Reconnecting with What Matters

Posted Posted in Members, Program, Special

A day-long retreat with guest teacher Heather Martin (via Zoom), Sun, April 25th, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm

When familiar conditions change rapidly, we might find experiencing the truth of impermanence to be challenging. In this time of great uncertainty, let us pause, come into our bodies and hearts, reflect on what is most important, and embrace our connections with others. This online retreat offers teachings and practice guidance, quiet periods for sitting and moving meditation, and moderated group discussion. Suitable for meditators of all levels and backgrounds.

SCHEDULE

9:45 Settling in at MBMC or logging into Zoom Meeting

10:00 Welcome; Opening Remarks

10:15 Sitting Meditation

10:50 Stretch

11:00 Introductions, Dharma Talk, and Instructions for Practice

12:00 Walking Meditation

12:15 Lunch

1:00 Sitting Meditation (with guidance)

1:45 Break out w/Heather Group 1 / Movement Meditation Group 2

2:30 Sitting meditation

3:00 Break out w/Heather Group 2 / Movement Meditation Group 1

3:45 Silent Sitting meditation

4:15 Sharing / Discussion / Closing

4:45 End of Day

The Mahone Bay Centre has confirmed that we are welcome to use the kitchen at lunch time, including whatever bowls, plates, and utensils we might need.

SCHEDULE

9:45 Settling in at MBMC or logging into Zoom Meeting

10:00 Welcome; Opening Remarks

10:15 Sitting Meditation

10:50 Stretch

11:00 Introductions, Dharma Talk, and Instructions for Practice

12:00 Walking Meditation

12:15 Lunch

1:00 Sitting Meditation (with guidance)

1:45 Break out w/Heather Group 1 / Movement Meditation Group 2

2:30 Sitting meditation

3:00 Break out w/Heather Group 2 / Movement Meditation Group 1

3:45 Silent Sitting meditation

4:15 Sharing / Discussion / Closing

4:45 End of Day

The Mahone Bay Centre has confirmed that we are welcome to use the kitchen at lunch time, including whatever bowls, plates, and utensils we might need.

 

About Heather Martin: Heather Martin is a senior Insight Meditation teacher who has been practicing meditation since 1972. She is known for her warm, clear, and accessible teaching style. Trained at the Spirit Rock Meditation Centre with Jack Kornfield, she has been leading retreats in Canada and the US for many years.

Cost: MBMC members no charge, non-members $25.  Donations to the Teacher (dana) are voluntary – by inspiration.

Registration (now closed): Email us before 9pm on April 19th to register or to ask questions.  When you register, please let us know if your intention is to participate in person at MBMC or via Zoom.

2021 Annual General Meeting

Posted Posted in Information, Members

The Annual General Meeting of the South Shore Buddhist Meditation Society will be held on Saturday, March 20 2021 from 10am – noon.  The meeting will take place (covid-19 permitting) at the Meditation Centre, or you may attend via Zoom:  invitations will be sent to everyone on our email list.   If you are currently signed up for a membership at the Mahone Bay Meditation Centre, you are a member of SSBMS.

The agenda for this meeting is shown below.

Our by-laws allow us between 5 and 7 directors, approximately half of whom will resign (and maybe re-offer) each year.  This year 3 directors will be staying on, 2 directors  will resign and re-offer, 2 directors will resign and stand down, and we currently have 2 nominations for new directors.

Due to covid-19 preventative measures, we regret that we are unable to offer lunch or a social gathering to follow the meeting.  However, tea and coffee will be available to attendees at the Centre.

AGENDA

Call to Order

10:00am, MBMC room (MBC #406)

Minutes of previous AGM 2020/03/14

Ordinary Business

  • Directors’ Annual Report
  • Financial Report for 2020 and auditors report
  • Appointment of Auditors for 2021
  • Directors’ comments
  • Election of Directors

Special business

  • Announcing: Reconnecting with What Matters

a day-long retreat with guest teacher Heather Martin

 
Sunday April 25th at MBMC and via Zoom

Adjournment

Community Meeting

following formal proceedings

Membership Renewal

Posted Posted in Members

Our Meditation Centre relies on your membership dues and donations!

