we need. Share it. We will all be here; practicing together.

    Thank you for the opportunity to be of service.

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Last edited by Yugen; 03-14-2013 at 05:46 PM.
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  2. #2
    This is wonderful Yugen, thank you. This practice is very dear to my heart.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  3. #3
    Yugen, a bit of explanation for this slow newbie please?

    Global Service Days as in, let's get out there and get busy doing some good in this world? Is that correct?
    Great initiative! My kind of practice

    Gassho

    Enkyo/ Peter/ potato peal

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Enkyo,
    You are right on! We "get together" four times a year in two week windows to perform service out in the world - a project or effort that is near and dear to your heart that involves "getting your hands dirty".... literally and/or metaphorically! Please feel free to share your experiences on this thread (you don't have to if you do not wish to)....

    When you have time, please look at the previous threads to get an idea of some things folks have undertaken. Thank you for joining us - really happy to have you!
    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Looking forward to join!

    Not sure what my project this time will be, but I'll keep you posted.

    Thanks, Yugen!

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    I'm going to spend two days on state park cleanups as the snowpack is melting (clearing fallen trees and branches, opening roads, etc.). Maine Island Trail cleanups start soon as well. I plan to do a bunch of these this season. My nine-year-old son will join me....

    Deep bows,
    Yugen
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  7. #7
    I think we should give a little more detail, especially for new folks ...

    --- We ask everyone to undertake a project where they are actually out helping "hands on" folks in need, not merely writing a check (although you can do so in addition). So, if there is some physical activity in your town or community you can undertake that day ... from planting a garden in an abandoned field, to working in a soup kitchen, to visiting the elderly at an old age home, to running a race for cancer prevention ... please do so. HANDS ON, and the dirtier the better!

    --- For folks with physical restrictions due to disability or age, there have even been many ideas in the past that folks can do right from home or online. Please check our previous Days of Service for project ideas.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/forum...Global-Service

    --- For our busy fathers and mothers, this can be turned into a family activity ... bring the kids and make it a memorable day and a time of sharing, learning some important lessons.

    --- For folks who are already volunteering in their communities, it is fine to include and re-dedicate that existing activity to out Global Day of Service if you do not have time to take on an additional activity.

    --- We ask all our members to work for the benefit of other Sentient Beings, in a spirit of giving. It is not about you or us.

    --- We encourage everyone to discuss their projects in this thread as a way to "share ideas for projects", inspire others and build a sense that we are doing this as a community. So, we encourage you to discuss what you are doing. However, (1) even if you write here about your projects, remember that it is not "about us" or taking any credit, or (2) if you truly wish to remain semi-anonymous, feel free to send an email to Jundo and I will repost it here without using your name (you can even send an anonymous email if you wish! ). So, please post here your ideas and plans for projects, and stories about "how it went", so that we can all share as a Sangha in the experience.

    --- We do have a blog where we collect these projects designed by Kyonin (what is the link?), where we may repost some of these stories in order to inspire others, but only after removing most names.

    One final word ...

    I do not collect donations for being part of Treeleaf because THIS is the donation! (What, you thought Treeleaf was free? It is freeing ... but not free!). I cannot say in stronger terms how much we all hope, depend on and expect everyone who is partaking of this community ... from our newest folks to our old hands and priests ... to join in this effort. It is really not optional, for it is our Practice here ... as much as sitting Zazen or any chanted words to save the "Sentient Beings". It is expected of those who wish to be part of and partake of this Treeleaf community, our request that you give back for what you receive in this way, the bill for any benefit received. EVERYONE is expected to participate in some way (and there is a way for all of us to do so).

    THIS is ZAZEN TOO!

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS - More on Treeleaf's policy regarding donations and volunteer work can be found here:

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...-Generosity%29
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-16-2013 at 02:59 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #8
    Thanks Jundo, clear as usual . I like this very much. One question, should we be recognizable as Zen students? I think we should not, but just asking.

    Maybe this is not the spot to mention this but then again maybe it is: I got laid off because our (now former ) boss went bankrupt at work today ( me and 16 other colleagues). A curator called to assemble and sent us all home. The end.
    No more work, and no last payments either ( got 3 kids and a house , ouch). Not a metta thing, I'ts just the big wheel turning. New directions will open I'm sure. Whe are still a bit in shock and at least this initiative gives me something to do.


