"Mindfulness Practice isn't just about escaping to some magical inner realm devoid of life's challenges. The Practice is about progressively opening your heart and calming your mind enough to engage Life directly, to be more fully Present in a kind, clear, and helpful way."

Your MMM Courtesy Wake Up Call! Musings on Life and Practice by a Long-time Student of Meditation.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Wherever Two or Three of You Are Gathered.....

(Once again, the reality of my current life here in Oklahoma hasn't given me the elbow room to sit down and spend a morning with the MMM Courtesy Wake Up Call post.  In the midst of long days of effort, Hal and I did have a chance to drive down to Oklahoma City to Sit with the Prairie Wind Sangha, a Thich Nhat Hahn inspired group facilitated by Maurice Hoover at Windsong Innerspace on Wednesday evening.  That experience, and the powerfully positive impact of some recent email encouragement from members of the Mindfulness Circles back home, reminded me once again of the importance of Sangha.   A community of spiritual support is an essential part of my Life.  With deep gratitude to those whose commitment to Practice continues to inspire me,  here's another "golden oldie".) 

Originally Published July 5, 2013

"To begin a sangha find one friend who would like to join you for sitting practice or walking practice or tea meditation or sharing."
-- Thich Nhat Hanh

"Everyone has the seed of Buddhnature within themselves."
 -- Thich Nhat Hanh 

These past few weeks of Monday Morning Mindfulness have certainly reaffirmed a belief that I've held for quite awhile now: Anyone who makes an effort to explore their own experience consciously and has the opportunity to compare notes on this effort with others similarly engaged will come to understand themselves and others at a deeper level.  The Practice works.

As the small group of us who have been meeting for Monday Morning Mindfulness "Beginner's Mind--and Beyond" have continued our exploration of Mindfulness Practice and our relationship to the question, "Why Bother?",  it's only gotten better and better.  

As I sit here and turn my attention to the whisps of images that constitute the memories of the past couple of sessions, I am struck with a sense of awe and a feeling of gratitude for having shared those moments with other folks who have the heart and courage to explore Life in a way that is, I believe, crucial at this point in history.  At a time in which clinging to problematic institutional truths or the reaction to that, cynicism, threaten our very existence on the planet, the essential sincerity--and competence--of those gathered in the effort to Engage Life with an open heart and clear mind each Monday morning continues to amaze me.

It makes my heart glow.


Although I did my "teacher" thing this past week and made a point to share some ideas about commitment from the Buddhist traditions that I've worked with over the past few decades, it was again made obvious to me "The Teachings" are beyond any teacher or set of traditional teachings.  They emerge from Life itself.

Again and again during the past two sessions, the various members of the circle have offered forth, sometimes with tears in their eyes, powerful insights into the heart and mind.  These Truths came forth as simple expressions of their own experience. I learned a lot.

How cool is that? 

For information on Prairie Wind Sangha and the other offerings at Windsong Innerspace:

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