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ALAMEDA BUDDHIST COMMUNITY
824 TAYLOR AVE ALAMEDA CA 94501
510-523-7349 AlamedaZen@AOL.com

WHO ARE WE , HOW DID WE GET HERE AND WHERE ARE WE GOING?

Human life becomes very complicated, yet we all yearn to simplify it to find the truth and meaning of our existence. Those of us who have been drawn by the simple teachings and practices of Buddhism wish for the time and space to engage these practices. Our little community is a new entity with the intention of offering a place for sitting meditation, mindfulness practice, and study. It currently consists of a few people living on the property, and a dozen plus local residents who come here periodically to sit and do retreats.

THE MEDITATION HALL The space was born in July of 1998, when Lawrence Donovan offered to convert an apartment on his property to a meditation hall. With a vaulted ceiling and lots of exposed wood, it is remarkably suited for the use. We have used the space almost daily ever since. In June, 1999, I (Barbara Lenschmidt) moved onto the property. We began a pattern of twice daily sitting, and continued to have short Saturday retreats once a month. For a while we attempted to bring the group under the wing of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives (Shasta Abbey), but failing in that have decided to keep the Community non-denominational subject to group decision. Our current practice includes sittings on weekdays at 6:30 AM and 7:15 PM, a monthly retreat, Dharma tapes on Wednesday nights, and a smattering of occasional events. We donít have a resident teacher, but are looking for experienced teachers to give talks or even classes. Anyone is welcome to attend at meditation or retreats. We follow a simplified Zen form, but we have meditators from a variety of traditions. We are happy to give simple instruction on how to sit, and have an abundance of books and tapes to share. However, anyone wishing to practice diligently must seek teaching and guidance from an experienced source. We can help you find good teachers, but none of us are yet sufficiently advanced to teach.

THE COMMUNITY Lawrence and I both share a vision of creating a small, resident community on this property. Ideally it should have a minimum of 5 active participants. The focus will be on mindful living, following the Buddhist precepts, sitting practice, and voluntary simplicity. We wonít have the austerity nor the guidance available in a monastery, but we hope to be more concentrated than the society at large. By living in community we can reduce the time we spend earning money, and pay more attention to our practice. We are seeking others who might want to join us, and regular attendance at sitting is the first step to admission. We are reviewing the forms and rules of religious communities, and hope to develop a simple working model to keep the group functioning smoothly. For the moment we have distilled it to the following:

A community member should --

1. Accept the basic Buddhist precepts. 2. Cooperate in the sustenance and maintenance of the community. 3. Regularly attend meditation, with deference to employment schedules. 4. Share some meals. 5. Attend a short, weekly group meeting 6. Have a solid religious practice, not necessarily Buddhist.

------------------------------ DIRECTIONS TO THE MEDITATION HALL: There is a fine, tall wood gate between 822 and 824 Taylor Ave. Enter through the gate and follow the path to the brown shingle house in the back yard. The entrance to the meditation hall is on the left hand side of this building, and well marked.

MEDITATION TIMES: Morning: Mon-Fri 6:30 AM Evening: Mon-Fri 7:15 PM

SCHEDULED RETREATS: Saturday, August 14 6:15 AM to 7:00 PM Saturday, September 25 8:15 AM to 1:30 PM Saturday, October 23 8:15 AM to 1:30 PM Saturday, November 20 8:15 AM to 1:30 PM (Tentative) It is not necessary to do the entire retreat in order to attend. Please contact one of the following for more information:

CONTACT NUMBERS: Official Community number: 523-7349 Barbara Lenschmidt: 521-1667 Pat Bough: 522-4125

 

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