Community of Mindful Living (CML)

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Community of Mindful Living (CML)

Post by SunWuKong » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:52 pm

Thich Nhat Hanh's (Thay's) organization features several levels of ordination. The neophyte might wish to accept the Five Mindfulness Trainings (5 Precepts). This gets you into the Sangha as a friend and member, but it's not necessary to accept the trainings to get that status. You might get a registration document from a Dharma Teacher listing you in the rolls of Lam Te Dhyana (Lin Chi Ch'an). Most local meetings and retreats are led by those "wearing brown" - the lay members of the corresponding lay organization, Community of Mindful Living. Here there are 14 trainings, with the 14th differing as to whether you are monk/nun or laity. This involves a commitment to sangha building, support to the sangha. One does not simply become a monk, theres quite a few stipulations involved, age, how long in the sangha, degree of participation, mental, emotional, and physical condition. Theres a few monasteries. Some of these go on to become full Dharma Teachers, and some laity will also.

It is a tradition of Ch'an or Zen with influences from Pure Land, Huayen (Kegon), Confucianism, as well as Theraveda. In particular, the meditation practice uses the Pali Anapanasati Sutta as well as the Chinese Ekottarika Āgama Ānāpānasmṛti. The meditation tends to be closer to Samatha maybe than Vipassana, but it has Pure Land and Huayen elements as well. Its packaged as "Mindfulness Meditation" but tends to be somewhat more prescriptive as to what emotions, thoughts, and feelings are invoked, in contrast to MBSR sitting practice as developed by Jon Kabat Zin in 1974. Still, Thay's early influence on Kabat Zin, as well as others, led to the development of Mindfulness practice, which is even split between Mahayana and Theraveda (Vipassana, Insight) lineages. It is a Mahayana parallel to the Vipassana movement of the last few decades.

The texts and lessons used are written or recorded by Thich Nhat Hanh, or one of his close followers under his direction. Mindfulness Practice Centers are few in number and feature more practices in dealing with stress and body that does the average local sangha. You can find most of these lessons, talks, videos on Amazon or Google, and Plum Village offers video on YouTube. Google has an interesting entry
I've capitalized items to internet search for further curiosity


p.s. required reading: 'Peace is Every Step' - very important to grok this. 'Miracle of Mindfulness' contains the text for most all guided meditation. 'Old Path White Clouds' a biography of Prince Siddhartha Gotama, Shakyamuni Buddha, Tathagatha: if you havn't read this, skip the others and dwell on this for a spell
“Nothing holy, just vast empty space!”

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