LCML Statement of Purpose
The Louisville Community of Mindful Living is a lay community that practices, and shares with others, the Vietnamese Zen Buddhist tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, and the Order of Interbeing (Tiep Hien).
Our community (sangha) aspires to live the Buddha's way of mindfulness which leads to an awakened life of joy, compassion and loving kindness for ourselves, friends and families, and all beings. Our practice is to maintain mindfulness of our body, feelings, mind and the world and to look deeply to see the true nature of self and the world. We offer the meditation (Zen) method that the Buddha taught, called the Awareness of Breath.
We use this method in sitting and walking meditation, but also in our everyday life: washing the dishes, cleaning the house, etc. We use mindfulness bells such as a church bell, or maybe a bird singing to come back to the present moment. Another important way of practice we offer is the Five Mindfulness Trainings (often called precepts) and the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Tiep Hien "Order of Interbeing."
A key suggestion among the order's trainings is to keep an open mind and not get caught by dogma in any form. This includes trying to make the teachings of the Buddha, or our root teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, into an absolute truth instead of a skillful and beneficial means to help us to bring about awareness. This training helps us to be open to what is beneficial from others' insights from many teachers, including others than Buddhist.Other proposed ways of practice in the trainings include: Living in the present to see the wondrous things in and around us. The trainings also suggest that we see the suffering in ourselves and the world so we can develop compassion and help beings out of suffering. Also central in the trainings is to act in kindness and compassion to help living beings in the animal, plant and mineral world, and to develop mind of awakening.
Members of the Louisville Community of Mindful Living are those that share this orientation and they are responsible for the decisions of the sangha. We also invite people to sit with us who come from other meditation or religious traditions, as long as their presence helps maintain the group's harmony and our goal of practicing and sharing the Buddha's teachings in the spirit offered by Thay (teacher) Thich Nhat Hanh.
Our practice together includes a Sunday session of sitting and walking meditation, reciting of mindfulness trainings, and sharing of practice experience. Our discussions are to further the community's aspiractions of the Buddha's way of mindfulness and insight, not to debate philosophy or religion. We have other activities such as discussion of the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings.
Thich Nhat Hanh states, "The aim of Buddhist life is to realize insight and help people." "Interconnections between us and other beings are intimate. When we feel peaceful and happy, we will not create suffering in others. When we work to alleviate the suffering of others, we feel peaceful and happy." Our international community in the Unified Buddhist Church and Communities of Mindful Living is "...where members seek to change themselves in order to change society in the direction of compassion and understanding by living a joyful and mindful life in the tradition of Awakened Beings (Bodhisattva)." (quotes from Interbeing by Thich Nhat Hanh.)
We hope you are interested in joining one of the Buddhist communities in Louisville, and if you find our practice beneficial for you, we hope you join us to build a Buddhist Sangha here.