21 October 2010

Togetherness Meditation - Day 92

Hey, #OMCru!

Our #MorningCrew sent its usual shout-outs between 4:30-7:00am PDT/7:30-10:00am EDT. Great chance to join the #OMCru if you're an early riser or in a different timezone!

Midday call to meditate went out at 11:30am PDT/2:30pm EDT today.

The #EveningCrew will be sending shout-outs between 6:00-9:00pm PDT / 9:00pm-12midnight EDT. Be sure to catch them for a great way to close the day.

You don't have to wait for scheduled shout-outs though! Anyone can send a call to Stop (the day's inertia) - Drop (what you are doing) - MEDITATE! (chant, mantra, pray, cook, whatever your mindfulness practice is). Just follow these simple steps:

1. Use the #OMCru hashtag to do a pre-meditation check-in ~ 5-15 minutes before you would like to begin your meditative practice (giving the folks joining you a chance to tell you they are present and to get ready!).

2. Let everyone know when to 'begin' - synchronizing the start for body, heart, and mind.

3. Do a post-meditation check-in/out: say farewells and jot down any reflections on Twitter and/or the OMC blog.

Getting to know each other is the best way to cultivate the community spirit of the Twangha (Twitter + Sangha), so let's share a bit about ourselves by answering today's community-fostering question:

How did the Buddha's teachings first enter your life?

Meditating together, growing together, learning together...miles apart.

Grasp the day, CREW! _/|\_ :-) \m/


  1. I honestly can't remember! I'm a yoga teacher, I musta been exposed the Dharma that way somehow.

    If I backtrack, I think it cld have been in 2001-ish, on a serious level, when a yoga teacher colleague took a class with Bodhipaksa (www.wildmind.org) and recommended I take one with him, which I did. I sat some at a Shambhala sangha here, but stopped because chronic pain made it hard to sit.

    Then much more seriously, I began close study of the dharma when I got into a 12-step program; I'm Jewish and didn't/don't like the Christian orientation of much 12-step literature. The Buddhist approach to HP (there wasn't much Jewishly-oriented recovery literature that I know of, then) was much less threatening to me and strangely enough, connected better with my Judaism.

    I chose a Buddhist sponsor (she's dead now - may she be free from suffering) and learned from her. I really got the 4 Noble Truths as I studied how they lined up with the first three steps (thank you Mel Ash http://www.amazon.com/Zen-Recovery-Mel-Ash/dp/0874777062 and Kevin Griffin http://www.amazon.com/s/qid=1287687466/ref=a9_sc_1?ie=UTF8&search-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=kevin%20griffin), and I became more committed to sitting practice as a result of my 12-step journey.

    The last formal exposure I had to the Dharma was from a mindfulness-based symptom management program I took about 4 years ago.

    Now I'm stumbling along alone, teacherless (anybody know any good ones???) but wayyyyy motivated by the OMCru. :-)))))

    Metta to the CRU!!!!! _/\_

  2. Well, I read several Buddhist or Eastern books as a teenager. "The Wisdom of Insecurity" by Alan Watts and "Be Here Now" by Ram Dass were two of the first. I was also very interested in Zen teachings, so I recall reading some DT Suzuki (hope I got the name right).

    Like most people in young adulthood, I was more focused on my career and meeting peers than spiritual matters. I became interested in Buddhism again once my mother became ill. I started to wonder, "Where do we go after death?" and so on. A friend named Timothy took me to me first Buddhist puja in 1999 or 2000. I started watching videos by Lama Yeshe, who was the founder of the FPMT. He was the first "living embodiment" of the teachings that I had encountered.

    After the dotcom bust, it was harder to find work, so I decided to move home from California in 2003. When I went back for a year, I was lucky enough to get to live in a center for awhile, and see what that was like. I decided that the life of a layperson (as opposed to monastic) was the one for me, but I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity.

    So that's my long-winded answer :) Namaste!

  3. Reading about world religions in the school library. Buddhism seemed to strike me as something worthwhile to investigate, and it sort of grew from there.

  4. My father was a Deacon in the Presbyterian Church and taught my sunday school. Although I was raised in this church, he taught me to explore all ways of believing and when we were stationed in Japan I had an opportunity to explore Buddhism with a Japanese friend. I went home with her to a small village and she invited me to their family meditation practices. I saw first hand, as a wide eyed 15 year old the calmness, serenity, and joy experienced by her family. I read some books, then life intervened. A few years later, living in San Francisco I found myself, once again, drawn to the path via a lecture by Ram Dass. He was a young
    man then, full of wisdom and enthusiasm. But it was only when I felt the adversity of my illness that I fully understood the strength Buddhism could give me AND I could give others. I am still traveling that path with heart and every day is a journey.

  5. I first read a book by Charolette Yoko Beck I believe was her name when I was a teen. The book was not a basics in Buddhism read so I was left with more questions then answers. But it was the only title available in my small local bookstore. Sometime later I came into contact with Alan Watts studying philosophy and finally Ram Dass's "Be Here Now" sealed the deal for me. Ever since I've had an interest in yoga and Buddhism though I became a Christian for a time. I've since returned to my Buddhist roots.

    Thanks a lot #OMCru for supporting my practice. I don't think I would sit as much if it weren't for the crew!

  6. Like most people in Mexico, I was raised in a catholic family. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depends on how you look at it) I have always been way too curious for my own good.

    I just can't accept blind faith as a valid argument. This led me to have my first run-in with the church at the tender age of four, when I was unceremoniously expelled from Sunday school after I offered an alternative point of view to god's creation of man... one that involved monkeys, natural selection and hell of a lot of time.

    Still, I remained a seeker most of my youth, dabbing in many alternate (mostly new age) religions and even a stint with some followers of Carlos Castaneda.

    But wherever I looked a problem still remained. Even though many of the teachings I heard seemed wise and profound, there was always this nagging feeling like that final piece of the puzzle that doesn't fit quite right.

    As soon as I started to dig a bit deeper into the roots of the teachings I hit ground almost instantly, there was a lot of flash and image, but barely any substance.

    One day my wife came back from work and showed me a book her boss had given her a a birthday present, it was 'The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying' by Sogyal Rimpoche.

    She had a tough time reading it, and had to go thru it twice before asking me to read it.

    I was hooked. Suddenly I found out where all those little pieces I had found scattered along my many years of searching originally came from, and for the first time they all fit together flawlessly.

    I've been a Buddhist ever since, guess there's a lot of truth in that saying about the teacher appearing when the student is ready.

    I am now so happy to be able to share and foster my practice with the OMCru!

    To me it has become my real Sangha, where we helpi each other by cheering, pushing and even kicking each other's asses (always compassionately, of course), whatever is necessary to keep us all in the path.

    Much heavy metta to all! _/|\_ \m/

  7. A coworker invited me to a Nicherin Buddhism discussion meeting in March of this year. Wow! After the initial strangeness wore off, I found that everything made sense. I've since been exploring other Buddhist paths as well as Paganism - just call me a Buddhagan. I do not believe that the priesthood is any more special than the laity and one does not have to go thru them in order to be obtain enlightenment.

    Thank you OMC for inviting all! Namaste and blessed be.