Updated: Jul 28, 2020
by Yvette Gonick.
A while back, Pamela Patton, now Director of Pastoral Ministries, informed me that a Buddhist meditation and study community (SANGHA) was being formed. It would be led by Pilar Jennings, Ph.D. Many of us attended her frequent and popular Adult Education series coordinated by Rev. David Robb.
Pilar is a psychotherapist, psychoanalyst and a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhist traditions. She weaves all three disciplines into the tapestry of her clinical meditation practice.
As I recall, the first Sangha was awesome and the turn-out was larger than I thought possible, almost 50 people.
Pilar began the one and a half hour Sangha with the following format that remains the same today: an introduction; a guided meditation; a talk on a Buddhist teaching followed by a question and answer period; and ending with a shorter meditation.
I embrace Buddhism and have been meditating for many years. The Sangha continues to amaze me. The Sangha evolves—my understanding of Buddhism expands exponentially as my mind, via meditation, quiets down, which is a very good thing! I can stay in the moment longer, not disturbed by internal chatter. When I veer off course, I listen to my breath and return to ‘emptiness’.
Whether you have been meditating for a long time; whether you are a beginner; or whether you just want to learn more about Buddhism and meditation—PLEASE JOIN EITHER or BOTH OF OUR SANGHA GROUPS!
Maggie Mullane, a member of Pilar’s group, facilitates Sangha II. It is a more intimate group that lasts about an hour. Currently we meet once a month on a Sunday. We meditate for approximately 30 minutes and have a discussion the rest of the time. By sharing and deep listening, I can report that this ongoing opportunity continues to afford me a deeper level of association with the participants than I ever thought possible.
Both groups are open to new members.
Thank you All Souls for being an open community that encourages the journey of many spiritual paths, capable of converging on an awareness of individual and global wisdom.
My SOUL is grateful for the Sangha at All Souls. Its lasting positive energy opens my heart and my spiritual channels. My basic need for deep connection, love and community is nurtured. I live my life joyfully!
*I want to thank Carolyn Jackson for her 9.30.16 article in The All Souls Beacon. It inspired my creative juices to flow for my article.