Today I made the decision to return to blogging regularly here on Living Vipassana, as one way to help keep my Vipassana meditation practice central to my life — sitting regularly being the primary way, of course!
There. Is. No. Substitute. For. Sitting.
I also just enjoy expressing myself through writing, and this feels like the right outlet for me to do so.
Some of the themes I want to develop and explore here include Vipassana as it pertains to relationships and family life, friendships and community, spirituality and religion, and career and life balance. Expansive themes, I know, but these are things that figure prominently in my world and, indeed, in the world, so let’s see how it goes!
Speaking of friendships and relationships…I was visiting a good friend in Chapel Hill, North Carolina this past weekend, which is also where my husband, Ryan, and I first met, back in 2012. My friend and I decided to hike Occoneechee Mountain, which is the exact place where I actually first met Ryan. The hike brought back fond memories, and I’ll share our story soon… I figured it might be of interest to other meditators out there to get a window into one couple’s story of how a serious meditator met a non-meditator and they fell in love and got married! Stay tuned.
I thought I’d share the following, which I posted last night in the Goenka Vipassana group on the Insight Timer app:
This morning I had the good fortune to attend a group sitting in New York City with many, many fellow old students and to hear an old student talk given by Dr. Paul Fleischman and Susan Fleischman titled “Allowing Dhamma to Become Integral to Your Way of Life.” What an incredible experience it was to get support from being in the company of so many others also walking on the path of Dhamma, and to get encouragement and guidance from such senior teachers. I came away truly inspired and further committed to developing in Dhamma (ie qualities such as equanimity, humility, and metta).
They provided the following link to acces a pdf of the slides from today’s talk:
One point that I found particularly valuable came up during the Q&A. An old student noted the guidance that “friendship is the path” according to the Buddha and the student inquired why sangha doesn’t figure more prominently in our tradition as it does in various Buddhist traditions — is this because Goenkaji specifically intended it this way, or has our tradition simply evolved this way without particular reason? We received the clarification that sangha is, indeed, very important in our tradition, and that our tradition guides us to give Dhamma service as the primary vehicle for sangha, rather than social events which are separate from our meditation. I’ve struggled with this question myself and found Dr. Fleischman’s answer to make good sense. Obvious, perhaps, but it resonated with me in a new way today. Maybe because I understood it newly in the context of “allowing Dhamma to become integral to your way of life.” There is certainly a role for (social) Dhamma friendships in my life, but they aren’t the complete source of sangha that nurtures my growth in Dhamma. Just thought I’d share — and I’d be interested to hear others’ experiences and feelings about this.
Many thanks to all of the Dhamma servers, teachers and organizers from the New York Vipassana Association who made this opportunity possible. I am truly grateful.
PS – if you have the volition, and do not have a “home Center” of your own, perhaps consider bringing your Dhamma vibrations to serve at Dhamma Pubbananda (Delaware). Strong old student vibrations remain uniquely valuable, I feel, to augment the committed team and culture taking root over the past few years. Bus fare from NYC to Delaware is considerably cheaper than an Uber from Manhattan to Brooklyn, it turns out ($20 vs $35 last night), and a nice 2.5 hour ride :). The Center is also 45 minutes from the Philadelphia airport, FYI. New York Vipassana Association will be holding more non-Center courses at the Fishkill site, and these are also opportunities for people in the area to serve.
Hi, Living Vipassana readers.
With permission from the New York Vipassana Association (NYVA) organizers, I wanted to share information about two upcoming talks to be given next month in New York City by Dr. Paul Fleischman.
Here are the Eventbrite links with details about both talks:
- “Meditating in Troubled Times”— Open to the public. Friday, April 13th, 5-6:30pm at Columbia University.
- “Allowing Dhamma to Become Integral to Your Whole Way of Life” — Old Student talk. Saturday, April 14th, 9:30am-12:30pm, at McKinsey and Company.
I find Dr. Fleischman’s Old Student talks to be very helpful as I try to live a Dhamma life in the modern world. I am looking forward to attending and hope that some of you can too. Much metta to all.
“If there is no peace in the minds of individuals, how can there be peace in the world? Make peace in your own mind first.” — S. N. Goenka