Hello sentient beings! Rather than let a perfectly good collection of buddhist-types go to waste, I took the liberty of co-opting John's lovely ‘Triangle Buddhism Meetup Group’ before it dissolved - indeed, like all things - into nothingness *nods sagely*. I was considering creating a Meetup group for a pre-existing non-Meetup meditation group anyway, so it seemed like a good opportunity.
That pre-existing group, the Raleigh Meditation Group, is a casual, democratic, non-denominational gathering that has been around for years. Tom Barrie created it and leads it, but it’s not a class or a talk. It repeats every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month and is totally free, although we do take donations to cover the meetup fee and the rest goes to the church's food for the poor program.
We do ~30 minutes of sitting meditation, ~15 minutes of walking meditation (through the church sanctuary), then take turns reading from a ‘spiritual’ book of buddhist persuasion (currently A Still Forest Pool by Ajahn Chah), then talk about what we just read.
Beginners are welcome. Someone will be glad to briefly explain meditation if you ask, but otherwise that's not part of the proceedings. Whatever kind of silent meditation you prefer is fine and there's no pressure to sit in a way that isn't comfortable (chairs and couches and a water bed are available). You don't have to read out loud or even stay for the discussion, if you don't feel like it.
There’s a lot to be learned from the readings and discussions, but I consider it to be primarily about the actual meditation and the sense of spiritual community. Don’t expect to be given any definitive answers or educated in any particular tradition. And, while I’m bossing you, please don’t come to debate or to show us how smart and sophisticated you are. Also, let’s try to keep the conversation more or less on spiritual/ philosophical/ psychological topics during the meetup proper - as opposed to politics or unrelated new-agey stuff or the time your baked potato rolled into the bushes (unless maybe in the context of "letting go"). We can always carry on afterwards and talk about other things. I’ll be updating this group's meetup page (which is still confusingly mixed with it's predecessor), but for now - there it is!
From the mailing list:
The Raleigh Meditation Group will meet next at Trinity United Methodist Church on Tuesday/Thursday the Xth of X from 6:30 - 8.00 pm. Please plan on arriving by 6:20 pm.
We are currently reading and discussing A Still Forest Pool by Ajahn Chah (you don't need to read ahead, we read small sections out loud).
Trinity United Methodist Church is located at 824 North Bloodworth Street, Raleigh, 27604. There is parking on the street and also in lot behind the church on Sasser Street. The entrance to the church is on Sasser Street, up some stairs from the sidewalk. Someone will meet you just inside the door and provide directions to the Parlor Room where we meet.
Bring a cushion to sit on, if you like. Chairs and couches are available. Beginners are welcome. Sittings are offered freely but we ask participants to give what they can - donations go to the church's food program for the poor.