I think we all struggle with self doubt sometimes.
I had this vision for a group to do Buddhist meditation every Monday. And it’s been going for six months now.
We practice Mindfulness of Breathing (anapanasati) and Silent Illumination (mozhao) and then I give a talk and sometimes there’s discussion.
For a while I had some great doubts. When I saw the people showing up I thought to myself, “I need to avoid mentioning Buddhism as much as possible because these people are just interested in Mindfulness.”
And I tried to present things according to that view.
I’m not doing that anymore. Because what I’m teaching is Buddhism. It’s Buddhism in the Chan tradition and I shouldn’t pretend it’s not. I realized I need to just teach what I want to teach. The right people will come and keep coming…or they won’t. But it’s better not to just switch and do something else.
And, that being said, I teach a very secular and down to earth Buddhism. No chanting, no robes, plain language. I don’t believe in spirits or reincarnation, so that stuff will never come up. Some would hesitate to call what I teach religion at all. Maybe it’s more like self help or life coaching.
No…maybe it’s more like a support group. Sure, people are coming to listen to me (or guest teachers). But, more than that, they’re coming because meditation is hard. It’s too easy to make excuses and let yourself skip meditation on your own.
Having support really helps. And I think when people struggle in their spiritual practice it’s often not their personal failing…it’s a failure of their support system.
Anyway, I had big ideas about creating a community too. And I still do. But I was trying to force it instead of letting it arise naturally, and I guess that created a lot of discouraging feelings. Once I realized I can do this without trying to build something out of it, it felt like a weight was lifted. I don’t want to build some thing.
I just want to meditate with people and encourage them. I just want to find more opportunities to teach people these things that have been so helpful to me.
So come meditate with me Monday nights at 7.
The only thing we’re missing is you.
Want to come meditate with me? I’m at Ubuntu Village Monday nights at 7pm. Meditation Practice, Support, and Encouragement. 4327 Troost, Kansas City, MO.
If you’re not in Kansas City, you can still hear most of my talks on my Podcast, The Kansas City Meditation Podcast
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