Harvesting Peace in Cape Breton

Heads up everyone

Cabot Shores and Paul and Barbara and Acharaya Moh Hardin will be hosting our annual community ‘harvest of peace’ on September 23.

It’s funny how we think we have ‘always’ had a fall Nyida day celebration and that it ‘always’ has had food and children events and ‘always’ some group practice!

well…  it hasn’t ‘always’ been so –

Shambhala is an evolution, an ever changing manifestation, an actual living and breathing mandala.  It arises from people getting together and doing something.  It manifests because we get together and bring our attention and wisdom and kindness into one place, space and time.

We do have a ‘culture’ and it is one that we have created and made very personal.  The framework of that culture is Basic Goodness!  We all posses that so we can all relate with it and recognise that each other also has/is basically good.

Now we have to have opportunities to gather and we have to have FOOD (ideally good food!) and we have to have social and meditative things to do and we have to clean up and we have to practice kind speech and we have to sing songs and we do things with people we know and with people we are just meeting and…   oh oh – that all sounds pretty forced.  How can that be enjoyable? ??

It is enjoyable because it is NOT forced, it is not something we do because we are told or asked or invited.  That may have been the first time – but we go back because – conversing, eating, meditating, games with children, singing, maybe some dancing, fiddling (cause it’s Cape Breton) or anything else – when we do it as a celebration, it IS a celebration.  We are who we are and we share that.

Where did this idea of gathering around the time the sun and moon are coming together, the time of harvest and (in the southern hemisphere) spring?  It is as old as time and as old as people and it brings us to connect with that lineage of humaness.  In billions and billions of different ways, we come together and celebrate simply being together, being alive, seeing each other again, being family, being friends, being strangers and then not being strangers.  So we have ‘always’ had a harvest of peace 🙂

It is not just ‘something’ it is a GAP.  We take some time our of our usual blah, blah, netflicks blah, to catch up with others, to see the children play, to reminisce, to cry, to share, to simply be with each other again and again – connecting.

As part of our ‘culture of meditation’ we actually do meditate 🙂 and part of meditation is allowing space for things to arise and allowing ourselves to come back again and again to the present, the now.  A household of meditators may have a meal chant as a ritual that they come back to each meal or a way they invite guests into the house or how campfires are done at their house.  These simple rituals invoke a gap by invite an opportunity to not continue with the hustle and bustle of our daily life.  A marker that shows when we start or finish.  A society of meditation does that by having occasions to come back to, again and again.  Weekly?  Seasonally?  Annually?  Every community has billions of different ways to do it.  Yet they all do it 🙂 Yeah Humanity!

Shambhala has an annual schedule.  It is simple and based on the sun and the moon.  Nyida days are the solstices and equinoxes.  Days where the elements support us taking the time to notice the transitions in our lives.  They are ideal times to celebrate Rites of Passage of certain ages.  They are significant times to ‘not cause harm’ by holding to vows or taking or renewing vows or oaths of office or significant commitments or ending commitments.  They are also ‘household’ celebrations where each household takes a holiday and makes offerings.  The Shotwell household is in the running for the best harvest of peace food offering – Squash Fritters with Sriracha Sauce 🙂  What is yours?  For a number of years Halifax had pie contest.  Some communities have a wine and beer making competition and offerings.  Momos are a favorite at all Shambhala holidays.  As we are connected in name we would love to hear what our syster city Sydney Australia does for their Harvest of Peace celebration?  What’s up this solstice down under?

As a community of mediators let’s gather and celebrate the past, future and most importantly the present.  Let us ‘harvest peace’ by harvesting and recognising our wealth as individuals, households and an international community that is linked person to person.

So if you have never been to a harvest of peace celebration or this is something you feel has ‘always’ been a part of your life – come and join in and celebrate with the community in Cape Breton on September 23, 2018.   Cheers and g’day.

Harvest of Peace – tentative everything changes and the weather schedule..  Sunday September 23, 11-4pm

All welcome – bring friends and family

Free of Charge – Donations to cover expenses gratefully accepted

11am – Lhasang

12pm – “I Love my Neighbour” Introduction circle

12:30pm – Potluck lunch

1:30pm – Decorate a prayer flag

2pm – Outdoor activities and games including Warrior Walk and Scavenger hunt and more

3:30pm – Cleanup

4pm – Departure

For information and to RSVP – contact Barbara, barbara@cabotshores.com, 902 929 2584

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