When Peace Will be Born

This is a beautiful guest post from Najmeh Jami, a student and practitioner at One Dharma and reflects the fruits of compassionate dharma practice.

“When Peace Will be Born”

I’d been waiting all my life for a moment, for a moment that shouts itself “Hey! Look at me! I am clear. Hey! Look at me, I am perfect.”

I missed a lot when I was waiting. I missed the pain behind my mom’s eyes when she was expecting me to do “nonsense” and I called that moment imperfect. I missed my dad’s suffering when he was angry, really angry and I called him an imperfect dad. And I missed a lot of beauties and joys when I was judging the imperfection of those moments waiting for that clear, perfect moment.

Some got clear, while I was still busy waiting for the perfections to happen.

Those moments happened again, my dad got angry, my mom expecting me to do “non-sense”. I wasn’t thinking about perfection or non-perfection. I was seeing that clarity; I was dissolved in my mom’s pain and my dad’s suffering; There’s no pain, no suffering, no me no dad, no me no mom. It was a pure clarity and it was perfect.

Some didn’t get clear. But I have already made my decision. I am not looking for clarity or perfection. I am just dying in the moment with love and the moment gets clear, the moment gets perfect. The moment IS clear, the moment IS perfect. We just need to die in the moment with love, and it gets clear and it gets perfect. And that’s when peace will born.”

– Najmeh Jami

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It Changes Not

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Something there is, prior to heaven and earth,

Without form, without sound, all alone by itself.

It has the power to control all the changing things;

Yet it changes not in the course of the four seasons.

– Fu Ta-shih

New Years Half Day Intention Setting Retreat

Thursday, January 1, 9 a.m. – Noon 12 South Dharma Center Led by Lisa Ernst

“One of the Buddha’s most penetrating discoveries is that our intentions are the main factors shaping our lives and that they can be mastered as a skill.” – Thanissaro Bhikkhu

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New Year’s resolutions based on goals rather than true intention are often forgotten within a few weeks or months. But the Buddha taught another way – that the journey to liberation begins with Right Intention. By cultivating Right Intention, a part of the Eightfold Path, we can align our actions with our most deeply held values. In this retreat we will consult the wisdom of our own hearts and look with fresh eyes at what truly matters in our lives. We will refine our direction for the New Year and create intentions that support our truest values and aspirations. Led by meditation teacher Lisa Ernst, the retreat will include periods of sitting and walking meditation, dharma talk and discussion. Cost is $35 and  you can pay through Paypal here. Alternately, you can bring your payment to one of our meetings or send a check, made out to One Dharma Nashville to: 12 South Dharma Center, c/o One Dharma Nashville, 2301 12th Avenue south, suite 202, Nashville, TN 37204. For questions, email onedharmaretreat@gmail.com.

7 Day Residential Retreat Recap

One Dharma held its first 7 day residential retreat in early November at Bethany Hills Retreat Center in Kingston Springs, Tennessee. By all measures it was a success and I anticipate we will do another one when the time is right.

We had all levels of experience, from three out of towners who had sat countless long retreats, to three who where on their first ever residential retreat. Sooner or later, all settled into the rhythm of deep practice and many reported transformative openings and insights during the week.

Here is a photo guide of our retreat. Thanks to Frankie Fachilla for contributing the photos..

Once the temps dropped, we had a fire going continuously in the meditation hall. Photo by Frankie Fachilla

Once the temps dropped, we had a fire going continuously in the meditation hall. Photo by Frankie Fachilla

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Our retreat altar. Photo by Frankie Fachilla

This  stray cat was quite friendly and had a way of slipping through the lodge door. One of our retreat attendees, Christie Bates, kindly adopted the cat, now named Khit Nhat Hanh. Photo by Frankie Fachilla

This stray cat was quite friendly and had a way of slipping through the lodge door. One of our retreat attendees, Christie Bates, kindly adopted the cat, now named Khit Nhat Hanh. Photo by Frankie Fachilla

Still some leaves hanging on. The paths and trails around Bethany Hills Camp provided some good hiking opportunities. Photo by Frankie Fachilla

Still some leaves hanging on. The paths and trails around Bethany Hills Camp provided some good hiking opportunities. Photo by Frankie Fachilla

These rocking chairs on the deck weren't used too often once the "arcitc blast" hit on Wednesday. They still looked inviting. Photo by Frankie Fachilla

These rocking chairs on the deck weren’t used too often once the “arcitc blast” hit on Wednesday. They still looked inviting. Photo by Frankie Fachilla

We closed the retreat with this offering of merit:

The Buddha said that when we dedicate merit, it is just like adding a drop of water to the ocean. Just as a drop of water added to the ocean will not dry up but will exist as long as the ocean exists, so too, if we dedicate the merit of any virtuous action, it merges with the vast ocean of merit and endures until enlightenment.  ~Padmasambhava

By the power of this compassionate practice,

May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness

May all beings be free from sorrow and the causes of sorrow

May all live in equanimity.