“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 July.  I had the well-timed opportunity this week to meditate with a trained meditation teacher.  I entered the session in a tizzy - thoughts racing, distraught about current events, in the throes of a full-blown pity party. As we settled in, she asked the simple question, "What are you feeling in your body?"  I closed my eyes and started to notice the tightness in my temples, forehead, jaw, throat, chest and even thighs. As she guided me through a body scan, I was able to start to sit with the whirlwind without identifying as the whirlwind. "I see the mess; I am not the mess."  It was a great reminder that even folks who meditate with regularity can forget the power of dropping into the breath and the body.  It was also a lesson in meditating with hard emotions instead of meditating to let go of hard emotions.  Tears quietly streamed down my face as I processed the duality of feeling both the painful feelings I was experiencing and the gratitude of my practice.  

Thich Nhat Hanh tells us, "When a painful feeling comes up, we often try to suppress it. We don’t feel comfortable when our suffering surfaces, and we want to push it back down or cover it up. But as a mindfulness practitioner, we allow the suffering to surface so we can clearly identify it and embrace it. This will bring transformation and relief. The first thing we have to do is accept the mud in ourselves. When we recognize and accept our difficult feelings and emotions, we begin to feel more at peace. When we see that mud is something that can help us grow, we become less afraid of it."

In this month's newsletter you'll find links to an article by Pema Chrodron on meditating with difficult emotions, 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 July 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, July 6th, 7 - 8pm
* Virtual: Wednesday, July 13th, 7 - 8pm

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

Meeting ID: 828 0493 7148
Passcode: 827835

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

*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 Article: Drop The Story and Find the Feeling

 – "Most of us, consciously or unconsciously, would like meditation to be a chill-out session where we don’t have to relate to unpleasantness. Actually, a lot of people have the misunderstanding that this is what meditation is about."
 – "Buddhanature and the natural state are not just made up of happy, sweet emotions; Buddhanature includes everything. It’s the calm, and the disturbed, and the roiled up, and the still; it’s the bitter and the sweet, the comfortable and the uncomfortable. Buddhanature includes opening to all of these things, and it’s found in the midst of all of them."

~From Drop the Story and Find the Feeling by Pema Chodron
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