Greetings everyone from the Sunday Program Committee! Our Sunday Programs are continuing in the winter with very interesting presentations. A program on The Buddha Before Buddhism launches us for December, and following this we’ll have our first winter quarter invited teacher on the December 13. She is Beth Mulligan, the guiding Dharma teacher in the Insight Community of the Desert, and she will offer a teaching on The Four Wise Efforts.
December also offers us a program on Grief – Allowing the Heart to Break – a poignant way to acknowledge the terrible losses brought to us by this difficult year, and also help us to work skillfully and compassionately so that 2020 may draw to a close with hopefulness and cheer. To that end, our New Year’s Ceremony on December 27 hopes to bring us joy in our survival and even thriving as a sangha, and ready to launch into the New Year with our second Invited Teacher, Nikki Mirghafori, followed by a retreat with Norman Fischer. Nikki is an artificial intelligence scientist and a Buddhist teacher. She is a lineage holder in the Theravada tradition, empowered by the Burmese master Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw, as well as the Spirit Rock Meditation Center and Insight Meditation Society. You can learn more about her fascinating background here: https://www.nikkimirghafori.com/bio
Please note that for these guest visits we will slightly alter our Sunday format: after brief announcements and introduction, the invited teachers will have the remainder of our hour and a half for their teaching, a guided or focused meditation, and discussion or Q&A. I hope we all enjoy this slight change-up from our regular format.
Lastly, this recent September, with the Thich Nhat Hahn week, we launched a new program series highlighting a specific teacher. All the sangha offerings and gatherings for that week focused on TNH, giving us the kind of rich cohesion and singleness of purpose that characterizes our member-led White Heron Sangha. The Program Committee is currently planning for a week focusing on His Holiness the Dalai Lama later in the quarter. January and February have more programs on tap—some tried and true, such as Bring A Reading, and many new. Check it all out on the sangha website as the season progresses.
Let me say in closing, the sangha Board of Directors has approved for us to offer dana/honorarium to the two Invited Teachers. That means that, unlike at retreats where the attendees offer dana to the teachers, we will not be asking for any teacher dana since the sangha itself is covering it. At the same time, if you would care to offer dana to WHS in support of the Invited Teacher series, that would be very appreciated and will, in fact, allow us to keep this series going.
Sunday Program Committee Members: Claudia Coleman, Chair; Corey McIntyre; Sylvia Alcon; Kathryn Tribbey; Lynne Breakstone; Mick Malotte