What we're about
I have created this Meetup for Baby Boomers but all are welcome. When I first announced the Meetup, over 40 of you joined and you are from Monterey all the way to San Jose! Wow! Thank you everyone for your interest! I am excited to be able to reach so many people who are potentially interested in learning more about Buddhism. I am happy to have the chance to meet each and every one of you and learn about your hopes and goals at this stage of life. I look forward to meeting and talking with others who are my age and have similar thoughts and ideas.
At the first Meetup for this group, I learned a very important lesson and realized that I needed to clarify the purpose of the group and think more about how to be more transparent in responding to the needs of its members. For those reasons I am revising the introduction to the Meetup. Thank you for your patience. Additionally, I was happily surprised that people joined from such a wide area. Thinking about how best to get together with all of you, I would like to schedule groups in different areas and also have web cast meetings where we can all meet together.
The idea for this Meetup came from examining my own needs and the challenges I face in today’s society, and how I’m always looking for a way to cope with the chaos of modern living and find some peace and tranquility. I believe that most Baby Boomers are not so different from me, so there must be more of you out there who are navigating the leap into the information age and trying to keep up while maintaining one’s peace of mind.
The purpose of this Meetup is to talk about Buddhism as it applies to our lives and in particular the issues unique to our generation. We’re not old but we’re no longer young. We are past the stage of “midlife crisis” but are not yet at the stage of very old age like our parents’ generation. We have gained wisdom from our years of experience, in many cases perhaps learning not to sweat the small stuff and instead value and cultivate that which is truly meaningful. We have much to share that would benefit others but don't always have the chance to do that.
In middle age many of us became fearful of approaching old age, which meant losing our youth and vitality, having to wear bifocals, hair turning gray and not remembering things, maybe not being able to maintain a strong healthy body, family growing up and moving away, retiring from jobs, and in some cases feeling not needed or useful anymore. We want to stay young and don’t want to be old. Because of fear or aversion to approaching old age we may become motivated or even desperate to pursue outward activities in order to hang on to youth and keep away old age. Or maybe some of us became sad and lost our motivation. Maybe we bury ourselves in things that help us to ignore our situation to make ourselves feel better and not have to think about it.
As a Baby Boomer I am faced with this situation. As a student of Buddhism I’ve learned from my kind and venerable teacher that peace of mind is found through introspection and mindfulness. Peace and happiness aren’t found in the things and events around us but by developing a tranquil mind. I’m not a teacher but I can help others to connect with Buddhist teachings. Those who have the courage to take that first step can find out how to apply the wisdom learned to solve problems and find peace and happiness.
Buddhism is a way of learning how to understand our lives on a deeper level, and through logic and introspection, make life more meaningful. We can do this now, while our faculties are still intact and we still have the physical energy to study and make use of the wisdom we learn to improve the quality of our lives. We can help others do the same.
It is my wish to make available to others the wisdom I have been given. If I keep what I’ve learned to myself and don’t give others the chance, then I’m no different than a dog with a bone who, thinking only of itself, goes and buries it so that no other dogs can have it. It is impossible to find happiness through creating the causes for unhappiness. If I think about my own wish to find happiness and peace, then I must have consideration for others who also have that wish. In that sense, this Meetup is meant to be an open door for those who are looking for that door and are ready to step through it.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Thank you to all who joined. Welcome to everyone who wishes to learn more. Please email your comments and questions. Tell me about yourself. I would be very happy to hear from you. I would be happy to arrange private meetings with anyone who has a sincere wish.
Don't have to be a Baby Boomer to join - just have a sincere wish to learn.