Poor Punxsutawney Phil , it would seem the Pennsylvania State Prosecutor has indicted him and is going for the death penalty for a faulty forecast about the start of spring. Rumor has it the town gathered for a beheading ceremony yesterday.
As darkly funny, ridiculous, ironic and slightly sad it is to read about this in the news, this nonsense also serves to remind us all of something important - in the midst of our struggles, there is room and necessity for humor. Without it, we are in danger of forgetting that all things are temporary in the long run. Times and situations do change, but only with diligent effort to be ready for opportunity.
I am pleased to report, in this last week of the Winter of Plenty drive, that because of all your help our families have all taken steps forward to better circumstances and the communities we have been have been working with have also grown. Two now have work, another is finally receiving the medical and legal assistance they need to be able to pursue work, three now have homes, we've expanded what we do with MCHA/OASIS to include Shao Lin Qi Gong and meditation (and more communities are asking for us to come in) and the rest of us have discovered a way to give that makes us better.
In this last week we do have a strong need for fresh vegetables, fruits and non-perishables. Gift cards for food/gas and Riptiks are also needed. You can drop the donations off on Weds Main Street Martial Arts (MSMA) at 1282 North Main Street in Providence (anytime after 2), or at the Zen Community Center (ZCC) 50 Dunnell Lane in Pawtucket on Tuesdays or Thursdays between 5 and 5:30.
On Weds night @ 730pm you are welcome to join us for a small dinner and meditation at MSMA (just RSVP by email to email@example.com). On Sunday, March 31st at 8pm @ the ZCC (50 Dunnel Lane, Pawtucket) we will commence the Ksitigarbha Mantra in memory of all the names donations were given in. The mantra is 45 minutes long and the entire event is in silence (but for the chanting). Please feel free to join, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org as space is limited. The list of memorial names will also be posted to this blog.
What next? Dealing with the fallout from the sequester. Cuts have already radically impacted services and more will be felt in April. What does this mean for you and me? It means we just keep on doing what we have learned this winter we can do. The ZCC will continue providing relief and assistance with your help. We are also committed to providing a small community dinner before our 5:30pm meditations at Dunnell. There are plans for some specific drives that I will post about later as we coordinate with other relief and service agencies. The goal is not so much to generate a response to the sequester, but to continue expanding our ability to support each other in community. I will be posting soon about the expanded ZCC services and offerings for all - it is going to be a stellar Spring, groundhog or not.
I want to thank you all so very much. You have moved me with your spirit, generosity and compassion; may the grace of your actions bring you and your generations much blessings.
|The First Community Dinner at the ZCC Evening Meditation in Pawtucket, Rhode Island|