"The purpose of life is to be happy," says the Dalai Lama. Some people think this is a selfish attitude, but in Buddhism, everyone deserves to be happy, including ourselves.  Also, unless we are happy we can't really help others much.

According to Buddhism, the mind is both the cause of and the solution to most of our problems. Fortunately, through meditation, an ethical life, and the development of wisdom, we can train ourselves to be more peaceful and compassionate. We can enjoy the kind of happiness that isn't contingent on outside circumstances. Working with others is considered to be a very important part of that process, so we gather together for meditation, discussion, and to enjoy each others company.

Beginners, those with some experience, and people who are just curious are all welcome to attend our meetings. Many people, including those committed to other faiths, atheists, and agnostics, find the open-mindedness and practicality of Buddhism helpful in their daily lives.

In this group there is no hidden agenda, no pressure to believe or do anything. You don't even need to join the group to come to meetings. Buddha never pushed his way on anyone. He merely offered it to others, suggesting they check it out for themselves. That's what we're inviting you to do.

Even when people began following his teaching, Buddha advised them to "take no refuge outside yourselves," and to use their reason and experience as guides, not relying on the scriptures or teachers, including himself. He also warned against trusting their ego-mind, their small self, and encouraged them to access their higher mind, their "true self", instead.

Buddha believed that meditation was an especially effective way to do this.

Towards this end we have a Saturday morning and Tuesday night meeting, both of which include meditation, along with a talk and discussion (see the main page of this site for details). We also have a one-day intensive period of meditation (called a Zen Sesshin) on the second Sunday of each month. For more information on these events, go to "pages" at the top of this website and look for Periods of Intensive meditation.

Feel free to contact me for any questions you may have about meditation, Buddhism or this group.

Jim Patteson

(772-538-9890 or pattesonjames@hotmail.com  Note the spelling of my last name).

P.S. CHECK OUT OUR SOUTHERN SISTER SANGHA IN STUART:    http://www.meetup.com/Stuart-Buddhism-Pract...

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"The purpose of life is to be happy." -The Dalai Lama

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