    So I guess I'll have plenty of time to Practice and go do some good out there. Turn that negative energy in something good and useful.

    Gassho

    Enkyo/ Peter or potato peal

  9. #9
    Hi Enkyo,

    I am sorry to hear about your loss of work. Will will sit our Zazenkai tomorrow for you and all other people in similar situations. I have been there too.


    No, there is no need to be recognizable as Zen students, or not to be for that matter.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #10
    Thank's Jundo. Let's do that, but mainly for others who are in much worse conditions.

    And for those who will suffer much, because I now have way too much time on my hands .

    Again thank you.



    Enkyo/Peter/ potato peal

  11. #11
    Wonderful post Yugen and all!

    I'm looking forward to this period, as my children will be on spring break the first week of April and they can help too. I've found a local food pantry that is looking for volunteers so I think it may be a wonderful time to go check them out!

    Gassho,
    Kelly/Jinmei

  12. #12
    Senior Member Genshin's Avatar
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    This is a wonderful idea! Really looking forward to giving something back.

    Gassho
    Matt

  13. #13
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    I need to figure out something good to do this go round. I'm not very creative in this regard, so I will probably steal someone else's idea, change it up a bit and claim it as my own!

    should we be recognizable as Zen students?
    Enkyo, only if you are doing a good job. If you are messing stuff up, tell everyone you are a catholic and blame it all on the new pope

    Also, sorry to hear about your loss of employment. That is never much fun. However, nothing like a change in jobs to open life up to new adventures!
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  14. #14
    Well said catfish! Let’s just blame everything on the old pope. The new one I can't say much about yet .

    To be honest I expect to get arrested or something. The Dutch are always suspicious if someone is trying to do something without expecting benefits can see the cop going: What’s your angle here sir? Are you soliciting or something?" We even had a government sponsored TV spot a while ago , (those public educational ones, you know?) asking the question: "What to do about níce people?" ( meant to be ironical of course). I'll look for it on YouTube, see if I can find it. Dutch people are extremely distant, mistrusting and uninterested in each other.

    So yeah, this one is really going to be a challenge!!! Good training, no?

    Gassho

    Enkyo/Peter/potato peal

  15. #15
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    "Dutch people are extremely distant, mistrusting and uninterested in each other."

    Sounds like the people here in Maine. People are people wherever you go. When I smile at them then they really don't know what to do...

    I have been making a practice of trying to smile more, particularly around people I don't know. Some folks don't know what to do - cynicism is so hard-wired they think something is wrong with you....

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Yugen View Post
    "Dutch people are extremely distant, mistrusting and uninterested in each other."

    Sounds like the people here in Maine. People are people wherever you go. When I smile at them then they really don't know what to do...

    I have been making a practice of trying to smile more, particularly around people I don't know. Some folks don't know what to do - cynicism is so hard-wired they think something is wrong with you....

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    I know what you mean Yugen ... When I moved here to the Comox Valley from Calgary, I was a bit taken back by the fact that everyone smiles, waves, says hello ... Regardless if they know you or not. I guess it is that small town feeling.

    Now, when I go to Vancouver or back to see friends in Calgary and I smile and random people ... Boy oh boy ... Freaks people out.

    But I am thankful for all the local folks who have smiled and waved to me, as it rubbed off and I am carrying on the practice.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  17. #17
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Shingen,
    Thank you brother.

    Smiling is contagious - it is spread by human contact. It can be easily transmitted - although there are those who have highly developed immune responses. They wear the surgical masks of defensiveness and suspicion to protect their vulnerability and often protect themselves from smiling by thinking "why is that person smiling?" or "that person is a simple fool" or "they want something from me" and realize that in smiling back they have to stop and put down the baggage of anger, resentment and self righteousness that they carry.

    I know. I carried this baggage for years. Still do. But I put the bags down more frequently and let my shoulders lighten from the burden more frequently.

    I used to practice Patton's "war face" in the mirror before I went to work (the corporate world is so ...) I have missed many years of smiling. It costs nothing but is so hard to do. For
    me, smiling at random people is a service project in itself....

