Our minds are all we have. They are all we have ever had. And they are all we can offer others. This might not be obvious, especially when there are aspects of your life that seem in need of improvement— when your goals are unrealized, or you are struggling to find a career, or you have relationships that need repairing. But it’s the truth. Every experience you have ever had has been shaped by your mind. Every relationship is as good or as bad as it is because of the minds involved. If you are perpetually angry, depressed, confused, and unloving, or your attention is elsewhere, it won’t matter how successful you become or who is in your life— you won’t enjoy any of it.
Most of us could easily compile a list of goals we want to achieve or personal problems that need to be solved. But what is the real significance of every item on such a list? Everything we want to accomplish— to paint the house, learn a new language, find a better job— is something that promises that, if done, it would allow us to finally relax and enjoy our lives in the present. Generally speaking, this is a false hope. I’m not denying the importance of achieving one’s goals, maintaining one’s health, or keeping one’s children clothed and fed— but most of us spend our time seeking happiness and security without acknowledging the underlying purpose of our search. Each of us is looking for a path back to the present: We are trying to find good enough reasons to be satisfied now.
Acknowledging that this is the structure of the game we are playing allows us to play it differently. How we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the character of our experience and, therefore, the quality of our lives. Mystics and contemplatives have made this claim for ages— but a growing body of scientific research now bears it out.
Harris, Sam (2014-09-09). Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (pp. 2-3). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.
This group will be a place for people to explore the ideas of Buddhism without any of the dogma or weirdness or religious aspects. You do not have to call yourself a Buddhist to participate. This is not a mystical journey into a world of understanding, nor a place to develop and hone your dogmatic beliefs. We are not trying to get somewhere or figure anything out, we are seeing where we are. We might study texts, sing, hike, meditate, eat, or tell jokes. This seems like a space to practice seeing, intending, speaking, acting, working, effort, mindfulness, meditating. Join and tell me what we are doing. I live in Livermore, so the focus and locations are intended to be in the East Bay. Some events will be out of the area.
Membership is open to everyone
Content of this Meetup Group is only visible to members
Thursday, April 28, 2016 6:30 PM