I set up a ning for the Bodhisara meditation community I belong to. No one asked me to do it. Boshisara has had a website for a few years and it has good information, but there is no way for members to stay connected. I have been thinking about ways to help the community communicate for several months. The Bodhisara community is scattered across western Massachusetts with several subgroups within the community. Bodhisara is held together by Mark Hart and a loose group of volunteers. Mark’s main way of communicating with the members of the community was through email, which is not the best way to communicate with a large group of people. I had suggested a wiki to Mark, but after seeing the ning that Tricycle has I decided ning really is the way to go. So far the response has been positive and there are a few posts about upcoming events. I am sure that some of the members of the community have never used a ning or any social network before, but as a community we can help each other stay more connected.
Archive for the “Buddhism” Category
During the Bodhisara Sunday meeting it occurred to that sitting gets me ready to learn when I am not meditating. After several years of meditating on and off I have not had any insights or enlightenment experiences while sitting. Any insights I have had have come when running, driving, listening to music, reading, or talking with friends.
So maybe for me, meditation gets me ready to deeply listen to myself and others. I do feel more open and less closed to experiences when ever they happen.
This weekend (7/27-7/29) I went to the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies for a meditation retreat. Nena suggested I go as a 61st birthday present. I have wanted to visit BCBS for over a year because it is an important center for Buddhist studies and it is so close. Mark Hart teaches there and many of the members of the Bodhisara community attend workshops and retreats at BCBS, and the Insight Meditation Society campus, which is associated with BCBS, is close by.
The retreat I picked to attend was titled “Learning Meditation from Within” by Jason Siff. The catalog description was intriguing, but I really did not know what to expect during the weekend.
By the end of the weekend I was wishing there was more time to sit and talk with Jason about not only my meditation practice, but about what ever came up in the conversation. Jason was able to point me in a direction that Mark had started. Neither of them “teach” a meditation technique. Both Jason and Mark are along for the ride and act as conductors to make sure you are comfortable and answer questions about the passing scenery. Jason spoke directly to the idea of the meditation teacher as a guide. He does not want to lead people, but he feels he can help mediators find their way.
The first evening Jason said that the narratives we have going on are important and to trying and stop them should not be the purpose of meditation. Like Mark, Jason wants to hear about your meditation experience and then asks questions that can help you find deeper meanings in the experience. I now feel empowered to directly look at my thoughts as I meditate and examine what is behind the thoughts.
While teaching a class on atomic structure I explained that everything is made of atoms. One of the students asked, “Where do atoms come from?”
I have continued to think about the concept that we are a bunch of atoms that were some where else and now they make up a body and mind. Everyday we are adding and shedding atoms. When we die the atoms that make up this body (I began to write our atoms and our body, but who really owns the atoms?) will join up with other atoms to make something else. Is this reincarnation?
This particular configuration of atoms will only last a blink of an eye in the history of the universe. The atoms that have come together in this particular form have been around since the beginning of the universe and will be around until the end of the universe.
So why do we think we have any control over anything? There is nothing wrong here.
The following is in the May ’07 Friends Journal, it is a reprint from a Oct 1984 issue.