“Spending your time with true spiritual friends will fill you with love for all beings, and help you to see how negative attachments and hatred are. Being with such friends, and following their example will naturally imbue you with their good qualities, just as all the birds flying around the golden mountain are bathed in it’s golden light.” ~H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
These are small, time-limited, online, closed groups of caregivers* committed to practicing mindfulness meditation for their own understanding and welfare and the welfare of others.
These groups are intended to support the establishing and maintaining of individual practice, monitoring and nurturing its natural unfolding while contributing and drawing upon the collective wisdom and shared experience of a like-minded community.
* caregivers: psychotherapists, health care professionals, chaplains, ministers, yoga teachers
Closed groups of 4-6 therapists/ caregivers commit to deepening their meditation practice alone-together for a period of six months. The size of the group allows for intimacy to develop; the discrete time frame provides a manageable parameter to work within.
Groups meet once a month online for 90 minutes.
In the formative stage of each group, we meet with each prospective member for a half hour online to assess motivation and meditation practice as it is currently.
Sessions open with a guided meditation followed by either a brief check in with each person’s practice, teaching or group discussion, and Q & A. Assignments between meetings develop aspects of practice and thread individual practice to the collective.
Groups of people may identify themselves as wanting to work together. Others may simply be assigned to a group based on level of meditation experience.
There are three groups based on familiarity with our teaching style and commitment to practice:
- Group One is oriented to those caregivers who have not previously practiced with us.
- Group Two includes therapist meditators who have studied with us previously.
- Group Three is open to those who have practiced with us for some time, and who participate in at least one 7-day retreat each year.
These groups are offered on a dana basis. Our view of dana is expressed here.
Structure & Expectations
- In order for a sangha – a community of like-minded practitioners – to be cohesive and sustaining, members are asked to commit for six months at a time, at which point there is an opportunity to review and recommit. Meetings occur on Zoom, an audio-visual conferencing program with audiovisual recording. For those of you who have not tried this kind of interface, we think you may be surprised at how effective and meaningful it can be.
- Practicing 5 times per week for 30 minutes is a baseline expectation. The effect of meditation practice is cumulative, yet establishing a meaningful, sustainable daily practice is challenging for many of us. Working with resistance around this is fundamental to the development of practice. Commitment to regular practice is the glue that supports the collective intention; it brings a sense of positive accountability.
- Between meetings, each person will write an email to the group describing his/her practice vis-a-vis an assignment based on a specific meditation practice point. This can deepen the sense of community, clarify growing edges in one’s practice, and develop the ability to articulate personal nuances of practice.
During these practice periods, we are also available for one-on-one discussions. These meetings provide for a more in-depth opportunity to explore and receive guidance. These sessions are also offered on a dana basis.
Please let us know you are interested in being part of such a group.