The vast majority of our programs and services are provided at no fee to members.  We do our best to give good value for your money, and not to press you for additional contributions.  Although it has been a difficult year for all of us, since March we have offered:

  • Zoom meditation sessions several times each week
  • Weekly update newsletters
  • An opinion survey in May
  • A Nature Walk at Grave’s Island in June
  • A fresh coat of paint and partial reopening of MBMC in July
  • Wednesday evening meditation on the MBC soccer field in August
  • A guided tour of Anne & Tim Freeman’s sculpture gardens in September
  • The Four Foundations of Mindfulness course in October
  • A General Meeting of the Society in November

Your contributions are used to pay for rent, insurance, supplies, web presence, printing, and various other costs.  We thank you very much for your support, and we hope you feel it is money well-spent!

Your dues may be paid in cash, by cheque, by e-mail transfer, or by signing up for automatic payments.  Please see the main membership page for details.  It would be most helpful if you can renew before January 15, 2021.

 

Back at the Centre

Posted Posted in Information, Program

Tuesday morning and Sunday morning meditation sessions are now (since mid-July) being held live at MBMC.  The Sunday morning 3-hour practice is also being Zoomed for those who prefer to keep their distance.  We can fit about 10 people in with adequate social distancing and so far have had no trouble accommodating everyone who turns up.

Please consult our calendar for up-to-date information.  Since we really have no idea how life with Covid-19 is going to play out our plans may change with very little notice, but for now we are meeting:

  • Tuesday 10:30 – 11:30
  • Sunday 09:00 – noon … a few chants to start; come and go (quietly) as you please.

When we closed the Centre in March we took the opportunity to redecorate.  Drop in and check out the new cheerfully sunny colour scheme!  Here’s a video:

Outside Meditation

Posted Posted in Program

On Wednesday, August 12 2020 from 7-8pm we will be practicing in the Great Outdoors™️  In this case, that means the soccer field behind the Mahone Bay Centre.

If you would like to join us, please bring whatever you need to sit comfortably (folding chair, blanket, mat, or whatever) along with bug spray and anything else you need to cope with the Great Outdoors™️ and all that implies.

This event is open to everyone!

If you have never meditated before we will talk you through it.

Sitting with Zoom

Posted Posted in Information
Each week we offer a meditation practice session on  Sunday 9am  Atlantic time. Members and friends of MBMC should receive invitations to these events.  If you did not and you wish to attend, please email us. Note:   As of September 2020, previously offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evening sessions are no longer offered via Zoom, but in-person sessions take place on Sunday and Tuesday mornings.

Sunday morning 9am

The session is 3 hours long, alternating sitting and (optional) walking.  You may join or leave the session at any time.  Please leave your microphone muted unless you have something critically important to say! Our session leader will lead the morning chants.  We encourage you to chant along, but once again please be sure your microphone is muted!  A group chant in Zoom is an absolute cacophony.

Using Zoom

Theoretically you just click on the link in the Zoom invitation and follow instructions.  However, there are a number of things that can go wrong, especially the first time you try this.  We recommend you download the Zoom client program  and install it before you accept an invitation.
The Zoom Client for Meetings should get you something suitable for a desktop or laptop computer.  Further down the page there are Zoom Mobile Apps which you could use on an iPad, iPhone, or Android gizmo.  Follow whatever instructions there are for installing the program (app) on your system and then launch (open) it.  This will allow you to test your microphone, speakers, and camera, which will avoid a number of potential technical difficulties later on.
If all went well during the installation and testing process, clicking on the invitation link should work smoothly.  If it fails for some imponderable reason, launch your Zoom program, “Join a Meeting”, and enter the Meeting ID and Password from the invitation in the relevant boxes.

Why Zoom?

