I’m just back from an inspiring day at the IMCW Men’s Retreat. There is nothing quite like the company of like-minded men who share an intention to be more awake and alive. We had a pretty diverse group and despite the differences in age, culture, sexual orientations and professions, a sense of kindness and generosity permeated the day.
It’s been an honor to lead these gathering these last years.
Men Meeting for Meditation (M3) is a monthly meeting of men for mindful movement, meditation and discussion. Our goal is to create a space for men to learn the power of silent meditation, to deepen their meditation practice, and to interact with other like-minded men.
This is a meeting for men who desire to live awake, alive and fully aware lives. An important goal of this gathering is to be challenged and corrected by like-minded men, “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” The Proverb is the metaphor for these gatherings. It is an opportunity for men to sharpen each other in their spiritual walk so we can live as fully awake beings.
Currently we are changing locations, but will announce a new location soon. In addition to the monthly meetings, we would like for M3 to serve as a forum and network of men who want to challenge each other and grow in their own meditation practice.
What are ways in which we could be of service?
We are looking at online video streaming sessions with live chats, simultaneous live meditation sessions, smaller local groups that could meet more regularly to have more personal interaction.
This was my last talk on Capitol Hill for the season. Starting in June, community members will be leading class through the summer.
Much of mindfulness is about remembering. Coming back to the here and now. Two most important factors to remember: Impermanence and the Law of Cause and Effect.
Your relationship to impermanence absolutely determines the degree to which you will feel stress, dissatisfaction and suffering. Fight reality and you’re probably going to lose.
Recalling that your thoughts, speech and actions impact your destiny can help you remember that it’s not so much about what is happing, but how you are holding your experience.
Here’s the blurb:
This talk was originally titled, “The Nature of Karma,” but I like this one much better. When you remember impermanance and the law of cause and effect you can stay awake and aware of the infinite possiblity that lies in each moment.
When you remember that your thoughts, speech and actions create your destiny, there lies the possiblity of freedom in the midst of turmoil.
I left the house Monday night on my way to class in Arlington with a sense that I’d forgotten something.
Once I relaxed and settled into the ride I realized I’d left my microphone on my desk — too late to go back and get it. As a consequence, the sound quality suffers a bit on this talk.
That’s actually part of this talk … exploring the ‘knowing’ that arises when we relax.
This was a fun talk. I hope you enjoy it.
Spiritual practice and skillful living require a balance of willful, intentional effort as well as a conscious capacity to relax and tap into the flow of things.
This talk, based on what I call ‘the Frank Sinatra Sutta,’ explores the conscious use of will and surrender and accessing the subsequent arising of awareness that follows. The more you relax and pay attention, the more you become aware of things that were not accessible previously.
The sound quality is not so good on this one. Thanks for bearing with it.
How easy we fall into a trance of thinking, planning, judging, fearing …
Remembering that everything changes helps us to celebrate what is here.
These five recollections were recommended by the Buddha as daily reflections.
1. I am of the nature to decay. I have not gone beyond decay.
2. I am of the nature to be diseased. I have not gone beyond disease.
3. I am of the nature to die. I have not gone beyond death.
4. All that is mine, beloved and pleasing, will change and vanish.
5. I am the owner of my actions, heir to my actions, born of my actions, related to my actions, supported by my actions.
Whatever actions I do, whether good or evil, of that I shall be the heir.
This week’s talk is borderline morose as we dive into the Five Heavenly Messengers. As fair warning if you’re drawn to listen to it, I tried to lighten things up with a few death jokes here and there.
The Buddha recommended reflecting on five essential truths that reinforce your awareness of impermanance. Only when we embrace the fact that all things born of conditions are subject to change we can truly grasp how precious this moment is.
This understanding can transform your relationship to death … and, of course, to life.