- Creating secular
Aotearoa New Zealand
Bhikkhu Bodhi faces a great divide
Prominent U.S. Pali translator contrasts 'Classical' and 'Secular' Buddhisms
A fruitful start for meaningful discussion perhaps?Find it here
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Tag Archives for meditation
I still remember my excitement on encountering, in Sam Harris’ first book, The End of Faith, the suggestion that it would be possible to enjoy many of the benefits which people had traditionally sought from religion without the need to embrace religion itself. Buddhist meditiation was one of the practices Harris mentioned as a specific example of wisdom that could be extracted from its religious context. “I wonder if anybody is actually doing anything like that?” I remember asking myself.
A group of around a dozen friends, we come together on Wednesdays from 7:30 to 9pm upstairs at Newtown Community Centre, on the corner of Rintoul St and Colombo St in Newtown, Wellington.
The Zen group I sit with has a retreat (Sesshin) every spring. Last Wednesday, among our discussions after zazen we briefly talked about the idea of making a commitment to sit everyday for 108 days.
“People who haven’t tried to meditate have very little sense that their minds are noisy at all. And when you tell them that they’re thinking every second of the day, it generally doesn’t mean anything to them.
You do not even have to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you and be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
Sitting down to meditate and having a slew of thoughts rush into your head, and then doing nothing about it, when you know you can settle your mind a bit first, may seem crazy and unreasonable. What is the advantage of letting thoughts and emotions build and consume you at the beginning of a meditation sitting? Why not first calm your mind down with a practice of following the breath, using a mantra, reciting some phrases, or any means by which you can get settled?
The title of Winton Higgins’ most recent dharma talk is likely to attract few beyond the curious: ‘The dharmic foundations of the recollective awareness approach’. Experienced meditators, especially those who find meditation can be a frustrating process (most of us, I suspect), will find it well worth the read, though.
A group of around 8 people is meeting at 80 Chartwell Ave, Glenfield [on Auckland’s North Shore] every two weeks. We have a 40 minute sitting meditation and then some discussion.
It had to happen: after a little over a year the Wellington Wednesday evening sit has outgrown the living room. From Wednesday 10 April it will be taking place in the Kilbirnie Plunket rooms at 620 Evans Bay Parade, starting at 7:30pm.
To a spectator, meditation must seem like the most utterly selfish practice imaginable: a group of people, their eyes shut to the world, listening to their thoughts, observing their minds, noting their feelings. How wonderfully paradoxical, then, that when practised consistently it can lead to an marvellous sense of connectedness with all beings, an openness to life, and a delight in generosity.