It is important to understand that we are not simply a meditation center, but rather, a center for meditative culture.
Often in our day-to-day lives our awareness is consumed by the task of maintaining our private and social faces. Much of the data we receive from our environment, from other humans and our own emotional and intuitive signals go ignored.
One of the precious benefits of maintaining a meditation practice is the cultivation of a more encompassing awareness. As awareness expands, so does our ability to be present for ourselves, others, and the subtle signals of nature and humanity. This then allows us to respond to the world from a place of awareness as opposed to habit.
When meditation practitioners gather together in a soul group, the result is the creation of a charged space. This now sacred space is infused with the collective breath of compassion and service, peace and love.The shared experience within this sacred space signals the presence of meditative culture.
Upon leaving the collective each person takes with them a portion of the collective charge to share with all they encounter upon their way, sowing the seeds of meditative culture in their daily travels.
Meditative culture does not spread by coercion or marketing. It’s contagious. It expands organically in response to the people’s desire for change.
The base of our practice
Meditation, love, generosity.
This does not mean that all our community meditates all the time, but it means that they get it. In fact some of our group are happy simply supporting our programs or being among us! Our ancient and even not so long ago ancestors lived a meditative conscientious life. We need to get that back. So many of us have minds that are over-stressed and scattered and this reflects in our bodies, well-being, and health, too.
The support of our practice
Good spiritual friends are everything.
We are a welcoming culture/community. There is an African philosophy that in its profound essence is translated simply “I am because you are.” This idea runs quite parallel with the deep Buddhist concepts of interdependence and impermanence and the sociological and psychological dysfunction that’s caused by not understanding them. When we come to understand, and accept our interdependence, we can see that it gives us more independence.
Our core values
We make every effort to respond to each other, our soul group, and our larger community with kind speech, generous actions, and caring thoughts. This also includes applying the core values of tolerance, inclusiveness, non-discrimination, and patience. We are each in different places in our lives and so we invite everyone to “come as you are” and to develop from where you are without judgement and comparison. We can then meet each other with open minds. This is a practice and the practice is a process on a path to radical change and happier minds.
Our progressive path
A mindful and conscientious lifestyle.
In order to practice a mindful and more meditative life we need to also enhance our quality of life. Keeping in mind that we are not all under the same conditions, we each need to use our own intelligence to determine how deeply we can practice. We can use a progressive yet interwoven path to self-correct. When we are mindful, we can see that by refraining from doing one thing, we can prevent another thing from happening and vice versa. We arrive at our own unique insights — not through rules imposed on us by an outside authority. In order to do this, we use five skillful efforts as guidelines in our daily lives to improve our lives and the lives around us, not as absolute.
Reference: The Five Mindfulness Trainings, Thich Nhat Hanh