September 17 - December 31
At FCM our tradition each year is to envision and write down a list of aspirations/intentions to help guide our lives and practices for the coming year. Many of us did just that at our Beginning Anew Ceremony on January 1. Our aspirations and intentions help provide inspiration and direction for our lives.
One of the key aspects for successful realization of our aspirations and intentions involves sharing them with others and enlisting their support. That ’s why our teacher, Fred, has asked us to either begin or to continue to “buddy-up” with each other over the next 3 months in order to give an added boost to our intentions during the year. Daily intentions and practices that manifest those intentions are crucial if we seek to implement changes in the way we think, act, and behave. Therefore, having someone to check in with daily for just a few minutes around our specific change goals will help provide accountability and help us produce a better outcome. This takes just moments a day yet the impact can be profound — on our lives, the lives of others, and our progression on the path.
“Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha are three precious jewels in Buddhism, and the most important of these is Sangha. The Sangha contains the Buddha and the Dharma. A good teacher is important, but sisters and brothers in the practice are the main ingredient for success. You cannot achieve enlightenment by locking yourself in your room.” - Thich Nhat Hanh
Our sangha is our refuge, but more than a group, our sangha is individual brothers and sisters on the path, who we can know intimately and connect with on a deep level. Checking in daily contains the ingredients to deepen our practice and to deepen that of another. And deepening that of another is success — for us, our sangha, and a beautiful way to express our bodhisattva practice in real and tangible ways.
Due to the success and positive feedback to this program that we began at the beginning of this year, we would like to extend it into the fall and beyond, creating an opportunity for continued enriching and motivational experiences with this one to one approach.
If you would like to participate, we will help you pair up with another FCM member. If you participated in the June/July/August Buddy program this year, and you and your buddy would like to continue being paired together, please register and then send me an email. Even if you already have a friend or partner to support and share your aspirations with, this is an opportunity to reach out and connect with someone else and expand your sangha connection.
Once you have received the name of your Dharma Buddy, please contact them daily, update your buddy on your successes, challenges, and let them know about any new goals and intentions. Connecting can take less than a minute a day. You can use whatever media you choose--phone, texts, emails, mail. Be creative and provide each other encouragement and support, but we’re talking about a daily check-in that’s only for a few minutes. Hopefully, the accountability will make the difference between failure and success in our facilitating the changes we wish to make in our life.
Registration will be open until Wednesday, September 15. Of course, there is no fee.
If you have any questions, please contact Dona Menz at firstname.lastname@example.org