Wednesday, June 14, 2017

ODC is Moving to a New Location

Ozarks Dharma Community Buddhist Meditation group in Springfield, MO is moving to a new location

For the last few years, Venerable Thay and the Vietnamese Buddhist community have opened Dinh Quang Temple to our Saturday meditations. This simple, generous act has had a profound effect on Ozark Dharma Community's trajectory. Every week, we’ve had a safe and peaceful place to practice. And every week, we've had a safe and peaceful place to grow.

We've grown so much in size that it's time for a change of address: one that has more parking, a central location and easy access by bus. Starting July 1, 2017, our new home will be at National Avenue Christian Church near National and Sunshine at 1515 S National Ave, Springfield MO 65804. National Avenue Christian Church has a commitment to being open and inclusive. This dovetails with ODC’s own ideals to share and learn from the Buddha's teachings in a practical, non-dogmatic way.

Our last meditation at Dinh Quang Temple is Saturday, June 24, 2017. We may be changing our address, but the temple -- and the generosity of the Vietnamese Buddhist community -- lives on in our hearts. A deep bow of gratitude to our spiritual friends and gracious hosts.

NOTE: Our new cushions & mats are still on-order. So if you have your own cushion and blanket, please bring them to sit on when we meet at National Avenue Church starting July 1.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Second Saturdays: Mindfulness of Thoughts


Whether you are beginning or deepening a daily meditation practice, you are welcome to join us as we continue to study Gil Fronsdal's course, "Introduction to Meditation."

You are welcome to participate in whatever ways best fit your needs and schedule. This month, on June 10, 2017, our discussion and practices will be based on Gil Fronsdal's teachings on "Mindfulness of Thoughts." 

To support your practice working with mindfulness of thoughts, please:
  • Meditate daily
  • Complete the mindfulness exercises
  • Answer the "Practice Support" questions that are most applicable to your experience

There is also an online classroom available, if you are unable to join us in person or enjoy interacting with others online. You can email us for more information or to request to join the online classroom.

Our goal for Second Saturdays is to provide a consistent place for us to discuss teachings, ask questions, and try strategies that help strengthen our daily practices. We look forward to practicing together!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Second Saturdays: Minfulness of Feelings



Whether you are beginning or deepening a daily meditation practice, you are welcome to join us over the next several months as we study Gil Fronsdal's course, "Introduction to Meditation."

Note: A previous notice announced a change of date due to the temple's schedule. However, that date has been revised, and we are now able to meet for our next Second Saturday meeting at our regular time, Saturday, May 13, 2017, after our regular time of sitting meditation. We apologize for the confusion. 


You are welcome to participate in whatever ways best fit your needs and schedule. This month, our discussion and practices will be based on Gil Fronsdal's teachings on "Mindfulness of Feelings."
  • Use the Practice Instructions (HERE) for support on meditating daily, integrating practices into your daily routine, and/or reflecting on your experiences.

There is also an online classroom available, if you are unable to join us in person or enjoy interacting with others online. You can email us for more information or to request to join the online classroom.

Our goal for Second Saturdays is to provide a consistent place for us to discuss teachings, ask questions, and try strategies that help strengthen our daily practices. We look forward to practicing together!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Second Saturdays: Mindfulness of the Body


Whether you are beginning or deepening a daily meditation practice, you are welcome to join us over the next several months as we study Gil Fronsdal's course, "Introduction to Meditation."

Our next Second Saturday meeting is April 8, 2017, after our regular time of sitting meditation. You are welcome to participate in whatever ways best fit your needs and schedule. This month, our discussion and practices will be based on Gil Fronsdal's teachings on "Mindfulness of the Body."

  • Listen to or read the transcript (HERE) of Gil's talk.
  • Use the Practice Instructions (HERE) for support on meditating daily, integrating practices into your daily routine, and/or reflecting on your experiences.

There is also an online classroom available, if you are unable to join us in person or enjoy interacting with others online. You can email us for more information or to request to join the online classroom.

Our goal for Second Saturdays is to provide a consistent place for us to discuss teachings, ask questions, and try strategies that help strengthen our daily practices. We look forward to practicing together!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Dhammapada Resources


Several people have asked about the Dhammapada readings at our Saturday morning meditation sessions.

You can learn more about the translation by Gil Fronsdal, including free audio readings and links to where you can purchase the book, at Insight Meditation Center (HERE).

You can find two translations, by Buddharakkhita and Thanissaro, at Access to Insight (HERE).

Another translation, by Daw Mya Tin, includes summaries of traditional stories associated with the Dhammapada verses, "generally believed [to be] written by Buddhaghosa (5th century A.D.)" (HERE).  

Finally, Ajahn Munindo has offered a translation, A Dhammapada for Contemplation (HERE), as well as two collections of reflections on verses from the Dhammapada (vol 1, vol 2).

Monday, March 6, 2017

Second Saturdays: Mindfulness of the Breath


Whether you are beginning or deepening a daily meditation practice, you are welcome to join us over the next several months as we study Gil Fronsdal's course, "Introduction to Meditation." 

Our next Second Saturday meeting is March 11, 2017, after our regular time of sitting meditation. You are welcome to participate in whatever ways best fit your needs and schedule. This week, our discussion and practices will be based on Gil Fronsdal's teachings on "Mindfulness of the Breath."

  • Listen to or read the transcript (HERE) of Gil's talk.
  • Use the Practice Instructions (HERE) for support on meditating daily, integrating practices into your daily routine, and/or reflecting on your experiences.

There is also an online classroom available, if you are unable to join us in person or enjoy interacting with others online. You can email us for more information or to request to join the online classroom.

