Mindfulness, Meditation and Practice

1

October 16, 2014 by Zuri

buddha

It’s been stressful lately.  In part because of some very personal issues I haven’t shared on this blog.  Also because of all these dietary changes, school issues, I’ve had to sit back and re-examine my life.

I try my best to practice the tenets of Buddhism.  More than a decade ago, I was introduced to Mindfulness and Buddhist teaching through DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), and I was immediately drawn in.  It all made sense to me.  Where religion and spirituality left gaping holes in my life, Buddhism filled them.  I read more, anything I could get my hands on, and it all rang true to me.

Recently, however, I’ve been losing touch with my practice.  I rarely meditate.  I lose focus.  I forget the teachings and let things get to me much more readily than I used to.  I need to get back to the practice, and I decided I can’t do it alone.

In Buddhism, there are the Three Jewels, the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.  They are all key components in Buddhism.  I have never been a part of a Sangha.  A Sangha is the Buddhist community or congregation, who practice and learn together, usually under senior students or a teacher.  Thus begins my quest for a Sangha.

There are a number of meditation groups within an hour of where I live, so I’ve been researching what I can find.  There is a Shambhala center, there’s a center focusing on the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, and a few Zen centers.  I’m concerned about the cost.  The websites mention membership fees and donations, and I don’t know what’s appropriate to donate and what’s not.  Those sites that recommend a specific donation, I worry about feeling guilty about having to offer less.  The Membership fees vary from $300-$600 annually, which I just outright can’t afford.

After posting on /r/Buddhism on Reddit, many people encouraged me to email the center about their fees.  While I understand fees are a necessity for the smooth running of a group such as these – rent, etc. – they assured me that my ability to pay would not prevent me from coming to their events.  They do have to charge a fee for membership, but they are willing to work with me on an amount I can afford, and a payment plan, should I choose to become a member.  Elation!

They have an upcoming meditation on Sunday morning, and I’m considering going.  It’s not far from where I live.  Downside, I get very nervous going to new places by myself (nobody is willing to go with me. Sadface.).  I hate that awkward feeling of being around a bunch of people I don’t know doing something I’m not accustomed to.  New environment. New practice.  Shudder.

We’ll see if I can gather up the courage to go this Sunday.  Wish me luck!

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One thought on “Mindfulness, Meditation and Practice

  1. Unmad Hatter says:

    Make a wish or resolution after each meditation session or acts of good merit such as donations. After, share and spread loving kindness to all beings. Soon your life will blossom with new journeys. Good luck..

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