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and Julia King Tamang
contributed to the production of this newsletter.
Dear Friends & Supporters of KCC,
Welcome to round 2 of the July 2013 newsletter. And first things first: our own Julia King Tamang explains the importance of preparing for death as part of our practice and announces her upcoming workshops on the subject (the first one is in August, so sign up soon!).
We also have a report on June's workshop on death and dying, led by KCC's Erik Fromme. And we end on KCC's own preparation for the future: our Annual Sangha Meeting.
It's a contemplative issue, friends, and we hope you both enjoy it and benefit from it.
Julia King Tamang Writes about Putting Our Affairs in Order
Buddhism teaches us to make friends with both life and death. We are taught to become comfortable with the idea of our own and others’ impermanence and certain demise. It is said that letting go of attachments to our bodies, relationships, and possessions is highly beneficial.
On a worldly level, one of the things we can do to prepare for death is to get our property and financial affairs in order. Contemplating death and working with it in this very concrete way can help decrease attachment, and it may be kind to those left behind.
Putting your affairs in order is also beneficial while living. An orderly life is a support for a mind at ease. It is also a boon for adult children who are required to take on the management of affairs for elderly parents. And it can simplify things for friends or family who must step in to manage the affairs of those going on long-term retreats. Clear direction and expression of your wishes can help avoid family disagreement, and set your own mind at ease.
Two upcoming workshops presented by attorney Leanne Bowker will help you get a start. Even if you think you already have your affairs in order, you might realize there are some important and consequential gaps -- whether planning for yourself or family members.
These workshops are generously offered to family and friends of KCC at no charge. If you can only attend one, come anyway. There will be enough overlap to make it work.
Part One: Monday, August 12, 2013, 7 - 9 pm
Heart of Wisdom,
6401 NE Tenth Ave.
Portland OR 97211
Mark October 7, 2013 on your calendar (same time, location and price) for Part Two.
A Conversation about Dying
On the evening of June 8, 2013, Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple in North Portland was packed with more than forty members of area sanghas who gathered to participate in a unique workshop: “A Conversation About Dying: Using Resources Such as Advanced Directives to Address Our Deepest Questions and Concerns.”
KCC member Erik K. Fromme, Associate Professor of Medicine and Medical Director, OHSU Palliative Medicine and Comfort Care Team, captured the audience with stories of his patients that illustrate the ways in which we can learn from dying. Participants then broke into small groups to explore personal issues as they experimented by filling out what might be their own advanced directive.
KCC members Mary Woods and David McWherter facilitated the discussions. Mary works as a Certified Hospice/Palliative Care Nurse at Providence Hospice, while Dave is a Psychiatric Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner at Columbia Mental Health.
One of the participants, Cynthia Huntington from Tergar, Portland, shared her experience of the evening:
“My husband and I are thankful that this workshop was offered and were astounded that so many chose to come inside on a beautiful sunny Saturday night!
“It was very helpful to have dying approached from the Native American ‘Fourfold Way’ (which is useful in daily life, not only when dying!): 1) just show up, 2) pay attention, 3) tell the truth without judgment or blame, and 4) be unattached to the outcome.
“One thing that stood out, both to me and my friends, was Eric’s reassurance in the advanced directive exercise that he was grateful that we were willing to do this: there was no need to stress or worry about perfection… Next month we are visiting extended family and will use this info when having ‘that conversation’ with our potential health care representatives.”
All in all, it was a great evening -- hopefully one of many opportunities to gather with dharma friends and learn from one another.
KCC’s Annual Sangha Meeting
The 2013 KCC Annual Sangha Meeting will celebrate a year of steady progress and we will welcome a visit from the Wind Horse -- whose image and power inspires a promising future for KCC. You'll be briefed on highlights from the KCC Strategic Plan, recently approved by the Board, and discuss new possibilities for the urban center. Your Board of Directors and a host of leadership volunteers have much to share that will energize your involvement in sangha life and reinforce your confidence in the future of KCC. And, of course, we'll have an amazing potluck luncheon showing off KCC's talented cooks.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 21
Potluck 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Program 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Central Lutheran Church
1820 NE 21st Ave.
Portland, OR 97212
(one block north of Broadway)