EARTH SANGHA | MEDITATION: EXPLORING THE NATURE OF OUR MINDS
The Sangha hosts regular meditation sessions, along with discussions about what it means to live in a responsible way. Occasionally, we organize retreats. We also gather once a year to take the Bodhisattva Vows. This is our only ceremony; it is intended to celebrate the identity of the Sangha and to allow those who have taken up formal practice to renew their commitment to it. Over the course of a year, about 50 people practice within the Sangha.
Our meditation sessions are led by Lisa Bright, who has been recognized as a teacher by the Chogye Order of Zen Buddhism, the main Buddhist monastic order in Korea. Although our practice derives loosely from Zen, it is nondenominational.
Our regular sittings are on Tuesday evenings, in the Del Ray section of Alexandria. These sessions are free and open to everyone. For more information about them, click the “Regular Sittings” tab above. If you have not meditated with us before and would like to attend, please contact Lisa Bright, at email@example.com, or (703) 764-4830.
We also host occasional outdoor meditation sessions at our Wild Plant Nursery and at the Marie Butler Leven Preserve, the site of our Native Arboretum project. (These sittings are usually mentioned in our DC-area field schedule.)
We sit on Tuesday evenings on the second floor of the Yoga in Daily Life building, in the Del Ray section of Alexandria. The session runs from 7:00 to 9:00.
Our usual session includes two bouts of seated meditation, separated by a brief interval of walking meditation; the Heart Sutra is chanted after the second sitting, and a Dharma discussion concludes the evening.
The YIDL building is at 2402 Mount Vernon Avenue. Driving directions are available on the Directions page of the YIDL web site. View the YIDL location on Google Maps. There is street parking nearby (usually), and a public parking lot across the street.
If you have not meditated with us before and would like to attend, please contact Lisa Bright, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (703) 764-4830.
If you are new to Buddhism, our Buddhism Reading List may help you get your bearings in the field.
If you are interested in environmentally engaged Buddhism, you might like to read our essay on Green Buddhism, our Vision Statement, and our position statement on Invasives Control and the First Precept. The Earth Sangha also has its own version of the Five Most Common Precepts.
Below is a selection of essays that Lisa has written about our practice within the Sangha, or that offer a Buddhist perspective on life. Some of these essays appear also in our Speaking Broadly blog, and some were written for our newsletter, the Acorn. The collection may also eventually include pieces written specifically for this page. We are starting with five items, but we hope to add more at the rate of about one a month.
Zen Q and A: Seeds and the Whole Mind, February 3, 2011
I accept that the mind should not “abide in forms,” as the Sutras say, but I don’t understand where else the mind could abide! Zen teachers often talk of “no mind” or “big mind,” but as a practical matter, it’s not clear to me what these terms have to do with my own mind, in the usual sense of that term.
Gentle Poverty, February 2, 2009
It’s painful just to think about what the current economic downturn is doing to so many people—forcing them out of their jobs and homes, denying them adequate food and healthcare. I’m not sure I can imagine what it would be like to actually experience such things.
Forget the Buddhism, January 2002
I’m leafing through the latest issue of a Buddhist magazine, a handsome quarterly that apparently commands a broad readership. Including me. I’ve been a subscriber for years. And by now, I’m quite familiar with the public faces of American Buddhism as they appear and reappear in these pages.
Doing Nothing, September 2001
You’ve probably heard of the cliché Zen posture of doing nothing. Zen adepts are often depicted as leading lives of cultivated emptiness, sitting on their cushions, thinking of nothing, drinking tea, inspecting mountain scenery. And there are people who actually aspire to this way of life.
Full Circle, May 2000
When I was very young, my family owned a small farm in a southern province of South Korea. We had a few cows and maybe a hundred chickens. Our village consisted of about 20 houses clustered in a valley and backed up against the slopes of the mountains.