December 5th, 2016 Newsletter

Dearest Blooming Heart Sangha,

With much gratitude, as the cold winds of winter come to us, settle in for a longish newsletter, filled with the warmth, kindness, and vibrancy of our Sangha community.

NEW AND TIME-SENSITIVE BLOOMING HEART ANNOUNCEMENTS

REQUEST FOR HARMONY / END OF YEAR DONATIONS and SERVICE: It is the tradition of Blooming Heart to be of service to others through our actions or through our donations at the end of each year. The Sangha Council is proposing that Blooming Heart contribute in each of the following three ways for 2016. If you are NOT in harmony with any of these suggestions, please send a message by Tuesday, December 13.

1) A $500 donation from our treasury to the on going efforts related to the Standing Rock actions and protests.
2) Dana [donations] collected at our annual Blooming Heart Tea Ceremony (December 14) to the Cheri Maples Medical Fund (see more information in this newsletter).
3) MCC Service Project: December & January. The Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC) Refugee Services is collecting donations for families. Blooming Heart will collect and deliver donations during December and January. Here is more information, including the items we would collect and donate. If there is harmony regarding this service project, specific details about its implementation will follow.

RSVP FOR BLOOMING HEART TEA CEREMONY. Our lovely, annual Tea Ceremony is December 14. See information below. To help with planning, please RSVP by December 13. If you did not RSVP and find you can come, JUST COME AHEAD! Feel free to bring something to share if you wish to - a message, a poem, a song, a gift....anything!

INVITATION TO JOIN THE 2017 SANGHA COUNCIL: Blooming Heart’s Sangha Council is a group of Sangha members who volunteer for this particular working meditation. The Sangha Council meets monthly and is responsible to oversee the smooth functioning of Blooming Heart Sangha as a organization. The Council plans, offers suggestions, and implements, maintains, and evaluates activities and programs of the Sangha, with Sangha input. Major decisions or suggestions, such as use of Sangha funds, are always presented through our newsletter to the full Sangha, with a request for “harmony” inviting feedback, questions, or concerns regarding that decision.

There is always an open invitation to anyone to attend a Sangha Council meeting. Upcoming meetings are always announced in the newsletter. Of course, all Sangha members, in addition to the Council, play a role in the practice and on-going work of the Sangha.

Specifically, Blooming Heart Sangha Council members are asked to:
* Be in accord with the Blooming Heart Sangha Mission Statement
* Regularly attend our weekly, Wednesday night core sangha gatherings
* Intend to be a member of the Council for at least one year
* Participate in monthly, two-hour Council meetings.
* Be willing to take on Sangha/Council tasks to assist with the ongoing development and maintenance of the Sangha

Are you interested in serving the Sangha in this way? Does it bring happiness to consider committing to and participating in this way? If so, please let us know you would like to join the 2017 Council, or ask questions, by writing to bloomingheartsangha@gmail.org by December 23.

NEW, FULL UPDATE ON BELOVED DHARMA TEACHER CHERI MAPLES
Dharma Teacher Cheri Maples was in a horrific bicycle accident on Thursday, September 8, and sustained multiple, extremely serious injuries. For a recently released, full account of Cheri's injuries, and to learn of a fundraising effort, you are welcome to read the document attached to this newsletter. Please continue to hold Cheri as you practice, as her recovery journey will be long and difficult. You can follow additional updates on CaringBridge [www.caringbridge.org/visit/cherimaples ]. Blooming Heart member Linda Jones, a very dear, long-time friend of Cheri's, will return to Madison again soon to be with Cheri.

A MESSAGE FROM THE SANGHA PROGRAMMING WORKING GROUP (Barry S; Claudia C; Lori Z-S)
If you have a Dharma Sharing (a 10-15 minute focus or talk) you would like to offer the Sangha, please contact one of us. Our community benefits greatly when we share of our practices and insights. We would love to hear from you, and are happy to support you in whatever way we can to make your sharing happen with ease.

TEXT OF NOVEMBER 17 DHARMA TALK BY PAM COSTAIN: Sitting with Grief, Opening our Hearts and Moving to Action
For the two weeks following the election, our dharma talks and sharing at our core sangha gathering on Wednesday night focused on the election and its aftermath. Attached to this newsletter is a pdf with the text of Pam Costain's dharma talk on November 17.

