This Friday we had no gathering, no Friday Night Dhamma and I find myself sensing a bit of loss.
Our community no longer has unconditional use of our own shrine room or gathering space. Yes we aim to amend this situation and yet this situation may remain for sometime yet. Most days I am not bothered by this reality but every once in awhile a niggle of despair takes root. No Friday Night Dhamma . . . bummer.
Ajahn Pasanno says: We function out of our perceptions. We perceive something to be interesting or desirable and we get excited. We perceive something to be worrisome or troublesome and we start to have aversion or negativity. Perceptions are always informing how we relate to things.(On Becoming and Stopping)
Aversion (no matter how slight) is a sure sign of not relating well to the way things are and suffering results. Yep, seems to be playing out just this way. So in aiming to end suffering, what can I do about this?
Ajahn Thanissaro says: Emptiness is a mode of perception, a way of looking at experience. It adds nothing to and takes nothing away from the raw data of physical and mental events. You look at events in the mind and the senses with no thought of whether there’s anything lying behind them. (Emptiness)
Surely worth putting into practice. Practice being mindful. Practice and then practice some more. I can even use the perception of loss as an opportunity for practice; when I feel the sense of loss I can practice NOT adding aversion to it and see what happens.
Ajahn Chah says: Practice so that you can keep abreast of what’s going on in the mind; to the point where mindfulness becomes effortless and you are mindful before you act, mindful before you speak. This is the way you establish mindfulness in the heart. It is with the ‘one who knows’ that you look after yourself, because all your actions spring from here. (The Path To Peace)
We may not have a regular space just now but we still have our connection to valuable teachers. Luang Por Pasanno will be here soon and in the meantime there is always the Pacific Hermitage, check out their calendar for teachings. Let’s keep our practice going and our connections to the Dhamma nourished and draw near the source when ever possible.