This group's name comes from the Buddha's story about how he found his way to liberation. After much time training under various teachers, and then after six years spent undergoing extreme austerities of physical and mental deprivation, he still hadn't found what he was looking for. He then had a memory from his childhood:
"I thought: "While my Sakyan father was busy and I (as a child) was sitting in the shade of a rose apple tree, then quite secluded from sensual desires, secluded from unprofitable ideas, I had direct acquaintance of entering upon and abiding in the first jhana-meditation, which is accompanied by thinking and exploring, with happiness and pleasure born of seclusion. Might that be the way to enlightenment?" And following that memory came the recognition: "That is the only way to enlightenment." [Majjhima Nikaya 36]
Sometime after that, and having developed himself using this approach avoiding extremes, he would find himself beneath the branches of another type, the fig tree, and this one would come to be known as the Bodhi Tree.
The primary role of this group is to provide meditation training, support, and community. Anyone is welcome. You do not need to identify as "Buddhist" to attend, this is for everyone interested in working with their own mind through developing tranquility and insight. We are not associated with any outside organization or community.
We meet at Mayu Sanctuary on S. Pearl St., just blocks away from Park Burger, Sushi Den, and Stella's Coffee. The Louisiana light rail station is a ten minute walk away.
Joining the community comes with a 14 day trial period, after that time, members are asked to contribute $25/month. We meet on Thursday evenings and periodically on Sunday mornings (see calendar). Please read the following orientation details:
- Everyone who attends must join the meetup page before arriving.
- We lock the doors at start time, please arrive a few minutes early to get settled.
- Please do not come under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or smelling of smoke or perfume.
- Sean is available for questions after each class.
- It is important to check the calendar before showing up so you know what is happening on a particular evening.
- There is a limited number of cushions available at Mayu, chairs are also provided. You are welcome to bring your own cushion.
For the sitting practice, we follow the meditation instructions given by the Buddha as recorded in the Satipatthana Sutta, the foundations of mindfulness. The practice instructions are simple yet profound when followed properly. Beyond having it's own quality of relaxation, it develops insight into how the mind functions, how we create our own pain, and how to release ourselves from that pain on a moment-by-moment basis and as a life-long development of understanding, inner peace, and loving-kindness. There is no requirement for anyone to be Buddhist to attend, and no traditional forms or external rituals are used. We simply work directly with the body, mind, heart, and awareness.
The following four texts are recommended, and self-study guides will be provided to anyone who asks (ask Sean in person when you attend):
1. Moving Dhamma Vol 1 by Bhante Vimalaramsi (this text goes in-depth into the specific sitting meditation instructions which we use here).
2. Mindfulness by Joseph Goldstein
3. Dependent Arising In Context by Linda S. Blanchard
4. Dipa Ma: The life and legacy of a Buddhist master, by Amy Schmidt (this is for both education and inspiration, great for anyone developing meditation in the midst of job, family, and modern living).
5. Old Path White Clouds - Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha, by Thich Nhat Hahn
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