Start: 11:30 am
End: 1:00 pm
The Socratic Dialogue is a search for truth by questioning, probing, defining terms and clarifying meanings of important, complex questions. Any participant may propose a question to be discussed using the Socratic dialogue. One question is chosen for discussion during each session. The resulting discussion provides an opportunity to improve our individual and collective skills of civil discourse. We invite you to join in. The group meets in the Readings Gallery every first and third Sunday from 11:30 am to 1 pm.
NORMAN FISCHER, TRAINING IN COMPASSION: ZEN TEACHINGS ON THE PRACTICE OF LOJONG--FREE EVENT AT THE RED CEDAR DHARMA HALL
Start: 3:00 pm
End: 4:30 pm
Join us for a free event hosted at the Red Cedar Dharma Hall as we welcome Norman Fischer for a talk about his new book, Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong, as well as a reading from his new poetry book, The Strugglers. In Fischer's book, Training in Compassion, he discusses lojong, the Tibetan Buddhist practice that involves working with short phrases (called "slogans") as a way of generating bodhichitta, the heart and mind of enlightened compassion. Though the practice is more than a millennium old, it has become popular in the West only in the last twenty years or so, and it has become very popular indeed, because it's a practice that one can fit very well into an ordinary life, and because it works. Through the influence of Pema Chödrön, who was one of the first American Buddhist teachers to teach it extensively, the practice has moved out of its Buddhist context to affect the lives of non-Buddhists too. It's in this spirit that Norman Fischer offers his commentary on the lojong slogans. He applies Zen wisdom to them, showing how well they fit in that related tradition, but he also sets the slogans in the context of resonant practices throughout the spiritual traditions. He shows lojong to be a wonderful method for everyone, including those who aren't otherwise interested in Buddhism, who don't have the time or inclination to meditate, or who'd just like to morph into the kind of person who's focused rather than scattered, generous rather than stingy, and kind rather than thoughtless. About Norman's poetry book, The Strugglers: The Strugglers is Norman Fischer's fourth book of poetry with Singing Horse Press. Divided into six poetic sequences, "Norman Fischer's new poems, including a rhetorically stunning series after Mandelstam, make you stop and think, about everyday life and its sampled commodifications, about global turbulence and local pleasure. These poems create a path for reflection as a means for intensified sensation and transformation. 'No end to ending, no beginning to beginning, no beginning to ending, no ending to beginning.' Start here now."—Charles Bernstein About the Author Norman Fischer is Senior Dharma Teacher at San Francisco Zen Center, where he was abbot from 1995 to 2000, and he is currently the director of the Everyday Zen Foundation, which is dedicated to bringing the Zen perspective to the world outside Zen, including to Christian and Jewish religious settings. He is a highly regarded poet and translator, and his numerous books include Opening to You: Zen-Inspired Translations of the Psalms, Taking Our Places: The Buddhist Path to Truly Growing Up, and Sailing Home: Using Homer's Odyssey to Navigate Life's Perils and Pitfalls. This event is co-hosted by the Red Cedar Dharma Hall, located at 1021 N. Forest Street. Check out this link for directions to the Hall.
Start: 4:00 pm
Come listen to the winners of the Whatcom WRITES! contest read their entries. The theme of the contest this year was "loyalties." From loyal friends or family, to tested loyalty, writers tackle the subject and how it feels to stand up for someone, or something they believe in. Winners of the contest will be reading in the Readings Gallery, and the top 30 entrants will be published in an anthology. Whatcom WRITES! is a part of the Whatcom READS! annual county-wide reading program. For more information visit: http://www.whatcomreads.org/whatcom_writes.