Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Season of Love!

For four months now, the whole season of Spring, we've held a Metta Circle in my house in Leicester.  I don't blog about it every month, because my intention is to keep it a little quieter and more private than our celebratory Great Heart Circle in the Unitarian Chapel each month.  Metta is an old Buddhist name for "universal love/kindness", and each month we train in metta through meditation and sharing experiences in a Council Circle (the Native American speaking/listening circles we learned in the Zen Peacemakers),

We hold the Metta Circle on the 3rd Thursday of each month, from 7.30-9.30pm, and so far it's been a really valuable group, with many people from the larger Circle attending.  It means a lot to me to be able to share this practice with people in my own home, and it fulfills an idea that was planted in me through my friendship with a Buddhist teacher in Scotland, Jinavamsa... He instilled in me the deep importance of metta, and used to have people come to his home to practice metta meditation together.

Thanks to everyone who's taken part so far, and I hope it continues in the same spirit...  Ashk olsun, "May it become Divine Love", as some of the old Turkish Sufis used to say!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Great Heart Circle, 3rd May

"Light the candle of  wisdom within, in your heart, and go swiftly with shining heart on to the shining world"  Nasir-i Khusraw

This evening we held our monthly Great Heart Circle in Leicester, with guided relaxation, discussion, silent Zen meditation and a sacred meal.  Our theme for discussion this time was 'discussion'! We talked about how and why we have a discussion in the middle most months, and talked about "sohbet" in the Turkish Sufi tradition and debate in Tibetan Buddhism and Greek philosophy.  Especially we considered the quote from Nasir-i Khusraw above: our discussion is intended to awaken our hearts and minds a little in preparation for entering the period of deep silence that we have following the break.

At the end, we gave two more poetry scrolls out as gifts to people who've been coming along for over a year, in recognition of the connection we've made together.  Marie and Gabi are pictured above!