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This past weekend the world celebrated the coming of spring with a dramatic full moon, closer to the earth than it has been in decades. My husband and I attended a beautiful retreat with Ahn Huong and Thu Nguyen on a farm in W. Virginia where the moon shown brightly over the barn on Saturday evening. We stood beneath its light, holding hands, stunned by its beauty and closeness. The next morning, we learned a song, “The River is Flowing” that contained the verses

“The moon she is waiting
waxing and waning
The moon she is waiting
for us to be free.

Sister Moon, watch over me,
your child I will always be.
Sister Moon, watch over me,
til we are free.”

In the sangha, I experienced the truth that “healing is always collective, never individual.” Much suffering was expressed after the morning meditations – family members dying, children struggling with drugs, conflicts with loved ones. We were aware of the continued suffering in Japan and the bombing in Libya. As we meditated, ate mindfully in silence, walked slowly, smiled, hugged one another and shared in small groups, we felt the community strengthening, uniting. We came together from many parts of the country, from different socio-eonomic, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Yet, the sangha we formed was real, safe, powerful to heal much suffering in the light of the full moon and the love in our hearts.

The light of the full moon was able to reach the entire world. With all our hearts, we united with its light and beauty to send peace and a transformation of suffering to all the people on the planet.

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