Good evening friends and members of the OBS,

In the midst of busy lives, it can be difficult to maintain a consistent relationship with Buddhist meditation and dhamma. At last month’s retreat, Randy Baker and Jim Bedard stressed the importance of cultivating a meditation routine, noting the benefits we reap by bringing this commitment to our practice. Deciding to make our practice a priority is a major challenge for lay people, as other demands, responsibilities, and opportunities vie for our attention.

In her Metta Hour podcast, Sharon Salzberg suggests four contemplations for sustaining regular practice. The first of these, contemplation on the preciousness of life, seems particularly salient as Earth Day draws near. Sharon invites us to appreciate the incalculable number of factors and circumstances that led to our opportunity to practice. Just as many seeds lack proper conditions to grow, many humans lack the opportunities, interest, and time to cultivate sustained practice.
Gratitude for present circumstances that support our practice becomes all the more profound when we consider the sheer improbability of our own human lives taking root! Reflecting on the precious nature of our lives can inspire us to use our time, this moment on Earth wisely.

However, inspiration alone is not enough to ensure our sustained practice. Into every life some “rain” must fall – days when our practice presents boredom, sleepiness, or preoccupation. Sharon reminds us that these days are particularly important and that each day we make decisions that bring us either closer to or farther from the values that guide our lives. Maintaining practice on “difficult days” bolsters confidence in our ability to continuously make choices based on these values. Each time we sit, we plant a seed of intention that will eventually grow into a sustained and flourishing awareness of dhamma.

To reflect more on this and other teachings focused on sustaining practice, please listen to the Metta Hour Podcast: Reflections for Sustained Practice (https://www.sharonsalzberg.com/metta-hour-podcast-episode-44-reflections-sustained-practice/) .

 
Upcoming Events

April 4 – Waxing half moon

April 7Friday Evening Meeting with LP Viradhammo. 7:30 pm at Quaker House, 91A Fourth Ave, Ottawa (click here for map).

Luang Por Viradhammo is the senior abbot and founder of Tisarana monastery, which he founded in 2005. He has been the Ottawa Buddhist Society’s principal spiritual guide for the past 10 years.

 

 

 

 

April 11 – Full moon

April 19 – Waning half moon

April 21Friday Evening Meeting with LP Viradhammo. 7:30 pm at Quaker House, 91A Fourth Ave, Ottawa (click here for map).

April 22Day of Mindfulness with LP Viradhammo. 8:30 am – 3:30 pm at the Trinity United Church 1099 Maitland Avenue .Ottawa

If you cannot attend the full-day program, you may participate in a half-day session: from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. or from 12:45 to 3:30 p.m.  Either way, you are invited to contribute to and share in the pot-luck vegetarian lunch, served between 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.  Any contribution would be warmly welcomed.

 

 

April 26 – New moon

 

Volunteer and Dana Opportunities

We are always looking for OBS Volunteers to help out with driving Monastics to and from Perth and to host their overnight stays in Ottawa between teaching events. ( In particular we are looking for male drivers and male hosts that live in a reasonably central location ) If you are interested in helping out please email Vivienne for more details mons2014@ottawabuddhistsociety.com

Providing food items for the Tisarana Sangha :
You are warmly invited to provide dana support for the monks at Tisarana Monastery by bringing non-perishable food items that don’t require refrigeration. As our hearts are grateful for Luang Por Viradhammo’s willingness to come to Ottawa to teach, we have this opportunity to be generous by providing the basic requisite of food to the monks at Tisarana.  Consult the “OBS Dana Program” page of the “Contribute” section of the Tisarana website to see what is currently needed.

A food collection basket will be available at Quaker House on April 7th and 21st and at the Day of Mindfulness on April 22nd for your donations. Thank you all.

May 14 –  OBS Soup Kitchen at Shepherds of Good Hope.
The meal service at the Shepherds of Good Hope enables us to contribute to the community at large and socialize at the same time. Ann Waters is coordinating volunteers. If you are interested in helping please contact Ann at socserv2014@ottawabuddhistsociety.com 

Larger Community Bulletin Board Created
The OBS executive board often receives requests to make announcements in the OBS Newsletter from Buddhist individuals and groups within the Ottawa area. In a spirit of mutuality with others, we created an OBS Blog page, – Larger Community Bulletin Board and OBS Biographies  Please contact comms2014@ottawabuddhistsociety.com for inclusion details.

 

Featured Photo-essay

Earth Day falls on Saturday April 22 this year.  In honour of this day, we would like to share this lovely photo-essay exploring Buddhist perspectives on environmentalism: 

Written by Dr. Ron Epstein, this article originally appeared in Vajra Bodhi Sea: A Monthly Journal of Orthodox Buddhism in 2005.

 

The production of an OBS monthly Newsletter has evolved into a communication team project that benefits from several hearts and many pairs of eyes. For their ongoing service to the dhamma, the OBS executive board gives thanks to Jeela Jones, Krista Shackleford-Lye and Colleen Glass. Submissions to the next OBS Newsletter are always welcome.

Please send submissions by May 1, 2017 to comms2014@ottawabuddhistsociety.com