BLOOMING HEART HAS A NEW MAILING ADDRESS: Blooming Heart Sangha; P.O. Box 7453; Minneapolis, MN 55407

UPCOMING WEDNESDAY NIGHT CORE SANGHA GATHERINGS / Wednesdays, 7:00-8:30 pm We meet weekly in a room in St. Mark's Cathedral in Minneapolis [519 Oak Grove Street, Minneapolis, MN 55403]. St. Mark's is across from Loring Park and the Walker Art Center. Enter through the red door with the "Welcome" sign off the main church parking lot [enter lot from Oak Grove Street and drive towards the north/back side of the building]. Look for our white Blooming Heart sign by the red door. Our meeting room is straight down the hallway. If you are late and the greeter is no longer at the door, just knock loudly and we will let you in. Questions?? Please email bloomingheartsangha@gmail.com
Wednesday, December 7, Five Mindfulness Trainings, facilitated by Claudia C. and othersJoin us as we recite and reflect on the Five Mindfulness, the core teaching of our practice. A link to the trainings can be found at the end of this newsletter.Wednesday, December 14, Blooming Heart's Annual Tea Ceremony, facilitated by Kathryn S. and allEach year at this time we come together for a special evening to sip tea and eat goodies, as we share, practice as a community, and enjoy this lovely ceremony.To help us plan, please RSVP and let us know if you will be attending.Wednesday, December 21, Cultivating Aspirations: The Three Refuges, facilitated by Lori Z-SThe Buddha and our teacher, Thay, have taught us to go for refuge to the Triple Gem: the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. As we consider the start of a new year, we may have aspirations we want to nourish and patterns we want to de-nourish. Through an evening of open sharing and the framework of the Three Jewels, we will reflect together on these three questions: 1) What might “taking refuge in the Buddha” mean for you in the coming year? 2) What might “taking refuge in the Dharma” mean for you in the coming year? 3) What might “taking refuge in the Sangha” mean for you in the coming year? Please let these questions percolate in our minds and hearts over the next two weeks so that we might water seeds of mindfulness for ourselves and others.Wednesday, December 28, An Evening with Thich Nhat HanhAs the year draws to a close, we will spend an evening with Thay, coming to us by video.ASPIRATIONS GROUP / December 10th from 9:00 - 11:30 a.m.The Aspirations group meets once per month (typically the second Saturday of each month) to study, practice and support our mindfulness aspirations. Each gathering includes time for sitting and walking meditation and dharma discussion. The group meets at 3506 Bloomington Ave. S. in Minneapolis. All are welcome; please join us as you are able. Questions??: bloomingheartsangha@gmail.com COMMUNITY NEWS and ANNOUNCEMENTS

SANGHA COUNCIL MEETING: Current Council members are Claudia C; Linda J; Karla W; and Lori Z-S. The date of the next meeting is Monday, January 9, 2017, from 5:00 - 7:00. All are welcome. Please contact bloomingheartsangha@gmail.com for more info.BUDDHIST STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR THE STANDING ROCK ACTION AND THE WATER IS LIFE PROTECTORS

Please mindfully consider this beautiful statement and call for action supported by the Earth Holder Sangha in the Plum Village Tradition. https://oneearthsangha.org/statements/stand-with-standing-rock/

MOVIE ABOUT THICH NHAT HANH AND MINDFULNESS, "WALK WITH ME"
We invite you to check out the website and trailer for this film. The more people who sign up on their website -- www.walkwithme.com -- and like their Facebook page, the more successful the creators will be in demonstrating to the film industry a demand and desire for wide distribution of this film.

ADDITIONAL UPCOMING PRACTICE OPPORTUNITIES
February 11, 2017: Dharma Teacher Jack Lawlor will offer a Day of Mindfulness through Red Cedar Buddha Sangha in Downsville, WI. More information will be forthcoming.
March, 2017: Loving Work Foundation Retreats in Vietnam, in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. Two retreats will be offered by Dharma Teacher Trish Thompson and Order of Interbeing Members Michael Melancon and Paul Davis. Visit www.LovingWorkFoundation.org for more information.

Do you have news you would like to share with the sangha? Please send it to: bloomingheartsangha@gmail.com
Next Newsletter: December 19 / Deadline: December 17

SANGHA RESOURCES

Blooming Heart Sangha WebsiteFive Mindfulness TrainingsFourteen Mindfulness TrainingsPlum Village Website

SISTER SANGHAS IN THE TRADITION OF THICH NHAT HANH IN MINNESOTA

Still Water Sangha in Stillwater, MNFlowing River Sangha, Sa