I was moved by the tributes to Jini Fauss in issue # 17 of The Mindfulness Bell and especially so by Jim's own article. I also found that Fred Eppsteiner's letter expressed some very important thoughts regarding the service you now and might in the future provide practitioners. It is important to relate the struggles and awakenings of individuals. However, this is something I am fortunate to be able to hear about (a lot about the former, a little about the latter) in Sangha Dharma discussions. What would really benefit me is to hear about the struggles that Sanghas have had/are having and how they successfully or unsuccessfully deal with them. Can you help us look a little more deeply at what Thay tells us will be the next Buddha? Richard Brady Takoma Park, Maryland
In response to Fred Eppsteiner's question: Yes, people in the Sangha have had traditional spiritual experiences and awakenings. I am sure I am not the only one who has left this aspect of meditation practice behind. Satori is a profound experience and a difficult one to release. Thinking about how satori was/will be, attempting to recapture the experience becomes simply another attachment. The razzle-dazzle (sidhi) which accompany such experiences is even more distracting. If such an experience comes, that is good; if one does not come, that is also good.
The fundamental beauty of our practice is the realization that walking on a sidewalk is the true miracle-no psychic gymnastics or elusive experiences required. Then satori becomes not a spiritual experience, but a way of life. Thank you for opening the discussion. Alice Barrett Greenfield, Massachussetts
I'd like to share my thoughts about why Mindfulness Bell subscriptions are not increasing enough to cover expenses so that paid advertising is now used. The first time I saw a friend's copy and read on the back cover that it is the "Journal of the Order of Interbeing" and "published three times a year by the Community of Mindful Living, students of Thich Nhat Hanh who want to help one another be more mindful in daily life," I interpreted that the publication was not for me. I had not taken the Fourteen Precepts and had not joined the Order, so I he~itated to subscribe. Only after getting more involved with Sangha members did I find out that The Mindfulness Bell was for everyone.
If my experience is not isolated, I'd suggest rewriting the paragraph to include a clear, open invitation to all students of ThAy whether in a Sangha or not, whether having gone to retreats or simply a student through the books they have read. By the way, with or without paid advertising I deeply appreciate The Mindfulness Bell. Laurie Ross Seattle, WA
Thank you for delivering such a beautiful, inspiring newsletter. Whenever I read it, I am filled with hope and gladness. Gaynor Bigelbach West Somerville, Massuchessetts
Many thanks for making The Milldfulness Bell available. It is as beautiful and helpful and moving as I expected when I subscribed. I have only read one issue and already I feel like I know so many other people in the Community. Amy Ballenger Charlottesville. V A