PLEASENOTE—MASK UP!: The Unitarian Universalist Congregation requires the wearing of masks in its building, so please wear one or use ones we will have on hand as TheMeditationCircle.com resumes in-person weekly sittings starting Thursday, April 14, 2022.
The format of the hour-long session is also changing slightly. There will be one round of silent meditation, lasting approximately 25 minutes, followed by a short period of walking meditation. The remainder of the hour will be spent in group discussion, questions, conversation, and a sharing of experiences related to the practice. It is hoped that this will provide an opportunity for members to reconnect with one another after the two-year absence of in-person sittings as a result of the pandemic.
“Think about the people who’ve devoted their lives to the practice of the Dhamma and were able to reap the fruit of that practice. As you look at what you’re doing in the course of the day, you may find that there are obstacles to fully devoting yourself to the practice. But at least what time you can manage, is time well-spent.
“Try to keep your mind, keep your thoughts coming back, back, back to these values, to these practices. Whenever you’re free, go back to the breath. Try to develop mindfulness, alertness, ardency in your practice. Even if you can’t do it full-time, do it whenever you find room to squeeze in the practice. And hopefully the practice will begin to squeeze some of those other obstacles out of the way.”
Coming to grips with the fundamental nature of daily existence as being impermanent is a fundamental teaching in Buddhist mindfulness and meditation practice. This is not meant to be a depressing insight, but a freeing one. Once we truly begin to wrap our heads around the very insubstantial, impermanent nature of all those things we hope will ensure our lasting happiness—youth, wealth, constant, unrelenting pleasure-seeking and on and on and on—we begin to glimpse a path of equilibrium and freedom from the constant pursuit of ultimately passing phenomena. As a writer, purveyor, and publisher of creative works, I am constantly wrestling with my ego’s desire to see such work as of lasting significance, a hedge against my own mortality. Yet such works, too, will soon pass on by and melt away, swallowed by the river of time. Here’s a video-poem about exactly that.
“My advice is to not let yourself get wrapped up in doubts and questions. Let them go and directly contemplate whatever you are experiencing. Don’t make a big deal out of any physical pleasure or pain you experience. When you sit in meditation and start to feel tired or uncomfortable, adjust your position. Endure as much as you can, and then move. Don’t overdo it. Develop a lot of mindfulness—that’s the point. Do your walking and sitting meditation as much as you can; the aim is to be developing mindfulness as much as you can, knowing things fully. That’s enough.”
Welcome to the Meditation Circle, a Buddhist-oriented meditation group based in Charleston, West Virginia. The group meets 6 to 7 p.m. Thursdays at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 520 Kanawha Boulevard W., in Charleston, West Virginia. Beginners and those returning to meditation and mindfulness practice welcome! We sit for 25 minutes, with a short guided meditation, followed by discussion. See the ‘RESOURCES’ page for tips on setting up or deepening meditation practice. Be well!