Welcome! I created this group as a means for like-minded individuals to come together and discuss practical ways that we can practice spirituality in our lives. That's basically it! You don't need to worry about being "spiritual enough"… I just ask that you come with an open mind and open heart (and that you review and agree to the guidelines below!).
Discussions will focus partially on Buddhism-based principles such as mindfulness and compassion, but note that this is not meant to be a group focusing on Buddhism as a religion or dogmatic practice, but more a place for us to meet with deeper questions, and even struggles.
Topics may include: Mindfulness in everyday life; Finding comfort in uncertainty; If the Buddha dated (based on a book by the same name); as well as open discussions! I also recommend Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth”, or one of Pema Chodron's books – some of our discussions will center around similar themes to the ones presented there.
In addition to these discussion-centered events, I will be planning some more social outings as well. In short – if you are intrigued by all this talk of mindfulness, meditation, and living in the present moment, join us! If you have any questions at all, feel free to reach out to Annette, the organizer. Hope you’ll join us!
Here are some guidelines for our sessions:
-- Before each event, please update your RSVP, particularly if you no longer plan to attend after you have RSVP’d as a “yes”. Group size is limited in order to make the discussions productive and manageable, and to keep the ambiance intimate. Especially in cases where there is a waitlist, no-shows takes away from one of the waiting list members being able to participate. Participants with 3 no shows will be removed from the group.
-- Please plan to arrive with enough time to settle in and purchase food (if desired/applicable at a particular location) before our start time.
-- We will have a 5-10 minute meditation at the start of the event. Various methods of meditation can be discussed during the group if you have any questions at all. If you do arrive after meditation has begun, please enter and find a seat as quietly as possible.
-- After our meditation and introductions, we will get into our discussion topic. Several things/guidelines to note:
-> All are open to share anything that might be going on in their lives; as such, we request that confidentiality is respected by all members.
-> Feel free to express your viewpoints, and please allow others in the group to do the same; it is often difficult for new members (and even quiet veterans) to feel comfortable speaking up in a group setting, and we want to encourage all to participate. For this reason, comments are limited to 1-2 minutes. In addition, I ask everyone to please refrain from talking over others throughout the discussion, to allow everyone to feel heard.
-> Please remember that side conversations, as tempting as they might be, may disrupt the group focus and flow. We will allow time at the end of the formal discussion for these more casual conversations.
-> It is important to make a concerted effort to be open-minded to divergent opinions, without emphasis on any one "right way"… there is no “right” or “wrong” :) Please respect other opinions, even if they do not reflect your own, and refrain from invalidating other people’s experiences.
-> The organizer of each event will moderate sessions and may jump in occasionally to ensure that all of the above guidelines are being followed, and that all ideas are heard and respected.