At last Thursday's monthly business meeting, the attendees unanimously decided to begin a new book for the reading portion of the meeting. To avoid confusion, let me just add that we are not leaving the book Refuge Recovery behind for good - just taking a break from it for a bit. Once we have finished the pre-personal story half of Refuge Recovery, we will begin Eight Step Recovery: Using the Buddha's Teachings to Overcome Addiction by Valerie Mason-John and Dr. Paramabandhu Groves with forewords by Gabor Maté and Jon Kabat-Zinn. Eight copies have been ordered for sharing during the meeting. Printed and digital copies are available for purchase at both Barnes & Noble and Amazon, but please note that the print book is slightly cheaper at Barnes & Noble with an expected delivery time of about a week, whereas Amazon also has a [more affordable] Kindle edition but the print book has a significant shipping delay.
This one is hot off the presses - the dateline on this over at The Atlantic is about 20 minutes ago. The Atlantic, IMHO, vies with The New Yorker as the current preeminent publisher of top feature writing. And Olga Khazan has a pretty impressive track record. So, reading this is on my to do list. After grading, course planning, Refuge business meeting prepping, etc. In the meantime, if you get a chance, tell me what you think.
From the website:
This was the first of two meditation sessions of the Kadampa Buddhism class I attended this week near my house in Northern Virginia, and I did not reach nirvana. Since we were in a major city, occasional sirens outside blasted through the quiet, and since this was a church basement, people were laughing and talking in the hallways. One guy wandered in to ask if this was an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. The more we focused on our breath, the teacher assured us, the more these distractions would fade away.
Read more at The Atlantic.
Did you know you can take courses offered by Princeton University via Coursera, an "education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take" completely free? Including "Buddhism and Modern Psychology"?
About the Course [from the website]
The Dalai Lama has said that Buddhism and science are deeply compatible and has encouraged Western scholars to critically examine both the meditative practice and Buddhist ideas about the human mind. A number of scientists and philosophers have taken up this challenge. There have been brain scans of meditators and philosophical examinations of Buddhist doctrines. There have even been discussions of Darwin and the Buddha: Do early Buddhist descriptions of the mind, and of the human condition, make particular sense in light of evolutionary psychology?
This course will examine how Buddhism is faring under this scrutiny. Are neuroscientists starting to understand how meditation “works”? Would such an understanding validate meditation—or might physical explanations of meditation undermine the spiritual significance attributed to it? And how are some of the basic Buddhist claims about the human mind holding up? We’ll pay special attention to some highly counterintuitive doctrines: that the self doesn’t exist, and that much of perceived reality is in some sense illusory. Do these claims, radical as they sound, make a certain kind of sense in light of modern psychology? And what are the implications of all this for how we should live our lives? Can meditation make us not just happier, but better people? All the features of this course are available for free. It does not offer a certificate upon completion.
Another course that may be other interest is Buddhism Through Its Scriptures offered by Harvard University.
Thanks to Steve W. for the suggestion and Craig O. for passing it along!
Howard Cohn, a founding teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, is coming to the Valley the weekend of March 15-17. His host, Insight Meditation Scottsdale, PHXvipassana's Scottsdale sangha, is pleased to invite you to a free Dharma Talk on Friday night, March 15th, entitled, "Finding Refuge in the Midst of It All."
This will be followed, Saturday and Sunday, by a two day, non-residential retreat, "Awakening, Truth & Community: Celebrating the 3 Jewels of Buddhist Practice - Meditation on the Buddha, Dharma & Sangha."
REGISTER for your FREE TICKETS for the Dharma Talk here: https://howard-cohn-public-talk.eventbrite.com
For more information about the two day retreat with Howard Cohn, Insight Meditation Scottsdale, and PHXvippassana, check out https://phxvipassana.com and www.meetup.com/PHXvipassana/events/.
Spirit Rock's Statement as of last night, February 21st follows including a link to the full EAR Council Statement which references Refuge Recovery:
UPDATE FROM SPIRIT ROCK'S ETHICS AND RECONCILIATION COUNCIL
SPIRIT ROCK WITHDRAWS NOAH LEVINE’S TEACHING AUTHORIZATION
Spirit Rock’s Ethics and Reconciliation Council (EAR Council) has formally withdrawn Noah Levine’s authorization to teach.
Separately, Jack Kornfield has withdrawn his authorization for Mr. Levine to teach, and, following the Buddhist tradition of Sanghadisesa, will allow this to be reviewed in years ahead, should Mr. Levine demonstrate a significant transformation.
This decision was made after multiple, direct conversations with Mr. Levine and after the EAR Council and Spirit Rock Guiding Teachers completed a comprehensive investigation of reports of misconduct and allegations made against Mr. Levine, finding that Mr. Levine’s behavior does not adhere to the Spirit Rock Teacher Code of Ethics. The Board of Directors of Spirit Rock affirmed this decision on February 13, 2019.
The ethical commitment of non-harming is central to the teachings of the Buddha, and the Spirit Rock Teacher Code of Ethics states that “the foundation of spiritual life rests upon our mindful and caring relationship to the life around us.”
This has been a difficult process that has been done with great care. Spirit Rock’s Ethics and Reconciliation process can be found below. To download the full EAR Council statement regarding Noah Levine, please click here.
Should you have any information you wish to share with Spirit Rock's Ethics and Reconciliation Council, please contact EARCouncil@spiritrock.org.
May the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha remain our refuge.
Noah Levine [with Catherine Rezza] at
the 1st Refuge Recovery Conference, at
Against the Stream Meditation Society,
Los Angeles, CA, in 2015.
Crystal Goh reported at Mindful.org on a study which explored "whether mindfulness is the result of meditation, a natural disposition, or a spontaneous state of mind."
Spoilers: "Individuals who are naturally mindful can effectively regulate their emotions even without meditation, but for those who are not naturally mindful, simply forcing oneself to be mindful “in the moment” is not enough — it is necessary to engage in mindfulness meditation in order to effectively regulate your emotions" [emphasis mine].
Read the whole article here...
Thanks to Trevor Hattaway for bringing the link and Mindful.org to my attention -
- Catherine Rezza
Delightful - and delightfully narrated by the incomparable Stephen Fry as part
of BBC Radio 4's A History of Ideas.
The latest local Refuge Recovery meeting begins tomorrow, Sunday, February 10th at 9:00 am.
Please join us at the following address:
The River Source
2325 W Guadalupe Rd
Gilbert AZ 85233
Longform article in Tricycle asks: Will Sanghas Learn from the Scandals in the Buddhist World? By Wendy Joan Biddlecombe Agsar
JAN 28, 2019
Recovery Dharma Phoenix [RRP]
Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. We are a non-theistic Buddhist Recovery & Meditation Community.