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  18. #18
    Senior Member ZenHarmony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shingen View Post
    I know what you mean Yugen ... When I moved here to the Comox Valley from Calgary, I was a bit taken back by the fact that everyone smiles, waves, says hello ... Regardless if they know you or not. I guess it is that small town feeling.
    In the little town where I live, everybody waves as they pass each other in their vehicles, but boy, do they look at me funny when I walk around town! You'd think I was scoping out the houses to see who I'm going to rob! lol

    It's not unusual in this part of the province for farmers to stop in the middle of a country road and have a conversation without even getting out of their trucks. Many a time, hubby has had to slam on the brakes on a fully loaded tanker truck, just to keep from plowing into them! There really are limits to casualness, too!

    Gassho,

    Lisa

    (sorry for all the exclamation points, I'm trying to keep them to a minimum! hahaha)
    Last edited by ZenHarmony; 03-16-2013 at 04:42 AM. Reason: just wow

  19. #19
    Hi guys, great comments !

    Yugen, yes it is a project in itself. As we now many, many people could use a smile or a kind word. I'm going to do this smiling experiment you mentioned today. I'm the friendly type anyway, but tend to avoid embarassing other people for their sake. Today however, I'm gonna smile boradly and warmly to anyone, anywhere. Let's see what happens!

    Gassho

    Enkyo? Peter? Potato peal?

    Gassho

    Enkyo

  20. #20
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Why don't we have an informal smiling project? I will do the same today Enkyo - I'm going to the farmer's market shortly (although people there smile a lot - sample type is important) - will report back!

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Yugen View Post
    Shingen,
    Thank you brother.

    Smiling is contagious - it is spread by human contact. It can be easily transmitted - although there are those who have highly developed immune responses. They wear the surgical masks of defensiveness and suspicion to protect their vulnerability and often protect themselves from smiling by thinking "why is that person smiling?" or "that person is a simple fool" or "they want something from me" and realize that in smiling back they have to stop and put down the baggage of anger, resentment and self righteousness that they carry.

    I know. I carried this baggage for years. Still do. But I put the bags down more frequently and let my shoulders lighten from the burden more frequently.

    I used to practice Patton's "war face" in the mirror before I went to work (the corporate world is so ...) I have missed many years of smiling. It costs nothing but is so hard to do. For
    me, smiling at random people is a service project in itself....

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Well my friend ... it looks as if we walked the same path. I too used to work in the corporate world (Oil and Gas) for Compaq ... I too used to have a morning ritual to harden myself to the riggers of that work life. The irony was I loved what I did, but did not love where I worked. People were more focused on taking your job, then doing their job.

    Eventually Hewlett Packard came along and bought out Compaq and a ton of us got laid off. The crazy thing was, I was terrified of loosing my job, the job I loved to hate. It was a great friend of mine that said to me, take a break, step back from where you are and see where you are and where you want to go. So he and I took three months off from life and rock climbed/lived in Bishop, CA ... a transformation ... a new beginning to bring back the "Smile" and say "Adios" to that "Corporate Armour"!

    Sorry for the ramble ... doesn't really fit in this thread, but felt it fit with your post Yugen. Thank you for your practice and being you!

    Deep bows,
    Shingen
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  22. #22
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Shingen,
    We have a lot in common and a lot to share. I look forward to practicing with you...! Thank you for sharing your story.

    I spent a lot of time in the corporate and consulting world.... I climbed, clawed, worked hard, coveted other people's jobs/turf, did "looked out for number one," and all that ... stuff. I'm glad we are here. I'm trying not to do harm... today....

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Last edited by Yugen; 03-16-2013 at 05:55 PM.
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  23. #23
    Senior Member ZenHarmony's Avatar
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    Awesome story, Shingen!

    Gassho,

    Lisa

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by ZenHarmony View Post
    Awesome story, Shingen!

    Gassho,

    Lisa
    Thanks Lisa.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Yugen View Post
    Shingen,
    We have a lot in common and a lot to share. I look forward to practicing with you...! Thank you for sharing your story.

    I spent a lot of time in the corporate and consulting world.... I climbed, clawed, worked hard, coveted other people's jobs/turf, did "looked out for number one," and all that ... stuff. I'm glad we are here. I'm trying not to do harm... today....

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    I couldn't agree more ... I am very happy we have connected.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  26. #26
    Hey Yugen,

    thanks for highlighting the spirit of the global day of service!

    I'm looking forward to it.

