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February 2006
Dogen & Francis Hermitage Update

Theme: Seven Ways of Seeing... What's Going On

1.      Money: Meetingbrook received many subscriptions and donations as a result of our invitation sent at end of summer 2005. We thank all who did indeed subscribe. Donations continue to arrive in the new year. We also thank all who have considered subscribing or donating to the continuance of the bookshop/bakery at the harbor. The very energy of such consideration helps.  We've received donations for rent that have brought us here into the new year. We will happily receive additional pledges and donations to assist us toward summer. http://www.meetingbrook.org/updates/05SepUpdate.htm

2.      Time: Saskia travels around Maine (often with trusty chauffeur) doing workers comp audits. (Two days in Fort Kent reminded how long and lovely Maine is!) Bill teaches philosophy/ethics at University College at Thomaston – 25 students and plenty of reading/responding student's papers. Friday mornings we go into prison for tutoring, conversation, and contact with Meetingbrook's larger community.

3.      Volunteers: A lively crew of volunteers have taken to themselves many tasks at the in town shop. From changing the chaotic environment (to more easily accessible chaos), baking, making soup, shop-sitting, moving wood, fixing Sunday dinners, hospitable conversation, mailing subscription requests, and putting the cranky co-proprietor in his place. Good work all! Dana, Jean, Teresa, Tina, Sara, Richard, Myles, Tommy, Karl and assorted others make the place flow and sing sweetly. 

4.      Events: Sunday dinners have been lovely. Pork roasts, fish chowder, turkey with fixing's, beef roasts, and grand deserts find anywhere from 8 to 24 folks of a Sunday afternoon stopping by for a sit down dining experience. (There's a donation kettle for help to cover costs.) Friday evening movie and pizza is taking place. (Last week's Empire Falls was a delight.)

5.      Music: Sam is regular with harmonica. Dan plays guitar and sings during weekday afternoons. Saskia and Virginia will take out flute and guitar. Millie has come by with harp.  

6.      Conversations: They are wonderful. This past Wednesday we read from Thich Nhat Hanh's “Uprooting Terrorism” in his new book on a zen response to terrorism. Tuesdays we've been taking articles from Tricycle for Buddhist studies. Thursdays we've been reading Megan Don's Falling into the Arms of God. Fridays we're reading Peter Anderson's First Church of the Higher Elevations.  Saturday morning conversation on the Many Faces of Death has been impromptu and filled with many matters of the transitions brought to the circle. Saturday Poetry, Tea, and Literature at 4:30pm is always a lively, lovely, and inspiring listening.

7.      Practice: Saturday morning and Sunday evening practice remain intimate, and vital. The simple ritual of it has movements that are graceful and quiet. In our practice, we remember and honor with prayer and presence each of you. You are in our midst.

8.      Et-cetera:  Bald Mountain stands in sunlight out upstairs front room window. Mu-ge stares at computer screen. Cesco sleeps on floor by pull-out sofa-bed. Jon visits during break from his teaching work. Karl, our computer-man, makes a change and takes up hospice nursing – he lends the dying a living memory where he once helped machines with megabyte memory. Joanie has moved to New Jersey. Saskia is in Portland today. I have a student coming to shop for critical thinking conversation.

We wonder about Bonhoeffer's intuition:

'...the restoration of the church will surely come only from a new type of monasticism which has nothing in common with the old but a complete lack of compromise in a life lived in accordance with the Sermon on the Mount in the discipleship of Christ. I think it is time to gather people together to do this...'

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

--Extract of a letter written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer to his brother Karl-Friedrick on the 14th of January, 1935. (Source: John Skinner, Northumbria Community).

We keep an opening in our mind and heart for this intuition. We watch for any donations of land, buildings, and resources toward this monasticism. During and until this new form reveals itself, we dwell the emerging version of the vision.

We are happy for today – for each one passing through our life. We are blessed by each one of you.

With love,

, Cesco , Mu-ge ,
and all who grace Meetingbrook,

9 February 2006

Please see http://www.meetingbrook.org/updates/05SepUpdate.htm for continuing support.

Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage is a Schola Gratiae et Contemplationis, i.e., a School of Gratefulness and Contemplation. Bookshop and Bakery opened 29 June1996. Hermitage was formed as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization in 1998 for the purpose of serving as a place of collation and recollection for the side-by-side practice and study of Buddhist Zen Meditation, Christian Contemplative Prayer, and the Engaged Service flowing from each. Central to Meetingbrook is its Laura Common – dedicated to a forum for individuals sharing practice with others, and its Schola -- dedicated to Interreligious & Interdependent Dialogue —Unveiling and Practicing Peace Between Ways. Donations are always gratefully accepted for the continuance and deepening of Meetingbrook.              

Visit www.meetingbrook.org    

Please send your donations to:
Meetingbrook, 50 Bayview St., Camden, Maine 04843



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Meetingbrook Hermitage
64 Barnstown Rd.,
Camden, Maine USA 04843
Meetingbrook Bookshop & Bakery
50 Bayview St. (Cape on the harbor)
Camden, Maine USA 04843
e-mail: mono@meetingbrook.org

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