Who we are:
Traverse City Mindfulness Meditation Group, or sanga, includes people who practice a variety of forms of Buddhist meditation including Vipassana, Shambala and Zen. Some just sit, with no particular identification with a tradition. Many are beginners to the practice, trying it out to see if this is something they feel drawn to. Our intention is to provide a space, and a community, for all who wish to join us and learn together.
When the Buddha was asked to sum up his teaching in a single word, he said, “awareness.” Not awareness of something in particular, but awareness itself–being awake, alert, in touch with what is actually happening. , , , ,It’s about examining and exploring the most basic questions of life. It’s about relying on the immediate experience of this present moment. It’s not about belief, doctrine, formula, or tradition. It’s about freedom of mind.
—-Steve Hagen, Buddhism: Plain and Simple
We are fortunate to be sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, and we sit together every Sunday evening in their building. The first Sunday of the month, we offer a 4-hour block of sitting time. You’re welcome to attend any part of that you wish. Anyone is welcome to join us.
Helps and contacts:
Two good books for beginning meditators are: Mindfulness In Plain English, by Bhante Gunaratana and Steve Hagen’s Buddhism: Plain and Simple. We often partner for retreats with the Sokukoji Buddhist Community in Battle Creek Sokukoji.org. See their website for Sokuzan Bob Brown’s teaching and other activities. If you’re new to the practice, there are a number of good websites to help you: dharma.org, Shinzen Young’s YouTube site, Adyashanti’s website, among others.
Fleda Brown and Kozan Karen McLean are our facilitators, If you join us on Sunday night and let us know when you arrive, they can help you get started. They’re available for individual private interviews to help support your practice.
What we’re reading:
On our regular Sundays (not the 4-hour block sitting), we begin with an hour of meditation with a break in the middle), followed by taking turns reading aloud from a book the group has chosen. Books we’ve read and discussed: Sylvia Boorstein’s It’s Easier Than You Think, Larry Rosenfeld’s Breath by Breath, Bante Gunaratana’s Mindfulness in Plain English, Ezra Bayda’s Zen Heart, Charlotte Joko Beck’s Everyday Zen, Jack Kornfield’s Wise Heart, and Chogyam Trungpa’s Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Joseph Goldstein’s One Dharma, Chogyam Trungpa’s The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation, Pema Chodron’s The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times, and Buddhism: Plain and Simple, by Steve Hagen. Our current book is Training in Compassion, Zen Teachings on the practice of Lojong by Norm Fisher.
You’re welcome to come for meditation and discussion, or either, alone.