    All the best and gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  27. #27
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Thanks Yugan,
    Still thinking about what we are going to do here. Will update later.
    Gassho
    Myozan
    Myozan Kodo
    Ordained Soto Zen Priest in Training
    Dublin, Ireland

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.
    "Here the way unfolds."

  28. #28
    Also still thinking about what to do.... it will be simple is all I know.


    Regarding the practice of smiling. It is magical how a 100% smile evokes a 100% smile from another person, in any place. Same goes for a 100% frown, or a 100% anything.

    Gassho
    Daizan
    大山

  29. #29
    Very good, happy to serve with you all!

    Gassho
    Shohei

  30. #30
    hi guys,

    OK, so I did the smiling practice for a few days. Some people got nervous, others ignored me and I got to talk to some new peopl,too. Smiling and kindness seems to open doors somehow! Nice to see how we really do create the world around us, or at least have a great influence. I think it was Covey saying something about the spheres of influence? Really true!
    Tried to see the Buddha in every person around me and treat them as such. Not easy some times!

    Other interesting thing I noticed is a kind of friction that gradually built up as the experiment went on. An irritation, so to speak. Friction from within myself. Very odd. Got tired of smiling after a while. Not so much a bodhisattva then, huh?
    I think because it is not a genuine smile but mechanical, just an act?

    Anyone have the same sort of experience or am I just a cranky old....... !

    Gassho

    Enkyo

  31. #31
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    Well, if this snow melts I will be out on the trails doing some cleanup, but an alternative might be needed.

    It makes me think of the time my Dad and I went to opening day at Fenway Park and the game was delayed an hour so they could shovel the outfield.

    In either case, it just isn't right.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  32. #32
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Right or not, time to "play ball!" The sounds of baseball season! Remember what hitting a ball with the bat felt like on a cold day?

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  33. #33
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Enkyo,

    I, too, feel irritation and friction sometimes. In my case, I have wrinkles around my mouth from years of frowning... not smile lines. I read somewhere that "smile" muscles need to be trained for people like me, who have frowned or looked severe for years. Thich Nhat Hanh describes a practice in learning to smile.... sometimes I will conclude zazen with a few minutes of smiling practice... I will close my eyes and force myself to smile, even if I don't feel like it. Muscular tension in the face is relieved, and behavioral/chemical improvements do result. This is a very interesting area of research and activity. I am attaching a link below to a story where psychologists are teaching Syrian refugees to laugh, even if they have to force themselves too. Very interesting practice. Sometimes we have to repeat the mechanical behavior until it becomes learned and spontaneous. Sometimes my smiles look more like grimaces....

    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/ar...ors_picks=true

    The other day I was stepping off the curb to cross the street and a car, not seeing me, zipped right by. I jumped back onto the curb and the driver looked at me quickly. In that moment of shared glances, I might have yelled or shouted, and the driver's response would be predictable - a middle finger or a shout - I had the presence of mind to smile broadly and wave - the driver's face immediately beamed back at me - I could see the relief in her face.

    Deep bows
    Yugen

    I am going to make this a more regular part of my practice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enkyo View Post
    hi guys,

    OK, so I did the smiling practice for a few days. Some people got nervous, others ignored me and I got to talk to some new peopl,too. Smiling and kindness seems to open doors somehow! Nice to see how we really do create the world around us, or at least have a great influence. I think it was Covey saying something about the spheres of influence? Really true!
    Tried to see the Buddha in every person around me and treat them as such. Not easy some times!

    Other interesting thing I noticed is a kind of friction that gradually built up as the experiment went on. An irritation, so to speak. Friction from within myself. Very odd. Got tired of smiling after a while. Not so much a bodhisattva then, huh?
    I think because it is not a genuine smile but mechanical, just an act?

    Anyone have the same sort of experience or am I just a cranky old....... !

    Gassho

    Enkyo
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  34. #34
    Yugen,

    Thanks for the reply! That is exactly what I meant and it is great to see you too are working on this. From other areas of study, it is clear body and mind are connected in more ways than is known to science (us). That to change the attitude and feel better, one must change the mind first and then the body folows. It sometimes realy is a practice! WOW it's like sitting hahahaah! Let's keep it up together . This smiling practice is bringing good insight!

