Author Topic: Thoughts about a practice group  (Read 76 times)


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Thoughts about a practice group
« on: September 16, 2020, 12:13:34 AM »
Since moving to South Carolina 3 years ago, I've been without a sangha for group practice.  Back in Denver they were commonplace - Zen, Shambhala, various Tibetan groups and so on offered programs that were compatible (hate to use that term) with my main practice.  Here, not so much.  There are a few groups nearby but for one reason or another, don't offer a practice container I'd be comfortable in.

I've been considering taking steps toward starting a practice group myself.

Teaching meditation presents a challenge.  I've been practicing Shamatha/Vipassna for 15 years.  I guess after all that time I could get a beginner started.  The problem I face is that in my practice lineage you have to have completed Ngondro and have the guru's permission/blessing after specific training.  Those prelims aren't gonna happen.  So if I abide by tradition, a local practice group ain't gonna happen unless somebody else does it and I doubt that will happen any time soon.

So, do I break with tradition and move ahead or wait.   Is it better to ask forgiveness than permission?

It may seem to be a simple thing, but believe me it is not.


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Re: Thoughts about a practice group
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2020, 05:05:02 PM »
Just a quick note to share my thoughts.  I do not see an issue with starting a practice group, as long as you do not set yourself up as a teacher.  An example would be a student homework group where people just practice together and help each other.  The ones with more experience help those with less experience.  There may be others in your area needing such an opportunity, so you would be performing a service.   You already do this with helping maintain FreeSangha.

Lineage-related matters can be sorted out later.  If you have a strong drive to practice (and you certainly do), why not go for it?

Another option would be to see if the groups in your old area offer online meditation sessions, the times being what they are.

I'll be back in a couple of weeks and maybe then we can talk more.