2016 Refuge and Precepts Ceremony

If you have been practicing for a year or longer and wish to formally reflect your commitment to the dharma path, I will be offering this opportunity through One Dharma. It will culminate in a ceremony at One Dharma, which we will plan for a time in November that works for all involved. If you are interested, please email ernst.lisa@gmail.com by October 1. If you have already taken refuge and the precepts and wish to refresh your vows, you are also welcome and encouraged to participate.

About the Refuge Ceremony
Taking refuge means relying wholeheartedly on the Three Jewels of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha to inspire and guide us toward a constructive and beneficial direction in our lives. The real taking of refuge occurs deep in our hearts and isn’t dependent on doing or saying anything. Nevertheless, we may wish to participate in the refuge ceremony by requesting a dharma teacher to formally give us refuge. The refuge ceremony is simple: we repeat the passages after the teacher and open our hearts to make a strong connection with the Three Jewels.

About Taking Precepts
Precepts are a joy, not a burden. They aren’t designed to keep us from having a good time and to make us feel deprived. The purpose of taking precepts is to give us internal strength so that we won’t act in ways that we don’t want to. Having understood that killing, stealing, selfishness and so forth only lead us to harm ourselves and others now and in the future, we’ll want to avoid these. Taking precepts give us energy and strength to do so. Therefore, it’s said that precepts are the ornaments of the wise.

To help people overcome their disturbing attitudes and stop committing harmful actions, the Buddha set out five precepts. During the refuge ceremony, in addition to taking refuge in the Three Jewels, we can take any or all of the five precepts, and become a lay Buddhist.

The five precepts
1. I observe the precept of abstaining from the destruction of life.
2. I observe the precept of abstaining from taking that which is not given.
3. I observe the precept of abstaining from sexual misconduct.
4. I observe the precept of abstaining from falsehood.
5. I observe the precept of abstaining from intoxicants that cloud the mind and cause carelessness.

The refrain “I observe the precept of abstaining from …” which begins every precept clearly shows that these are not commandments. They are instead codes of conduct that lay Buddhists undertake out of clear understanding and conviction that they are good for both themselves and for the world. If you have any questions about these precepts and what they mean to your everyday life, please inquire. (You aren’t expected to become a vegetarian unless you are already inclined in that direction. However, reflecting on and taking actions to reduce harm is at the heart of the first precept.)

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Soul Story Podcast Part 2

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This is the second part of a podcast I did with Adam Hill at Radnor Lake.

From Adam:

“In this episode, we discuss Lisa’s  perspective on the mystery of the path, overcoming painful obstacles, and the immersion she feels while seeking photographs in nature.”

December Residential Retreat

Making Peace: Being Self and Emptiness
Thursday Evening, December 8 – Noon, December 11, 2016
Optional extended retreat through noon December 13
Bethany Hills Retreat Center, Kingston Springs, TN

“Live in the nowhere that you come from, even though you have got an address here.” – Rumi

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Retreat full. We are accepting names for the waitlist at onedharmaretreat@gmail.com

Please join us at a beautiful, wooded retreat site just outside Nashville for this three or five night residential retreat. We will explore the nature of our identity and sense of self that we use to live in the world, as well as the wise space of heart and mind that lets go. As we practice meeting all of the activity of self with mindfulness, steadiness, and kindness, our insight and compassion grow. The more we make peace with our ego the more we dwell in our boundless, empty nature.

Led by meditation teacher Lisa Ernst, this silent retreat is suitable for newer and more experienced meditators. It will include periods of sitting and walking meditation, instructions, dharma talks and private meetings with the teacher. Retreat fee includes lodging and all meals.

The 3 night retreat is $225 if paid in full by November 9; after $250. If you wish the stay for five nights, the retreat fee is $365 if paid by November 9; $395 after. A $75 deposit reserves your spot. There will be a separate opportunity at the retreat to make a dana (generosity) offering to the teacher. Two reduced fee spots is are available in the case of financial need. Please inquire for details.

Payments can be made through Paypal here or mailed to One Dharma Nashville, P.O. Box 158533, Nashville, TN, 37215. Please indicate the number of nights you will stay. If sending a check, include your email address. For questions, email onedharmaretreat@gmail.com

Lisa Ernst is a Meditation teacher in the Thai Forest lineage of Ajahn Chah, Jack Kornfield and Trudy Goodman. She is the founder of One Dharma Nashville. In her teaching, Lisa emphasizes both transformational insight and everyday mindfulness as an invitation to embrace all of the path’s possibilities. She leads classes, workshops and meditation retreats nationally.