    Gassho

    Enkyo

  35. #35
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Enkyo,
    I am glad we are practicing this together. I think this may be worth its own thread in Engaged Projects. I will start one shortly, that way we can keep up with one another and encourage others to join us!

    Let's keep at it!

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  36. #36
    Hi.

    I always have some charityproject running, but two projects that i want to talk about that i am doing now is helping people prune trees as well as participate in an project of locating "abandoned" fruittrees all over the country, and (hopefully) restore them and get people to use them when time comes for harvest.

    Thank you for your practice.

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen
    Treeleaf Unsui
    Blog: http://fugenblog.blogspot.com/

  37. #37
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Fugen,
    I would like to learn more about your practice / project as there are many old apple trees that are forgotten/abandoned here in Maine that could be "rescued" ....

    Perhaps this project could be conducted simultaneously in a few "Treeleaf" geographies!

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  38. #38
    Senior Member Seizan's Avatar
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    Hi All,

    I wanted to share this video of the burrito project, something my practice partner had introduced me to. I think it's a great idea, and so easy to do! Essentially you make burritos then take the time to talk to the homeless that you pass the burritos out to. A little conversation and a full belly



    Also will be cleaning up some campsites out here. They get pretty trashed, and I had picked a few to clean out last service day period- but then it snowed!!! And the snow stayed, so I know the garbage is still in the snow melt

    Planning to visit the horse rescue and help the good people there care for their animals. Horses are sentient beings, too!

    I'm always looking for volunteer ideas, share yours if you can! I wouldn't have found out about the burrito project otherwise!

    Gassho

  39. #39
    What an inspiring thread!
    Since I still have problems with my knee (slowly getting better though), I have to come up with something different. Picking up litter in the woods (I live very near to the forest with lots of hiking trails) would have been the obvious choice - did that in the past several times. It is incredible what people just throw away, what things you can find!

    About the smiling practice:
    This is awesome, I will try that more often.
    What I do quite often is talk with people in the supermarket, especially at the checkout. I'd estimate that 90% of all mini conversations are funny and/or interesting. Actually, I don't do this as a practice, but because I like to talk with people.
    However, I must say that I live in a town in Germany with about 50k inhabitants, so I don't know if this is recommendable in other places of the world...

    We don't want something like this to happen:



    *SCNR*

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  40. #40
    Senior Member Seizan's Avatar
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    That's an awesome clip! I imagined a bunch of Treeleafers all over the globe doing this, and then all of us on one train doing this... hahaha

    In our little mountain bubble, we talk to everyone and anyone at the drop of a hat, and it's usually so pleasant and nice! However, in other places, might not be so appreciated. But a smile, I think, almost always is!

    Gassho

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Yugen View Post
    Fugen,
    I would like to learn more about your practice / project as there are many old apple trees that are forgotten/abandoned here in Maine that could be "rescued" ....

    Perhaps this project could be conducted simultaneously in a few "Treeleaf" geographies!

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Hi.

    Well, one side of the project is me going around helping people prune and care for their trees. Although there are alot of companies that do that around here, i like pruning and if tehy want to give me something i accept it, but i give all the money to charity, foremost tibetcharity or ankarstiftelsen, two foundations where the money go straight to the causes and not so much get lost on their way...

    The other one is actually more of an support of an projec that involved an app for smartphones pinpointing where there are any fruittrees that are forgotten/abandoned and that you may use yourself, and then both finding them and restoring them. Do you have anything similar?


    Thank you for your practice.

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen
    Treeleaf Unsui
    Blog: http://fugenblog.blogspot.com/

  42. #42
    POSTING FOR SOMEONE WHO PREFERS TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS BUT WISHES TO SHARE ... THEY WRITE:


    Because of work and family commitments spare time is at a bit of a premium. However, I will dedicate the following actions to this cause,

    - Volunteering to maintain local wetland area.
    - During the Easter break I'll be out picking up litter on the local nature walk.
    - Planting bee friendly plants and fruit trees in the garden with the children. Bee mortality if a real problem and they need a helping hand. Hoping to teach the children about the interconnectedness of all things.

    Perhaps not hands-on engaged practice, but still in the spirit of giving and for the benefit of other beings in need,

    - I'm supporting/sponsoring a 03/11 Tsunami orphan.
    - Moving bank accounts to a more ethical institution that does not support or finance private companies involved in activities that are bad for the environment and cause suffering.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  43. #43
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Hey all!