Our goal for Second Saturdays is to provide a consistent place for us to discuss teachings, ask questions, and try strategies that help strengthen our daily practices. We look forward to practicing together!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Introduction to Meditation



Whether you are beginning or deepening a daily meditation practice, you are welcome to join us over the next several months as we study Gil Fronsdal's course, "Introduction to Meditation." Opportunities to meet face to face at Second Saturdays will be combined with an online classroom.

Our next Second Saturday meeting is March 11, 2017. You can email us for more information or to request to join the online classroom.

About the course:
"Several times a year Gil Fronsdal offers a 5 or 6 week instructional series for beginning meditators. These classes provide a good overview of insight meditation practice as well as many guided meditation sessions which help the student learn how to establish and sustain a daily meditation practice." (http://audiodharma.org/series/1/talk/1762/ )
Our goal for Second Saturdays is to provide a consistent place for us to discuss teachings, ask questions, and try strategies that help strengthen our daily practices. We look forward to practicing together!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Second Saturdays: Introduction to Meditation


Join us this Saturday, February 11, after the 9 a.m. sitting meditation, as we discuss our upcoming plans to study Gil Fronsdal's course, "Introduction to Meditation."
"Several times a year Gil Fronsdal offers a 5 or 6 week instructional series for beginning meditators. These classes provide a good overview of insight meditation practice as well as many guided meditation sessions which help the student learn how to establish and sustain a daily meditation practice." (http://audiodharma.org/series/1/talk/1762/ )
Our goal for Second Saturdays is to provide a consistent place for us to discuss teachings, ask questions, and try strategies that help strengthen our daily practices. This week, we will introduce the content of the course, our proposed schedule for working with the materials, and the possibility of ongoing support through an online classroom.

We look forward to practicing together!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Lunar New Year Prayer

New Year Prayer to Mother Earth and All Our Ancestors


We had a special Saturday morning sitting today, January 28, 2017. We were joined by Thầy, the leader of the Vietnamese Buddhist community and who lives in the temple where Ozarks Dharma Community meets each week. Amidst the beautifully decorated temple filled with offerings to Buddha--pillars of fresh fruit, flowers, candles and incense--Thầy gave us a prayer for the Lunar New Year. The prayer is originally from the Plum Village website. We've reprinted it here for all to enjoy. Happy Lunar New Year! 

New Year Prayer to Mother Earth and All Our Ancestors

Dear Beloved Buddha, Dear Beloved Ancestors, Dear Beloved Mother Earth, 
We have gathered as a fourfold sangha in this solemn moment of the New Year to express our gratitude and aspiration as a spiritual family, and to begin anew. We know that you, our ancestors, are present in this very moment, and that you are always there for us to take refuge in. As we touch the earth tonight we feel deeply connected to all of you, and to our dear Mother Earth: our beautiful blue planet, the Great Refreshing Bodhisattva--fragrant and cool, kind and inclusive, accepting us all. Mother Earth, we are all your children and, despite our many mistakes and shortcomings, every time we come home to you, you are ready to open your arms and embrace us. 

Beloved Buddha, many times in the past we have allowed uncertainty to water the seeds of insecurity and fear in our hearts. We have hesitated to take refuge in the path and we have doubted our family and community. We have not been wholehearted in our practice. We have let our strong emotions and wrong perceptions overwhelm us, giving rise to feelings of helplessness, separation and despair. 

Aware of this, we want to begin anew and to remind ourselves of our commitment to practice wholeheartedly, to take refuge in our Beloved Community, and to be a continuation of Thầy and all our spiritual ancestors. We aspire to live more deeply by cultivating our mindful breathing and walking in our daily activities, which we know are your favorite practices. We will not withdraw from the practice, or abandon our loved ones or our community; but aspire to listen deeply and to help one another, never forsaking anyone, even those who cause us to suffer. 

Mother Earth, as a human family, in our misguided pursuit of happiness, we have allowed greed and consumerism to prevail. We have been running after status, power, material possessions and sensual comforts, forgetting that these things can never bring us true happiness and freedom. We have caused great harm to you and to ourselves, exploiting our mountains and rivers, mistreating our forests and other species, polluting our atmosphere and causing you to lose your beauty and balance. 

We are determined to simplify our life and to remember that in the present moment we already have enough conditions to be happy. We vow to live more deeply and with gratitude, aware that simply to be alive is already a miracle. In the coming year, we are determined to consume less and to make effort to live more sustainably both for ourselves and for you, Mother Earth. 

Dear Ancestors, we have allowed fear, fanaticism and intolerance to divide us as a human family. We have caused suffering to one another, discriminating on the basis of religion, ethnicity and nationality. We have closed our hearts and our borders, out of fear and ignorance. We have caused wars, terror and conflicts between each other, and allowed the militarization of our society to escalate. We have forgotten  that we are inter-dependent, and that our own happiness and suffering are deeply connected to, and dependent on, the happiness and suffering of others. 

We trust that within us, there is the wisdom of non-discrimination and great compassion, transmitted to us by you, all our spiritual teachers, our ancestors, and by Mother Earth. We are determined to stay on the Path, to keep our hearts open, and to let go of our pride, so that understanding and love can prevail. 

As we touch the Earth, we express our gratitude to you, our beloved teacher, to our ancestors, and to Mother Earth. We have found the path of practice and a spiritual family to take refuge in. We have experienced joy, peace and transformation. We have tasted the freedom of letting go of our ideas and notions. We have felt the strength and warmth of brotherhood and sisterhood, and we know that together, we can face our challenges and realize our aspiration. We vow, in this solemn moment, to continue to build our family, our community and to open up the path for ourselves and our descendants. 

Dear Buddha, Dear Ancestors, Dear Mother Earth, please accept our offerings of incense, flowers, fruit and tea, as a sign of our deep aspiration, respect, gratitude and love. 

This prayer is reprinted from the Plum Village website.