By Caitriona Reed Last December 7, three members of the Ordinary Dharma Sangha received the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing: Jeff King, Joe Lewis, and Tony Pitchley. Despite torrential rain, about 35 members of the community made the long drive to Manzanita Village for the morning ceremony, including Ven. Benton Pandito, the abbot of the San Diego Lao Temple, with whom we enjoy an ongoing collaboration in the training of ex-gang member novice monks.
Currently there is a lot of discussion about training curricula for the core community of the Order. In addition to weekly Sangha gatherings and retreats of up to 12 days, we have enjoyed an ongoing weekly study group for a number of years. It seems to be the grounding for the core of our community, involving study and discussion of practice and, more recently, an exploration of writing and creativity within a Dharma context. As the group continues into the new year, we have decided to use tea meditation as the container for the weekly study group.
Dharma teacher Caitriona Reed, True Jewel, practices in Manzanita Village in southern California.