    After some thought, I finally know what I'll do on this marvelous Global Service Days. I think this time I'll take some photos to share

    There's this park where I run. It's a little abandoned by the city, so I'll go clean it as much as I can. I'll try to give it back a little of what the park is giving us runners.

    Also, there's a retirement home nearby and some of the elder folks there were forgotten by their families. Depending on how open they are for outsiders, I'll try to go visit and make myself useful. This activity doesn't depend on me, but I'll keep you posted.

    My ongoing projects:


    • I keep on teaching English to a couple of kids whose parent's can't afford English school.
    • I keep on giving free web hosting for non profits and bloggers in exile. So far I have 10 projects.
    • I keep on sending donations towards Haiti, Native Mexicans and animal help non profits... whenever I can.


    As an aside note, one of the kids I have been teaching to had a rewarding experience. We have been working for about 2 years. She is 16 and she is very shy. It's been a challenge to teach her because she is even ashamed to speak! A couple of weeks ago she was taking a walk with her friends in downtown, when an American tourist approached them to ask for directions. And the girl gave her directions in English, and even suggested some interesting places to go and eat!

    She was in shock, but very happy. When she told me about this, I was happy for her. For a shy girl, this was a great leap. She's more confident and comfortable with herself now.

    Anyway.

    Thanks for reading my useless words.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  44. #44
    Senior Member Seizan's Avatar
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    Kyonin,

    I think you just proved your words are not useless You were able to reach through to the shy girl with words, and it sounds like she ended up with a rewarding and confidence building experience!

    Thank you to anonymous for suggesting bee plants- that's so easy to do, and such a help!

    Deep Gassho to all you wonderful, inspiring people,
    Seizan

  45. #45
    Senior Member YuimaSLC's Avatar
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    Speaking of smiling. I, too, have been one over the years to be rather straight-faced, such that over time, it's more of a frown perceived by others.

    Walk into a green grocer, put a smile on (like moving into gassho) and it's like greeting the situation as a pleasant "this-is-it!"ness. I don't go about smiling
    to make everyone else happier, and yet I'm not rejecting whatever I perceive their encounter with me might be. And it's not a "power of positive thinking" moment, either. Somehow, smiling puts the mind in-gear to accept an original, not prejudged
    or anticipatory condition.

    "Embracing all conditions of life".

    Gassho

    Richard

  46. #46
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Richard,
    Years ago, there was an undergraduate working as cashier (work/study) in the dining hall at the graduate school I was attending. I came through the cash line with my tray but I had forgotten my wallet. She treated me to lunch. I later asked her out on a date, and she told me that my nickname amongst the student workers was "the man who never smiled."

    We've been married twenty two years and I'm working on smiling. I'm lucky she's keeping me around.

    Kyonin: you are my inspiration, man!

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Last edited by Yugen; 03-25-2013 at 01:33 AM.
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Yugen View Post
    Richard,
    Years ago, there was an undergraduate working as cashier (work/study) in the dining hall at the graduate school I was attending. I came through the cash line with my tray but I had forgotten my wallet. She treated me to lunch. I later asked her out on a date, and she told me that my nickname amongst the student workers was "the man who never smiled."

    We've been married twenty two years and I'm working on smiling. I'm lucky she's keeping me around.

    Kyonin: you are my inspiration, man!

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Speaking of inspiration ... Yugen, what a beautiful story, it brought a tear to my eye.

    Deep bows to you
    Shingen
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Jenell View Post
    I trained one of my dogs as a therapy dog and I take her to the nursing homes to visit with people.
    This is a wonderful practice, I am in the process of getting my little Bodhi certified as a therapy dog so we can go visit folks who are needing of a little love and smiles.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  49. #49
    Hi Kids,

    Well, I was in a play at an arts festival for challenged kids. Roaring success! Our skit had a Disney theme, with everyone dressed up as a Disney or Pixar character. The kids and staff worked for weeks making the costumes and such. Here is a back stage shot.

    Can you spot which one is me? (Here is a clue: I am the one with the even bigger ears than usual!) I was actually worried about scaring kids in the outfit, but it didn't happen.





    Gassho, Mickey
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-25-2013 at 05:12 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  50. #50
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Jundo,

    That is so awesome! I bet it was a fun event for the kids.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

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