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Web of Connection Newsletter
November, 2019

Connecting hearts and hands in ways that helps lives flourish.
  
   Rejoicing in the Goodness of Others

                 
It is easy to become overwhelmed by the difficulties in life. Fires, floods, refugees, illness, death, political decisions that we don't agree with...the list goes on. While it's necessary to investigate these conditions in order to understand the underlying causes of suffering, it is also important to open to the goodness that is simultaneously present so that we can develop the qualities of heart that counteract negativity and despair.

The Dharma offers us
 a boundless quality of heart that is nourishing and uplifting not only on an individual level but also enhances collective well being. Mudita is defined as sympathetic, vicarious joy; happiness rather than resentment at someone else’s well-being or good fortune; the opposite of jealousy.  As we learn how to place our attention wisely, we can go beyond self concern in order to access a fuller experience that unites instead of divides. Rather than being caught in the mentality of a zero sum game that says one person's gain is another person's loss (resulting in a net gain of zero), mudita allows everybody involved to be a winner. 

Focusing on personal success only is a very limited way of looking at things. Subject to the vicissitudes of life, sometimes we feel that fortune comes our way and at other times we feel that it evades us. It may seem like others get all the breaks while we have to struggle with challenges and setbacks. Yet, if we are able to see beyond our personal concerns, we can gain benefit from our participation in a shared field that is expansive and connecting.  We can thereby let go of the pain of jealousy and competition that plague our society and burden our hearts.  

During my recent visit to two bhikkhuni monasteries in California, I had many opportunities for rejoicing in the good fortune of others. At Karuna Buddhist Vihara, I was warmly welcomed into their new forest hermitage set amongst the tall redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains. At Aloka Vihara,  I was touched by the way that so many people were acknowledged for their contributions to the growth of the community over the ten years that they have been in the U.S. Rather than the focus being on a single individual or small group of people, the circle of acknowledgment and gratitude included hundreds of people who have conspired to bring forth the blessings of the monastery. While my own role in this unfolding has been small, I could still rejoice in all the goodness that I was witnessing. 


               
       Sisters enjoying each other's company at the kathina in Mountain View, CA.

Taking the time to acknowledge the contributions of others and the joy of their good fortune is a way of saying that we are all in this together. Compassion does this from the angle of suffering whereas unselfish joy does the same from the angle of goodness. It's not the superficial happiness that is based on sense pleasures or material acquisitions that we are making much of here, but rather the inner qualities that shine forth from the heart even in the darkest of times.

                   

This article was written by Ayya Dhammadhira and is dedicated to Amma Thanasanti who for seven years maintained the first bhikkhuni residence in  Colorado Springs which eventually paved the way for the unfolding of our current Deer Park community.
                  
Thanks to Many!

I'd like to thank all who have helped to keep Deer Park going while I've been traveling and spending time to care for an ill nun. It takes a village to bring good things to fruition.          

Ryan Couch, for consistent presence and care of house, garden and animals
Richard Mee for repairs to house when needed
Marcia Mee for caring for animals
John Moreau and Chris Wurster for taking responsibility of the Meditation Room
Ted Pickett for sending out notices of weekly meetings
Beverly Brown for care of home and animals
Ivan Mayerhofer, Paulette Morris, Gail Gustafson, Chris Wurster, and Karen Recktenwald for leading the Saturday Meditation and Inquiry Meetings
All who have come and participated in the meetings. Your presence makes a difference.


                          

                             Rejoicing in the happiness of all living beings.
                                                              Ayya


                         
                 

                    Web of Connection Welcomes You 

Saturday Meditation and Inquiry, from 4-6 pm weekly. All are welcome to attend these gatherings where we develop meditation skills, investigate Dharma themes and discover how they apply to our daily lives.


Dharma Contemplation, 6:30-8:00 pm, 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the monthThis is a contemplative practice that gives each participant the opportunity to be still, reflect and respond to a particular text within a supportive structure. Listening to the responses of other participants also helps to expand one's perspective and understanding. Each time we meet, a different passage will be explored. All are welcome; no prior experience is necessary. For more information on the methodology of Dharma Contemplation, see this link.


Deer Park Learning Center is located at 15 Columbia Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80904. The house and meditation hall are set back off of Columbia Road, just North of Pikes Peak and before you get to Buffalo Lodge. Turn onto the alleyway and then into the driveway on the left.

         

A New Year’s Retreat in Colorado Springs

December 30th-January 1st (non-residential)
led by Ayya Dhammadhira


Space is Limited. Registration deadline: November 30th

For more information and registration form, contact webofconnection@gmail.com

Web of Connection is a 501(c)(3) federal non-profit organization. All donations that you make are tax deductible.                       EIN#: 81-4552275 

Our aim is to foster a greater awareness of humanity's capacity to live in harmony with each other and the planet we share. We do this through educational programs that integrate body, mind and spirit and demonstration projects that increase knowledge, skills and attitudes for healthy, sustainable practices.

As an alms mendicant living outside the support structure of a monastery, Ayya Dhammadhira relies on the ongoing support of individuals like you to continue her practice and service in community. Your monthly contributions are much appreciated. 

Your generosity is what makes it possible for our programs to continue to touch the lives of many people. As our community develops, we will be able to provide a more extensive example of a sustainable lifestyle that nourishes body, mind and spirit. Each one of us is an integral part of this WEB. Thank you for your support!
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Web of Connection · P.O. Box 6848 · Colorado Springs, CO 80934 · USA

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