We have chosen Zoom for these events because it is widely available, familiar to many people, and generally free to end users.  There has been a lot of discussion in the news and on social media regarding Zoom security failings, “Zoom bombing”, and other issues that may put you off using it. This is, of course, a personal choice and we are not going to try to change your views, whatever they may be.  No communication channel is ever 100% secure:  telephones can be tapped, mail and email intercepted, telephone numbers and addresses spoofed, and so on.  Video conferencing software is no different, and the risks must be weighed against the benefits.  However, some of Zoom’s shortcomings have (in our opinion) been somewhat overstated.  For example:
  • Most of the Zoom bombing incidents arise because invitations to Zoom meetings were made public – published on web pages or otherwise widely distributed.  MBMC does NOT do this, and we ask all of you not to share the invitations we send out!
  • MBMC meetings are set up with shared file and shared screen access disabled.  This eliminates any easy ways for a malefactor to gain unintended access to your personal information.  You can avoid almost all such concerns if you run Zoom on a computer (or tablet or phone) which has no highly personal information stored on it.
  • Many concerns about Zoom are only relevant when highly confidential information is being shared in a meeting.  That does not apply to the stuff we do.
  • We do not record meditation sessions, so there is no prospect of anyone finding such a recording on the Internet.
For those of you who are interested in the more technical details, here is an overview which may be of interest to you and which advises:
Unless you’re discussing state or corporate secrets, or disclosing personal health information to a patient, Zoom should be fine to use. Just require that meeting participants sign in with a password.
If you would like to discuss any of these issues, drop us a line.

Isolation Resources

Posted Posted in Information

Self-isolation is very nearly the definition of individual retreat.  Here are some suggestions for activities you can practice, material you can study, and inspirational offerings to help you get the most our of this enforced retreat time.  We will update this page from time to time, so check back and see what’s new.  If you think of anything that you would like to share with the rest of us, please drop us a line, and Thank You to all who have already done so!

Online Interactive Sessions

… from MBMC:

We hope some of you can join us for one of our Zoom sessions.  Invitations will be emailed to everyone on our mailing list.

Starting in September we will be offering Zoom sessions on Sunday mornings only.  Sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday have been discontinued.

Those of you who wish to join in the Sunday morning 9am chants, here is the text so you can read along.

… from Elsewhere:

  • Atlantic Contemplative Centre – support local contemplation 🙂
  • Online dharma talks etc. from Insight Meditation Centre
  • Zen Nova Scotia – practice sessions
  • OMG Chester – contact Julia Creighton directly
  • A Virtual Salon 
    for This Time of Radical Uncertainty: 
    Conscious Living, Dying, and 
    the Deathless—Together 
    & Alone: 
    Profoundly Practical Guidance & Insight
    from Buddhism, Science, & Other Wisdom Traditions
    Saturday May 30th ~ 10:00 am – 12:30pm PDT / 2:00 pm ADT
    & Sunday May 31st ~    11:30 am – 1:00pm PDT / 3:30 ADT
     
    dana: offering on a sliding scale : $42-216 US$
              via your PayPal or use this link: 
                   WisdomAtWork paypal.me/Leveys

Online Dharma

Uplifting Items

Individual Offerings

“What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.”
By Lynn Ungar 3/11/20
 
this poem arrived via WisdomatWork.com
in spirit, Armand
_____________________________________
“The quieting of our mind is a political act.
The world does not need more oil or energy or food.
It needs less greed, less hatred, less ignorance.
Even if we have inwardly taken on the political bitterness
or cynicism that exists externally,
we can stop and begin to heal our own suffering,
our own fear, with compassion.
Through meditation and inner transformation,
we can learn to make our own hearts
a place of peace and integrity.  Each of us knows how to do this.
As Gandhi acknowledged,
“I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills.”
It is our inner nobility and steadiness that we must call on
in our personal and collective difficulties.”
— Jack Kornfield
_____________________________________
“When a system is far from equilibrium
small islands of coherence in a sea of chaos
have the capacity
to lift the entire system
to a higher order.”
— Illya Prigogine

Covid-19 Closure

Posted Posted in Information

The Meditation Centre was CLOSED effective IMMEDIATELY due to Covid-19.  All regular programs were suspended.  The Centre remains available to members who have the door code, but please observe all best practices for dealing with the virus.

This also means the Gourmet Dinner fundraiser scheduled for April 18 was postponed until September 19, and subsequently cancelled entirely.

We wish everyone health and wellness, and look forward to welcoming you back when it is safe to do so.