I am convening a meeting in Alexandra with the hope of setting up a secular insight meditation/Buddhist wisdom group. This meeting is to be held on Monday 30th September from 7pm at Alexandra Community House.
My idea is that the group is welcoming to people of all persuasions, whether a seeker of Buddhist wisdom like myself through to Zen Buddhism, secular Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism, or whatever, so it will not be aligned to any particular sect or teacher.
Can it work? Time will tell. Hopefully, people will come along.
I have been following Buddhism for about 20 years, largely on my own (hence the desire for a group), making occasional visits to Buddhist monasteries, youtubing, and reading. I’ve been listening to podcasts from dharmaseed.org and audiodharma.org – teachers such as Gil Fronsdal, Jack Kornfield, Sylvia Boorstein, and more. In respect to secular Buddhism, I’ve been listening to talks by Stephen Batchelor as well as Ted Meissner’s Secular Buddhist podcast from secularbuddhism.org.
The likely format of the group get together is to start with meditation, leading onto listening to a podcast or a reading and ending with an open discussion. Having the occasional visiting teacher would be great, and retreats a real bonus.
I am not a Buddhist teacher nor a meditation expert just an instigator of what hopefully becomes a successful and supportive local insight meditation and Buddhist wisdom group.
Here’s the advert I’ve placed around town. Nothing is set in stone, and all suggestions are welcome. I will keep you posted how things go.
Final words: I must acknowledge Ramsey’s encouragement in getting this initiative off the ground. It is much appreciated. Also encouraging was Stephen Batchelor’s post on this blog: Community is something you create. The title is so true.
Want to learn about Buddhism and to meditate?
Perhaps you know how to, but seek fellowship with like-minded people?
Then come and meet others who want to practice insight (mindfulness) meditation and explore Buddhist wisdom in a contemporary, non-sectarian way
No allegiance to any particular sect or teacher, nothing you have to believe in, and no need to change your religion
Come to Alexandra Community House on Monday, 30th September
from 7–8 pm and let’s discuss setting up such a group
For more information contact
Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow-up post 16 October 2013
The response to the initiative has been overwhelmingly positive with 10 active participants so far. We start with an open sitting meditation practice at 6pm each Monday followed by tea and coffee and optional discussion exploring Buddhist and related wisdom. Participants are very appreciative of finding a group that shares similar interests. Early days and I am very pleased I pursued this initiative not only for myself but to help other people. Thanks again Ramsey for your support as well as Insight Aotearoa editor Christine Dann.