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From the Guide - February 2017

The Project Joy year-long retreat is a dream come true for me -- to have one daily practice focus that we’re all attending to, to meet together to discuss our experience of that focus, to hear from Sangha around the world what they’re seeing, to benefit from the nuances in understanding each person brings. This is a lovely example of what the Buddha meant when he encouraged us to seek the three jewels: Bodhi, Dharma, and Sangha.

We talk a lot about transformation in our practice. Our tagline is “transforming lives, ending suffering.” That’s what practice does.  We know that. It does. We’ve all experienced it. We have practice phrases that we hear constantly that point to the process of transformation. The quality of your life is determined by the focus of your attention. What you practice is what you have. What you do is what you get. One process does not lead to another.

If we want our lives to transform from suffering (dissatisfaction, anxiety, worry, depression, anger, frustration...) to freedom, we have to turn attention away from suffering and to thisherenow. We know that, don’t we? It’s really pretty simple and straightforward. We must attend to what we want. If we attend to what we don’t want, what we will get is what we don’t want! We’ve proved that to ourselves too.

So now we have this splendid opportunity to be together in practice every day. We get to support one another to attend to the process of living the life we choose every day. We don’t have to go it alone. We don’t have to find the willingness or generate the enthusiasm to “make it happen.” We have a giant team of people who are doing this extraordinary thing together.

Now all we need do is stay the course. ALL is a very big word here. We’re committed to a year of this. Will we be transformed by this process? You bet your booty we will. And it is for that reason that egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate is going to pull out ALL its tricks and ploys to bamboozle us into quitting and why we must use ALL our resources -- which are infinite, remember -- to keep showing up for one another and for ourselves, to receive the transformation.

In gassho,
ch