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Support AP’s Winter Solstice Salutes to Welcome Back Sun, Help Temple

December 19, 2014

139_to_walk_on_earth“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle,” says Vietnamese Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh.

“But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth, ” Thich Nhat Hanh says.

“Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child…our own two eyes,” he continues.

winter_solstice by Danilo Pivato from NASA's APOD“All is a miracle,” Thich Nhat Hanh concludes.

One particular miracle stands out however and that occurs each year on the day that the nights begin to get shorter again: the day of the winter equinox.

As mentioned in an earlier blog post, equinox celebrations occur around the world each year, with one tomorrow afternoon and evening at Art City in Ventura and another in LA in the evening. Both of these are organized by people who go to Burning Man, and I will be hosting a special ritual in Ventura. Details here.

Another way to hail the sun’s return is by doing a series of yoga asanas called Sun Salutes. The auspicious and traditional number to complete is 108. While you can complete your sun salutes anywhere, it is easier and more meaningful to do them with others.

Tomorrow at 8am, you are invited to join me as Sally McNally leads us in 108 sun salutes at the Ventura Buddhist Temple.

Our  joyous celebration of the sun’s return is also a fundraiser for the Temple which is in dire need of a new roof (estimated to cost $33,000). The Temple is in a lovely historic church with stained glass windows and a peaceful beautiful garden on Saticoy Avenue between Darling and Telephone Road.

I will donate $1 for each sun salute ($108) to the Temple whether I complete my sun salutes or not, but perhaps you would consider sponsoring me? A dollar per sun salute would be great ($108) but even one or two dimes a salute would help motivate me and provide needed support for the Temple ($10.80 or $21.60 if I complete all 108).

I would like to raise another $108 which means I am looking for 10 sponsors at $10.80 or 5 at $21.60 or some combination. The Temple and the garden there is one of my favorite places in Ventura. I attend yoga there most Fridays from 8:15am-9:30 am and sometimes Saturdays too form 8-9:15am. In addition to Buddhist services in three languages and two yoga classes, classes in meditation and tai chi and zen buddhism are also offered regularly. Find the Temple’s calendar of events and classes here.

Following yoga from 8am-930am is a study group on The Dhammapada, a collection of sayings of the Buddha in verse form and one of the most widely read and best known Buddhist scriptures. The  group meets monthly and generally discuss a single verse for about an hour and meditates for 30 minutes. That evening from 7-8pm is chanting of Namo Amitabha (Nam Mo A Di Da Phat) by candlelight. All are welcomed and due to the ongoing nature of the verses one can does not need to have started at the beginning to immediately begin appreciating this marvelous work.

On Sunday, the Temple is hosting a fundraiser: come enjoy a by donation vegetarian Vietnamese lunch from noon-3pm following the regular Vietnamese Buddhist Service at 10am.

Please help me help the Temple. You can sponsor me with ANY AMOUNT by commenting below or just by encouraging me with likes and comments! Please send your TAX DEDUCTIBLE checks directly to the Temple 901 S. Saticoy, Ventura CA, 93004. Every cent will go to the new roof to shelter all of the wonderful FREE community activities that take place there every day. Thank you!

Curious about what this winter solstice and New Moon has in store astrologically? Check out Mystic Mama’s post where she curates several different forecasts for this Capricorn new moon on the eve of Solstice Sunday 12/21!

For example, from KELLEY ROSANO, she quotes:You are at the beginning of something new in your life… Take action now! Capricorn is the goat climbing to the mountain top. The mountain is your mighty I Am Presence. The I Am Presence does not descend into the lower physical world where ego reigns. You are to climb higher and merge with your God Consciousness.…The Sun, Moon, Mercury, Pluto, Vesta and Venus are in Capricorn at the New Moon. We have a whole lot of Capricorn going on. The New Moon is encouraging you to take charge of your life. You are setting the foundation for the next twelve months. Be practical and patient. You are to persevere in your personal and professional goals…”

CATHY PAGANO from her Wisdom of Astrology concurs: “This is a perfect time to imagine and create a new cosmic story that can shape our awareness of the possibilities before us.   So begin your new story.  It’s time.  The Cosmos is waiting….” She continues that: “This is a great time to take your ART out into the world.  Change things through creative action rather than violent action.  And whatever those breakthroughs and breakdowns, be creative with your response!”

Mystic Mama also quotes ROBERT WILKINSON from his Aquarius Papers who writes: “Over the next 4 weeks, the New Moon in Capricorn introduces us to a time of accepting a form of power or authority wherever we have Capricorn in our charts… This New Moon in Capricorn will help us in seeing how to manage different types and areas of pressure! This New Moon falls just after the Solstice, so of course most of the aspects are identical! That implies that whatever the next 4 weeks are about will profoundly affect the next 3 months! …The Capricorn seed indicated by this New Moon helps us forge a sense of personal power and effectiveness on our terms.” He concludes that “With so many planets in early Capricorn, use this time to anchor the power of the emotional intelligence and stability you’ve cultivated since Summer 2013.”

The detail of the silk thangka above is from Saraswati by Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo, one of a few westerners trained in the rare Buddhist art of silk applique thangkas, part of the Tibetan cultural tradition. His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave his blessings to Leslie’s work and encouraged her to make images that speak to the spiritual aspirations of people across religions and cultures. Leslie’s fascinating story is the subject of the acclaimed documentary film, Creating Buddhas: the Making and Meaning of Fabric Thangkas.  Her Weekly Wake-ups like this one provide a thread of inspiration each week.

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