At our first “Beyond BAM” meeting (Aug 14), one of the goals was to choose a new name for the group. Shining out for its inclusivity, simplicity, and straight-forwardness, those in attendance decided unanimously on “Karaniya Metta Kula”. This famous sutta, which literally means “beautiful metta”, elegantly summarizes all the ways by which we can have a positive influence on the world around us, whether through meditation: And think of every living thing without exception: the weak and the strong, from the smallest to the largest, whether you can see them or not, living nearby or far away, beings living now or yet to arise – may all beings become happy in their heart of hearts! or through diligent ethical practice: Whether you are staying in one place or travelling, sitting down or in bed, in all your waking hours rest in this mindfulness…. This sutta also encourages us to keep upright in our faith, even when the growlings of Mara and consumer society suggest otherwise (If you know what is truly good for you and understand the possibility of reaching a state of perfect peace, then this is how you need to live.)
Aims of the kula The broad aim of the Karaniya Metta Kula is to clearly integrate our Buddhist practice with care for the environment and for all beings, including those far away and yet to be born.
We recognize that tremendous opportunities for growth, altruistic activity, and sangha building can be found in responding creatively to the environmental crisis.
Focus points of the kula We talked about choosing and learning from heart a version of the karaniya metta sutta, and about beginning future sessions with meditation. Kula discussions may explore our experiences in this world with regards to false views, ethical conundrums, the precepts, and so on. Some points of focus for the group include: - helping encourage discussion of environmental and humanitarian issues in the Sangha; - helping to make the Centre more sustainable; - doing practices together that help deepen our connection with nature (e.g., yatra walks), and which support our efforts to live more sustainably (e.g., “ecological reporting in”) - joining campaigns to bring about political change (e.g., People’s Climate March Sept 21st) - offering day retreats/ events at the Centre for the greater Sangha (*) Since not everyone could attend this meeting, further wishes and interests may yet be added to this list. Time will be allocated at the next session for feedback and comments. A central aim of the kula is that all involved have a strong sense of ownership in this shared project.
3) Upcoming dates Next meeting: Thursday Sept. 4th @ 17:30–19:30 (green room) Next event: Sunday Sept. 21st @ 10 – 16:00 (morning at Centre then joining the People’s Climate March, 13:00-16:00)