And I think of you as sangha even if you’ve never sat with us. We met yesterday to reminisce about the ten years behind us and think about what might be next for those who’ve been sitting with us. Last week I listed these possibilities:
At Pathways Preschool, corner of Rose and Hannah Streets, there is a sangha that meets from 6:30-8:30 on Thursdays, facilitated by Kozan Karen McLean. This sangha is connected to Sokukoji Buddhist Monastery and Temple in Battle Creek, Kyoun Sokuzan Bob Brown, head teacher. Visit http://sokukojitc.org/ for details.
UU: Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 there is a meditation group.
At Yoga for Health: Tuesdays from 12:00-1:00 (free) and Sundays from 8:30-9:30 (free)
Yen Yoga: Sundays from 9:15-9:45, and three classes on Yin and Meditation
So, what’s needed for a sangha? 1) I would say a willingness of the group to stay with it and to work through inevitable disagreements, 2) a book study, 3) access to someone whose practice is more matured, who can help clarify the dharma and can help us avoid the very easy trap of spiritual materialism.
By spiritual materialism, I mean the tendency for the ego to take over even a spiritual practice, as in “I got it now.” “I am getting peaceful, so I must be doing it right,” (Or, “I’m a wreck so I must be doing it wrong.”) “I am more advanced than that person.” Or even, “This is the right path, and yours is, well, slightly delusional.”
I would say everyone needs some sort of teaching person. It might be on line, or in books, but there’s a rudder that’s needed, to stay on course.
What next? Next Sunday is Christmas. No meeting then. The next is New Years Eve. No meeting then. After that, on January 7 and then again on January 14th, Janet will lead sittings at UU at the regular time. This will give the group an opportunity to think through what each person, or the group, wants to do next. Please come to support Janet and the discussion.
I hope you find a place to practice. We all need support. In spite of all the talk about meditation in the media, it’s still antithetical to the way the world generally lives. The practice requires the framework of the teachings and the support of a group.
I’ll keep this site open and use it for notifications about any practice opportunities I hear of. Let me know if you find something I don’t know about.