“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>>. September is here, with the start of a new season on the 22nd, the fall equinox - when the day and night are of equal length. We might use this date as encouragement to find our own balance. Not an easy task in a complex world where nothing stays the same. Sometimes balanced, sometimes imbalanced, we keep making adjustments, moving forward all the time. If things are good, we're glad; if not so much, this too will pass. May we get to know life as it is, accepting the changing seasons (outer and inner), connecting with nature, our hearts, bodies, and minds.

"autumn drives off the yellow leaves
yet spring renews every green bud
quietly contemplate the pattern of things
nothing here to make us sad" (152)

"autumn mountains: brocades of light
the clouds: endless beauty
I lean on my staff, contemplate crimson leaves
silent: as the birds streaming above me" (164)

~Shih-shu (late 17th-early 18th century), "The Clouds Should Know Me by Now: Buddhist Poet Monks of China"

Ah, simple pleasures. Priceless joys. The present moment, a breath, a leaf turning color, there's always something, something, to notice. Yes, there's a chattering mind too, but that's not all! While reading the poet's lines may make us want to renounce the world, instead we may find just the nourishment we need for our wise and steady engagement. Can we take notice of what's already here, finding what supports us in every moment? If focusing on what we don't have, can we shift to what do have? May we keep sight of what's good and noble, taking time to cultivate freshness and stability.

Online Meditation will be hosted by SEBC every Wednesday in September – 5 meetings! Turn your meditation practice into a routine! The Zoom meeting link can be found below and will be the same for all September sessions. Also in this month's newsletter, you'll find a short piece on generosity with an opportunity to support our local friends, as well as links to other online events and resources, including an article on American convert Buddhists and racial justice. Additional information about SEBC - and 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
Help Support the Yoga Center!
We've been meeting online for the past several months. Before the virus, our regular meeting place was the Yoga Center in North Augusta - a warm and peaceful place for getting together. The owner, Cindy, has been wonderfully supportive to us and we're grateful for our friendship. As many of you know, at the end of (in-person) SEBC meetings we'd invite donations if you wish to support our community. In Buddhist tradition, this is known as the practice of cultivating generosity (dāna). What’s most important is the intention behind the giving, rather than the amount. Currently the Yoga Center is asking for help in the wake of Covid-19 - donations are also valid for classes. If you'd like to practice generosity, please visit the Yoga Center homepage, where you'll find a "Support Now" button. We get by with a little help from our friends!
Online Meditation Sessions
Our monthly meditation sessions will meet each Wednesday in September; however, due to the need for greater precautions with COVID-19, we will meet online through Zoom. 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!!

**Our montly meditation sessions are now meeting every week!**

* Wednesday, September 2nd, 7 - 8pm
* Wednesday, September 9th, 7 - 8pm
Additional sessions:
* Wednesday, September 16th, 7 - 8pm
* Wednesday, September 23rd, 7 - 8pm
* Wednesday, September 30th, 7 - 8pm

Same link (ID/password) for all September sessions:

Meeting ID: 823 6769 9017
Password: 655804
  • To dial with phone by your location, find your local number here.
  • Click here for information on how to join a Zoom meeting.
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

* 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 - "Due to the Coronavirus outbreak (Covid-19), all people are encouraged to stay home whenever possible, and help stop the spread. We have compiled this list of groups that are now meeting virtually." 

Monthly Article: "How have American convert Buddhists understood racial justice?"

--"Larry Yang argued that the Insight community has historically focused exclusively on mindfulness in the internal, individual realm of the meditator, whereas diversity, equity, and inclusion awareness is the application of mindfulness to the external, collective realm."
--"Common to engaged Buddhism is the belief that the full liberatory potential of Buddhism has been limited by the gender bias and social class privilege of the monastic elites who have shaped Buddhist institutions and teachings. By centering marginalized and vulnerable Black and brown bodies as living vehicles of the dharma, American Buddhists of Color are birthing new expressions of the tradition—“a dharma of justice, equity, inclusion and freedom”—and bringing engaged Buddhist sensibilities and aspirations from the margins to the center." 

~Ann Gleig, Buddhists and Racial Justice: A History
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