A Note From George (June 2018)

 

June Gloom Redux


If traffic is not the cause for complaint in Los Angeles, it is the weather. April Overcast followed by May Gray followed by June Gloom…not that I ever go, but I long for beach weather. My internal visual thinking, me, forever prostrate, worshiping the sun from the shade, my head propped up against a tree in perfect viewing position.

 
Beach.jpg
 

Perhaps the last of the Brahma Viharas, Upekkha or Equanimity practice: 

Things are just as they are, things are impermanent. 
Joy and sorrow arise and pass away. 
All beings are the heirs of their intentions and actions. 
Our joy and our sorrow depend on our intentions and actions, not on our wishes for each other. 
Care deeply for each other, knowing we cannot prevent suffering.

Or the short form, when you find yourself in a pinch bopping around the planet:

Things are just as they are, etc. 
Things are just as they are, etc. 
Things are just as they are, etc.

 
In-a-pinch.jpg
 

Retreat for Householders

For householders, maintaining retreat practice as part of your overall meditation practice plan is essential to making progress on the path. Mettagroup’s The Meaningful Life Summer Retreat begins June 29th at the Seven Circles Retreat Center in Badger, California. Ten days of retreat heaven/hell (there is no heaven or hell!). We have changed our admission policy to limit attendance to the whole retreat. Feedback from the past retreats suggests that people coming and going in the middle of the retreat is too disruptive for the long-haulers to make sense. For students that are not able to make a ten-day retreat work, we will offer long-weekend retreats in the future. 

 
retreat.jpg
 

 

We limit the retreat to 24 participants, so there is a plenty of teacher/student support for your personal practice. Different from a traditional silent retreat, there is a period of talking after dinner each day to promote Sangha building. The Meaningful Life curriculum is all about developing strong interpersonal relationships, so getting to know the other people on this path is critical to making progress. 

From the Meghiya Sutta (liberally paraphrased), from the Buddha’s mouth to your ears:

Five things give rise to the release of heart and lasting peace: One, an engaged intimacy with close friends (As & Bs); Two, ethical conduct toward self and world; Three, frequent conversation that supports your ethical and meditation practice; Four, making a commitment to work for the good of all beings in the world; and Five, insight into the nature of impermanence.

This year’s summer retreat begins on a Friday evening. Arrival, settling in, etc., then four days of Metta practice followed by four days of Vipassana practice, then a day to wind down. (After the retreat, the biggest tree on the planet, a Sequoiadendron giganteum, the so-called, “General Sherman,” is still available for viewing at Sequoia National Park a mere half-hour away. Don’t miss it before climate change!!) 

There are a few spaces available, and some scholarship support if you need it. Please consider joining us. More info at mettagroup.org/retreats.

Scheduling Update

Dan Brown will not be coming to Los Angeles in June after all. His trip is tentatively rescheduled for October. We will keep you abreast of developments as we know what is happening.
 

The Meaningful Life Intensives


Registration for the Fall 2018 The Meaningful Life Intensives is now open. In Los Angeles, we are limiting each class to 12 participants. We find that the small cohort size provides space for actual understanding of the material. We will be offering a Level One for anyone interested in our meditation for attachment repair approach, and Level Two for people who have completed Level One and want to deepen their practice. Remote students can now participate in the classes live through video conferencing. 

For people who are already practicing Idealized Parent Figure Protocol or who would like to begin, we will be offering a Level Three class. More details on that coming soon!

If you have questions about any of the intensives, please give the office a buzz at 213-378-0489 to arrange call with me. I am happy to answer your questions directly. Or check out mettagroup.org/intensives sooner rather than later.

We will also be offering The Meaningful Life – Level One in Santa Cruz, at Insight Santa Cruz, in a new format, four day-longs over two months. Because this is a Level One class, and in keeping with the culture at ISC, these day-longs will be organized as drop in classes, so you can participate in as many as you like. Read more about that at Insight Santa Cruz

Summer is almost here. Go have fun! 

Love to you,
George