It was a weekend of commitment and celebration with the combination of the annual transmission ceremonies of mindfulness trainings to 24 persons and the yearly retreat of the FCM Order of Interbeing (OI), where 12 new aspirants were announced.
The Tampa Meditation Hall was filled to overflowing for Sunday's transmission ceremonies. Photo by Alex Lerner
Led by our teacher Fred, commitments were made February 2 by 23 adults to the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma and Sangha) and the 5 Mindfulness Trainings and by one child who made the Two Promises.
Fred, far left, leads the transmission ceremonies for the Three Jewels, 5 Mindfulness Trainings and Two Promises at Sunday Sangha in Tampa.
One child, Leo Reiff, age 7, Fred's grandson, made the Two Promises during the ceremony. Above, he is assisted by his little sister, Metta.
Salima Grannon leads incense chant at Sunday Sangha in Tampa.
The transmission ceremonies ended the weekend OI retreat, at which members and aspirants also attended discussions on right speech/mindful communication/beginning anew, leadership, and recitation and discussion of the 14 Mindfulness Trainings. Fred led a discussion about the purpose of OI mentoring, the role of OI within FCM, readiness for ordination to OI and how to manage retreat/lazy time encouraged for members of the order. A tea ceremony in the Plum Village tradition held Saturday night featured poetry music and personal reflections.
Listening to a discussion about OI's purpose within FCM are, from left, Chris Lee Nguyen, Bryan Hindert, Fred, Angie Parrish, Scott Nissensohn, Raven Dreifus-Kofron and Nancy Natilson.
The Tampa Sangha listens as new OI aspirants introduce themselves and ask for support.
New OI aspirants for 2020 were introduced at Sunday Sangha before the Transmission Ceremonies began. Each of them stated their aspiration and asked for support of the Sangha.
OI aspirant Dragos Zanchi of Tampa asks for support of the Sangha on Sunday.
Photo by Alex Lerner
They are Raven Dreifus-Kofron of Brandon, Teresa Fernandez of Tampa, Misti Oxford-Pickeral of Gainesville, Patricia Lukacs of Tampa, Rob Mitchell of St. Petersburg, Scott Nissensohn of Tampa, Mary Robinson of Fort Myers, Margaret "Maggie" Tudor of Tampa, Chris Witrak of Tampa, Antonela Zanchi and Dragos Zanchi of Tampa. Absent but accepted into the OI aspirant program was Shana Smith of Gainesville.
OI members and aspirants joined in a discussion Saturday in Tampa.
Photo by Alex Lerner