So whether I want to or not… I have been asked to lead group meditations for a couple groups in the past week. I am reluctant for a number of reasons. And I am expressing my objections / resistance and moving forward with a one of the groups.
A friend and teacher put my name forward as a potential meditation teacher (we are simply talking Buddhism 101 or Meditation 101) for a group of UVa students. A 2nd year level course involves the students doing a survey of Buddhism from Theravada (Hinayana) traditions all the way through Dzogchen / Mahamudra (Vajrayana) traditions all in one semester! That is quite a lot of ground to cover!
I learned that these students take a class-room section of this course where they receive a lecture, then they go to a weekly discussion group where they talk in small groups. And then they have a meditation lab where they meditation 50 minutes / week. What an interesting immersion in the study of meditation / Buddhism.
However, I also learned that the students have been pushing pretty hard. As in less-than-kind immersion in meditation. (I believe that starting off slowly – like 2 to 3 minutes at a time at first and slowly working our way up from there – is important and kind. Because a part of us does not actually learn if we are objecting to the activity.) I plan to offer something radical – how about we make meditation fun and joy-inspiring? How about we cultivate warmth and enthusiasm for the thought of sitting on our cushions? Well that is my intention when I go to lead one of these labs. I hope my style is not rebuked – but is not loving-kindness a critical ingredient on the Buddhist path? Radical kindness. What a concept!
Also, my mentor, Janet Evergreen and I are going to be giving introductory teachings (for Dharma practitioners) on the Common Preliminaries – the 4 Thoughts and basic teachings on Refuge. Contact me if you are interested by the way! It is happening in Charlottesville, April 29th and 30th. 9 – 12 and 2 – 5 pm both days (Saturday and Sunday). You can email mkirbymoore [at] gmail . com for more info or to register.
I am definitely reluctant to call myself a meditation teacher. I am an embodiment coach (meditation is one way to get there). I do have permission from my Lamas to teach basic meditations and intro Buddhist concepts. So that is all to the good!
Thanks for reading and wish me luck!