Last Sunday we had a wonderful dinner of delicious bread and warm,
hearty soup. The Bay Area was well represented at our table with
residents of Alameda, Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco. We also had
three men which, in only our second official dinner, broke the
national Dinner Party record. Go Bay Area!!! We had four new faces at
the dinner, but after only a few moments it felt as if we had already
known each other for many months. We shared stories and struggles. We
laughed from our bellies and cried from our hearts. I was happy to
look upon our group and feel comfort in the community that we all are
creating. We appreciate your trust in us and our mission and value
your presence more than we can express.
As we grow, more members have been offering up their homes for future
dinners. They will be both in the East Bay and San Francisco. As a
result, we will be offering carpools between San Francisco and the
East Bay. So far, East Bay residents willing to drive a carpool to SF
are Trent, Lindsay and Andrea. Currently Allison is our only
confirmed SF to East Bay driver. If you are able to drive others to
dinners, please let us know and we will add you to the list.
Our next dinner is on Sunday, December 30th from 5-8pm. The location
has yet to be decided, but most likely will be in either Oakland or
Berkeley. We will send out official invitations soon with the exact
information of the dinner.
As we grow, we aim to build up a calendar of events outside of
dinners. Dinners are dedicated to introspection, story-telling,
sharing and exploring how our losses affect our present lives. We want
to have events outside of these dinners where the main intention is to
hang out and build good relationships with each other. These events
can be organized hikes, going to a movie, crafts, yoga, etc. I share
this in the hopes of planting seeds of future ways we can share bits
of ourselves with each other.
I end with some truth from Pema Chodron whose words help me step out
from behind my walls:
“On a very basic level all beings think that they should be happy.
When life becomes difficult or painful, we feel that something has
gone wrong. According to Buddhist teachings, difficulty is inevitable
in human life. For one thing, we cannot escape the reality of death.
But there are also the realities of aging, of illness, of not getting
what we want, and of getting what we don’t want. These kinds of
difficulties are facts of life. Even if you were the Buddha himself,
if you were a fully enlightened person, you would experience death,
illness, aging, and sorrow at losing what you love. All of these
things would happen to you. If you got burned or cut, it would hurt.
But the Buddhist teachings also say that this is not really what
causes us misery in our lives. What causes us misery is always trying
to get away from the facts of life, always trying to avoid pain and
seek happiness¬- this sense of ours that there could be lasting
security and happiness available to us if we could only do the right
thing. It is so basic in us to feel that things should go well for
us, and that if we start to feel depressed, lonely, or inadequate,
there’s been some kind of mistake or we’ve lost it. In reality, we you
feel depressed, lonely, betrayed, or any unwanted feelings, this is an
important moment on the spiritual path. This is when real
transformation can take place.”
We hope to see you at our next dinner.
Much love and support,
Lindsay and Allison