Beginning Anew: New Year's Ceremony, Potluck & Celebration
For FCM Members and Their Families/Friends
In the Buddhist tradition, the passing of an old year and the beginning of a new one is celebrated in a sacred manner. We take stock of the past year, our life and relationships, our activities and endeavors, and make a sincere inventory of the actions of our body, speech and mind. Then, symbolically freeing ourselves from the baggage of the past year, we start the New Year with renewed focus, motivation and inspiration. Rather than celebrating the New Year by numbing and clouding the mind, we begin anew, renewing our commitment to awaken to the richness and beauty of life’s fullest potential and joining together to celebrate our connection with each other as a community.
We invite you to start the New Year with us on January 1 from 1 to 5 p.m. for ceremony, a finger food potluck and celebration performances at our Tampa Practice Center. We warmly welcome and encourage those of you outside the Tampa Bay area to join us this year in Tampa.
Ceremony: We will begin at 1 pm with sitting and walking meditation. This will be followed by guided meditations and rituals to acknowledge the passing of the year, to facilitate a "letting go" of the past, to renew ourselves in the present, and to focus our intentions for the future.
Potluck/Refreshments: Following the Beginning Anew ceremony we will celebrate our connection with each other with light refreshments and warm friendship. Please bring a vegan "finger food" (sweet or savory) as a light snack. You will find the "Sign Up Genius" link at the end of this description.
Celebration Performances: This year we will enjoy performances by FCM members following our potluck refreshments, including:
- The Extraordinary Illness of Vimalakirti - short play performed by FCM members aimed at capturing the wisdom, drama and humor of the Vimalakirti Sutra. Vimalakirti was an enlightened layman and friend of the Buddhas, who was totally involved in family, business and community life in his home city of Vaishali. The Sutra portrays many profound moments of Vimalakirti's interaction with all the great disciples of the Buddha and always showing them the deeper path. Historically Vimalakirti’s life demonstrates concretely how it is possible to live an awakened life in the midst of the most ordinary daily activities.
- Opening Our Hearts to the New Year: Songs and Singalongs with Shana Smith. Shana presents Dharma-inspired music from her newly recorded CD, "Oak Tree In the Garden." Shana is the director of the Gainesville Retreat Center and nationally recognized children's performer -- Shana Banana. She is a long time practitioner of yoga and zen. She will grace us with music, song sheets, and singalongs for the whole family!
Children & Teens
Children and teens are invited to participate in all or parts of this event, and are always welcome in the Meditation Hall. While we don't have formal children's activities or babysitting planned, the Family Room will be open for families to use. Children are especially encourage to join us about 3:15 in the Meditation Hall for the final inspiration of our ceremony, as well as for the potluck and performances.
Please register online for this event
Due to limited space our ceremony/celebration is open only to FCM members and their families and friends. When you register, please include the names of any family or friends who will be attending with you. After you have registered, please go to the potluck "signup Genius" to let us know what finger food you will bring. That link is at the bottom of this description. You can always go back and sign up later, after you have registered for the event here.
We will Zoom the event for members if you cannot attend, but warmly encourage all members to join us in person in Tampa for this special event. Zoom access is the same as for Sunday Meditation. No need to register if you are planning to Zoom.
For more information about the overall event, please contact Jacqulyn at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about the potluck, contact Evelyn at email@example.com.
SIGN UP GENIUS: BEGINNING ANEW POTLUCK
After you have completed registering, please go to Sign Up Genius to indicate what finger food you will bring to the potluck at this link:
Note regarding Bed and Breakfast: In anticipation of the opening of Great Cloud in the new year we are discontinuing our formal Member Bed and Breakfast Program in Tampa. However, if you are a member and could use some help or suggestions of who you might stay with when you visit the Tampa Center, please feel free to contact Evelyn Haseman at firstname.lastname@example.org.