“If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?” ― Dogen
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Hi, <<First Name>>. I hope that you are finding both time and ease on your cushion as we welcome December. Navigating the holidays reminds me of our interconnectedness, and specifically how we impact each other, often unknowingly. Everyone has experienced both being negatively impacted by someone else and being the one causing the negative impact to others, and family gatherings or the sometimes painful emotions around the holidays can be a breeding ground for these kinds of interactions. With mindfulness, we can lean on our practice to help ground us in the present moment and cultivate a sense of ease and loving-kindness. And in the spirit of interconnectedness, grounding ourselves can often have a ripple effect on those around us. 

Sharon Salzberg wrote, "Almost from my first acquaintance with dharma practice, I heard that loving-kindness and compassion were elements or manifestations of the natural state of mind. I would hear that and think, 'No way. Look at this world—it’s a mess. I’m also a mess. There’s just no way that these qualities can be the natural state of the mind.' But as I have continued to investigate life, what I’ve come to see again and again and again, without a single exception ever, is that when I see things more clearly, when I can be a little more still and not rush to judgment, when I learn something about somebody or about myself, even if it is just information, when I see a situation or a person more clearly, I am always brought to a greater sense of connection, to a greater sense of loving-kindness. Never has clearer seeing led to more separation or distance, more alienation or fear."

In this month's newsletter you'll find a link to a podcast about regulating your nervous system as well as links to online events and additional information about SEBC.  More resources can be found on our website and Facebook.

We at SEBC affirm our commitment to inclusivity, diversity, and interconnection. If you'd like to chat, have ideas for the community, want to help, etc., please let us know - we'd love to hear from you! And if you haven't joined us in a while (or ever), we'd love to see you (feel free to attend meetings as regularly or as infrequently as you'd like)! May we stand stronger as Beloved Community through our Dharma practice and understanding, and in our larger society as a whole. Let's keep the Dharma wheel turning!

Much metta,
Your friends at SEBC
Meditation Schedule 
The Zoom link for both December sessions is below. Please note, when joining the meeting, you may need to manually enter the meeting ID and password – the direct link sometimes creates issues. Our recommendation is to have the video on whenever possible, to allow a greater degree of connection during the meetings.  OPEN TO ALL & FREE TO ATTEND!!

* Virtual: Wednesday, December 7th, 7 - 8pm
* Virtual: Wednesday, December 14th, 7 - 8pm

Same link (ID/password) for both Wednesday sessions:
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 817 2366 3745
Passcode: 231323

ALL levels of meditators are welcome to attend, including those with no previous experience; however, we encourage people to “bring your own practice.”  We're a practice group of fellow travelers, not teachers. 

Note: Click here for more info on our Wednesday meditation sessions.

Other Online Events & Resources

*Windhorse Zen Community - The Windhorse Zen community located in Asheville, NC offers both in person and Zoom opportunities to meditate and chant as well as in person retreats in the beautiful NC mountains.

*Magnolia Grove Meditation Practice Center - "You are invited to join us on Zoom for our  Online Mindfulness Practice Session on Thursdays with Magnolia Grove Monastics. Different monastics will facilitate the practice session. Format will vary each time."

* Socially Engaged Buddhism (SEBC) - "We encourage you to visit our resource list on Socially Engaged Buddhism and we invite your participation, perspectives, and solidarity, as together we undertake the hard work necessary for transformation." 

* Dharma Seed - "an online resource dedicated to making the Buddhist teachings of Insight Meditation and associated practices available to all. Our intention is to be a support for meditation teachers, their communities, students and meditation practitioners, and to provide access to the teachings to those who might not otherwise have access to them."

* Southern Dharma Retreat Center, Hot Springs, NC - "For more than 40 years, Southern Dharma Retreat Center (SDRC) has offered affordable, teacher-led retreats with a unifying thread of meditation, contemplation, and silence. SDRC continues its tradition of excellence as the preeminent meditation retreat center in the southeast and is historically ranked top 10 nationally."

* Atlanta - "We have compiled this list of groups that are now meeting virtually." 
Monthly Resource: 10% Happier Podcast "What Science and Buddhism Say About How to Regulate Your Own Nervous System" with Deb Dana & Kaira Jewel Lingo

 – "The subject of how to work with your own nervous system is called Polyvagal Theory and today’s guests Deb Dana & Kaira Jewel Lingo will give us a primer on what that exactly means. They will also talk about how our nervous systems are connected to the nervous systems of other people, and how we can learn to co-regulate our systems for the betterment of others." 
 – "In this episode we talk about:
  • The basics of Polyvagal Theory
  • A fascinating and easily graspable concept from Buddhist psychology called, “store consciousness”
  • The interconnectedness of our nervous systems and the responsibility that creates for all of us
  • How to handle being annoyed
  • What happens when we beat ourselves up with “shoulds,” and how to stop doing that
  • The value of simply knowing, in the moments when you’re stuck, that those moments are impermanent
  • How to allow your suffering to inform your life
  • The value of “micro-moments”
  • Two ways of caring for painful states without suppressing them
  • And the power of action and service in overcoming anxiety" 

~From "What Science and Buddhism Say About How to Regulate Your Own Nervous System" by 10% Happier
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