Monthly Archives: December 2009
A Mouse Senses Freedom Thru Meditation
Second Opinions Sought for My Salvation
Warmth flows to side where heart’s needed
2010 — see movie while seeing in new year
Mindfulness practice trashed outside home
Dalai Lama Fulfills My Holiday Wish List
Please See original Story My Xmas Wish List to the Dalai Lama Continue reading
Bartlows’ dinner drives away all the blues
Police nab attention whenever One roams
Coming home grows out of Inner Wisdom
Part III of Bunny Series, see Run-Away Bunny
Run-Away Bunny Plans Snow Escape II
(continued from Part I, My Little Run-Away)
Run-Away Bunny Makes Snow Escape
Home visit will provide internal answers
Be Humble; Let Love Grow Inside Your Self
Snow & Zen Usher in Winter of 2009-2010
“Do good, do no harm, still your mind”
A Flower Blooms then Rests in the Buddha
My Xmas Wish List to the Dalai Llama
Think Buddha ever signed new members?
Path to “Beloved” starts with steps of Sufi
Life’s Journey leads me to a Tea Ceremony
Meditation Message Moves Me Mightily
Meditation lets my energy flow from within
On road to Peace, I found some “Bhuddies”
For the first time in my life I attended a Buddhist gathering knowing that I wanted to learn more about meditation and the teachings about compassion and loving kindness.
I entered the room and was instructed to remove my shoes which were placed in a small hallway. I then walked into the center with my hands closed in a prayer and my eyes wide open for whatever I could behold.
Then, I fell to my knees, slowly crawled along a mat, and “scrunched” my bottom onto a firm, six-inch pillow. Tucked my legs beneath my raised body and closed my eyes, ready for this Service.
They started chanting. About 25 other souls who appeared here after braving a rainy Sunday morning, were speaking a foreign language in this, the Chenrezig Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia. An Asian man wearing a brown “monk’s” robe led the Prayer Service. He sat in the Lotus position on a platform some 10-to-12 inches above a white painted wooded floor. He smiled often. And spoke the Tibetan language as well as English, someone told me later.
About ten people sat in chairs, possibly to prevent any stress to bad backs. The rest of us sat on the comfortable pillows that rested above red, padded mats measuring some 2-by-3 feet. Candles were lighted toward the front of the center. There was a slight smell of incense; I was told that someone had lit, but then extinguished a stick, because another suffered from allergy to the scent.
Each of us were provided a red-covered “prayer” book, containing some 50 pages of various prayers and chants in both English and possibly Sanskrit and/or Tibet. Pictures of Buddhist deities as well as one of the Dalai Llama headed some pages. A larger picture of the Dalai Llama rested in what I called a “guru-like” posture behind the Philadelphian spiritual guide.
Somebody mentioned how fortunate “we” were because the spiritual leader, Losang Samten, planned to perform a “tea ceremony.” Great, I thought. I heard of this in my earlier practice with mindfulness meditation the past year, but never witnessed or took part in one. Fellow practitioners were “once-a-week meditators” and seemed to simply “tolerate” the Dharma presentations our Zen teacher mixed in with “body scans,” “sitting” sessions, and the occasional “walking meditations.”
How did I — a red-blooded U.S. veteran, one awarded a bronze star for fighting for flag, mom’s apple pie and everything American — end up bowing to a bunch of Buddhists? What beckoned me to mingle with fellow Philadelphians who not only helped support a spiritual leader to guide them toward “Enlightenment,” but to teach of a spiritual movement created twenty-five hundred years ago by a prince who exchanged riches for the life of a beggar in trying to end mankind’s suffering?
Synchronicity. Stuff like this happens, according to the psychologist, Dr. Carl Jung. And, coincidence has nothing to do with it. I planned to have lunch at a “Spaghetti Warehouse” with my first and only gathering of a “Meet Up” Group up the street from the Buddhist center. We were to “tour” or simply “attend” the Buddhist service and then discuss the activity over food and possibly a drink.
I never made it for spaghetti. Never got a chance to formally introduce myself to the “Meet Up” people. I simply stayed for the Buddhist semi-annual meeting with the permission of one of the group’s officers who allowed me, a non-member, First Generation Greek-American, to see the “behind-the-scenes” goings-on of full-fledged Buddhist followers.
I quickly learned they were no more different from you and I.
Please see Part II, –Meditation lets my energy flow