Our Practices

Still Water Sangha has been meeting since the late 1990s, when it was founded on the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh.  Each week since that time, we have welcomed beginners and experienced practitioners alike who wish to practice in this tradition.

I have arrivedOur meditation practice is based on the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh as outlined in such books as The Miracle of Mindfulness
 
Our ceremonial practice is based on The Plum Village Chanting and Recitation Book (PVCRB), a collection of Buddhist verses, chants, ceremonies, and discourses.  This is the same resource used by the monks, nuns, and lay practitioners at Plum Village, a monastery and lay practice center in France, established in 1982 by Thich Nhat Hanh.
 
Our weekly meetings last 90 minutes and usually start with a period of sitting meditation followed by a period of walking meditation.  This is typically followed by a brief program which may consist of a reading and Dharma discussion or a recitation of a sutra or ceremony from the PVCRB.  Each meeting is led by one of a number of experienced practitioners who take turns each week leading the ceremony.

Newcomers are warmly welcomed!  Basic instruction in meditation practice is available, if desired, before the meeting (please arrive a little before 5:30 and ask for someone who can help you) and guidance in the ceremonial practice is given during the meeting as it progresses.  Please see the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

The Basic Ceremony is typical of the order and content of our weekly sangha meetings.  With just a little adaptation, it could be used in your daily practice at home.  The essentials of daily practice, of course, are mindfulness and meditation, which can be practiced without candles, incense, bells, or any other appurtenances.  One should never feel one's practice is lacking anything without them, but some people find a brief ceremony prior to a period of sitting helps them to focus.

During special events such as a Day of Mindfulness or when on retreat, a set of verses called The Five Contemplations can help bring mindful awareness to our consumption of food.  This practice can also be transformative when integrated into our daily lives.