Posted inDharma, General News & Announcements, Valerie's Messages

Message from Valerie: An Invitation to Serve

January 25, 2023

Mountain Cloud sangha members are currently coming together once each month to prepare and serve a delicious meal at the Interfaith Shelter, known as Pete’s Place, here in Santa Fe. For members interested in further engagement with vulnerable segments of our community, we have an opportunity to serve with fellow practitioners in Upaya’s Street Ministry project. 

Upaya’s Street Ministry focuses on supporting member’s of Santa Fe’s community who are experiencing homelessness. Volunteers in the Street Ministry not only prepare meals, but facilitate meditation in several locations. The street ministry’s meditation facilitators are trained in a specially developed protocol. To be considered you must have an ongoing relationship with the Upaya Zen Center or Mountain Cloud Zen Center and a committed practice of zazen. 

Currently, the weekly group meditations are offered at St Elizabeth’s men’s shelter (Mondays at 5 pm), the Interfaith Community Shelter at Pete’s Place (Thursdays at 8 am), and the Lifelink Clubhouse (Tuesdays at 11:30 am). The meditation facilitators are also encouraged to go through Upaya’s online GRACE training, and attend periodic gatherings to share and process their experiences. 

If you are interested in volunteering for this collaboration with Upaya’s Street Ministry, contact Mountain Cloud sangha member Christian (cecasillas@gmail.com) who is coordinating the program. 

In addition, sangha members who go through the facilitation training can also participate in Upaya’s prison program, which serves several statewide facilities virtually, as well as in-person. These sessions involve both yoga and meditation. The prison program also engages in correspondence with inmates across the US inquiring about Buddhism and practice. For more information about the prison program, please contact Jane Steinberg, Jane@upaya.org.

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