"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
"For where there are two or three of you gathered in my name, I am there amidst you."
-- Jesus of Nazareth
Anyone who makes a commitment to explore their own experience consciously through meditation, and then has the opportunity to compare notes on Practice with others similarly engaged, will come to understand themselves, one another, and the nature of Reality at a deeper level.
As we sit and share Practice, the Truth of our Shared Presence becomes palpable.
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 and Practice -- and share their experiences.
At a time in which clinging to problematic institutional "truths" or the unexamined personal "truths" that emerged from our unhealthy childhood reactions to a patently neurotic upbringing continue to wreak havoc, threatening our very existence on this 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. We all have the on-board equipment to recognize Truth, to Love, to Heal.
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?
* There are now Mindfulness Circles on Tuesday and Wednesday as well. See the left column for times and places of these and other Sitting Groups in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. If you are not local, a google search can probably guide you to mediation groups in your area. Check a few out. See what feels right for you at this stage of your journey. Roll your own Circle if necessary!