Many of us have been wondering what the best way forward with the coronavirus at the moment is, and how to balance the different needs of our sangha.
Some want to just carry on as normal until the Government outlaws public gatherings, or until attendance numbers go down dramatically.
Personally I have the energy for creating a new online space where we can have talks, discussions and to meet each other online. That way we can stay at home and reduce our chances of infecting or being infected.
Plus, another way of looking at it is to take this show on the road and to go global!
In any case, I am setting up two things.
1) A Facebook group (which is like a forum), https://www.facebook.com/groups/205398687230606/ . Please feel free to join it and to participate.
I am making it a private group which means that (if needed) any trouble makers can be ejected. And the goal would be to always practice kindness and avoid harsh speech (which hopefully we can manage). That way it can be a safe space to share deep things (at times), as well as lighter fun posts.
So to anyone joining this Facebook group please post a message introducing yourself to everyone and let us know how you are doing with everything.
2) An weekly online talk and discussion group using Zoom (which is like Skype but better).
It would start at 7.30pm and maybe go on for an hour and a quarter at first but could go on for longer in future. At the end I might try splitting people into random groups so you can actually carry on chatting with each other as long as you like, and just log off when you want.
The idea is that if possible we meditate at home by ourselves form 7pm to 7.30pm so we are in a meditative space when we log on to the group. Ideally you would use a desktop or laptop with webcam and mic. You could also use a tablet (or phone), but that would probably not work as well .
Mangala will be our guest speaker at the first one, and the topic will be the coronavirus and dukkha (suffering) – and how can we reduce any mental suffering we may create around it. Originally we tried to find a more upbeat topic, but it is the elephant in the room, so it made sense to address it.
Initially the class will be on Mondays, but this could change.
You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Monday Mar 16, 2020 07:30 PM
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
This first one is a bit of an experiment, so you can expect things to go wrong!
3) Regarding our actual real life Tuesday night class we are provisionally carrying on at the moment. The plan is that Amber is leading the class on 17th and 24th of March, and Padmajata is leading the class on 31st March and 7th April. The rooms will open at 7pm.
Amber will carry on teaching yoga for the time being.
I won’t be attending any of these as I am focussing on building an online sangha.
We don’t really how long we will keep things going, and may shut the class down at short notice but I will keep you updated when we have more news, and I will also keep sending emails and making posts as usual around the beginning of each month.
That is all for now!
Try and stay safe, free from suffering and remain connected with your friends.