Finding your rhythm

15162587781_0b51de4d82_bNamo Amida Bu. I’d like say something about our rhythm here in the temple, and how rhythms can help you too. First an update on what we’ve been getting up to.

All’s well here in the temple. Work is underway on Seishi House, the coach-house conversion project which will be the home for Jnanamati’s art therapy practice etc. – read more here. We’re looking forward to a three day retreat, ‘Opening Your Heart’, on Oct 22nd and as usual see our website for our weekly schedule and one-off events. If you’re ready to learn more about Pureland Buddhism we have a lovely introduction course via email – here.

Finding a rhythm. Last week I became emotional when a weekly meeting to talk about temple business was unexpectedly cancelled. I was surprised at how upset I felt.

When I reflected on what had happened, I realised that I had been feeling stressed about various things but had been ‘holding out’ for a chance to talk it through and hand some of it over. I’d coped okay knowing that the meeting was coming up, but when it was postponed I suddenly realised that I really needed it!

In November we’ll have been here for two whole years. Over that time we’ve added more regular events into our diaries. When we moved in we decided to eat together every Friday night, plus three services and a Listening Circle. Since then we’ve added mine and Kaspa’s meeting, morning meditation three times a week, a weekly doing-the-accounts, a weekly ‘taking care of the temple hour’, a weekly lunch with Jnanamati, a Friday morning Order meeting, a fortnightly Dharma study group…

You might imagine that all these meetings make my week feel crowded and over-scheduled. They actually have the opposite effect. I don’t have to worry about the accounts on a Tuesday because I know they happen on a Friday. I am prompted to check in with Emma on a Friday, even if we don’t manage to catch up during the week. They give the week a spacious rhythm, and I adjust myself to them without even knowing, as demonstrated by my sudden upset. They help regular communication happen and they ensure that we offer different things to our extended sangha.

What rhythms do you have in your own life? Is there something you avoid that would benefit from going in your diary at the same time every week? Would you like to set up a fortnightly lunch with a friend or a time to meditate every morning or evening? How do you feel around schedules – claustrophobic or more free?

Do write a comment and let me know how you’re finding the rhythms in your own life. Namo Amida Bu, deep bow.