Buddhism & 12 Steps Weekly class series, by Kevin Griffin:
Just to let you guys know, I’ll ___ this later, but I’m starting a new group in Berkley for the people that used ___. That 4th Tuesday of each month at the Berkley Buddhist Monastery there. There are little flyers there that I booked a table. Seven to eight thirty on the… So, the first meeting will be April 28. If you’re familiar with ___ Parish, ___, that’s the same monastery, which I’m very pleased about, because I live in the East Bay and I’ve been wanting to have a place to teach this for a long time, and I don’t like having to charge people. It’s as if renting your space and I had it, you know, so the monastery offers the space free of charge, and so it’s just a donation plus. So it can just be people can give me more money that way, which is really what it’s all about. No, really, it’s the Buddhist tradition, and it just makes sense anyway, so I’m pleased about that. And you know, the East Bay doesn’t really have a—you know, there’s, I guess there’s the East Bay meditation center in Oakland, but they don’t have a regular recovery group there. I mean, I know there are a couple of Buddhist recovery groups there over there anyway, please be mind. And I will share it with others as well.
And I probably mentioned the retreat ___ that’s in May. Five day retreat from May 8th to the 13th, it starts on a Friday. For some reason, I’d like to start the retreat on Friday. So, Friday to Wednesday. So, that’s something if you’re interested in sitting and doing, more about intensive experience of this practice, be lovely to have you. It’s actually filling up. Cloud mountain is in Southern Washington ___, you’ll fly into Portland and get a shuttle up there. Beautiful place in the redwoods. I’ve gone in a lot of retreats, but I have never taught there before, so will be happy to be invited into there, devoted Dharma Center. It’s in a very, I just committed to Dharma—and there are a lot of great teachers there.
And so, I was considering of maybe having a longer sitter tonight. I don’t know if that’ll just bother people more or not, because probably for a lot of people, thirty minutes seems like a long time. So, we’ll see. __. There’s one vote for, this isn’t democracy though yet, it’s a theocracy.
(Someone asked a question.)
What did you say?
(Question from audience).
Well you should speak only for yourself, don’t you think?
I know, but—
Audience: Okay, you won’t bother me.
Okay, thank you. I think that’s a more accurate statement. Yes. I don’t need to criticize, but I am here to talk about—
From audience: I missed the last two groups. I don’t know if I’m ready.
Right. So, there you go. It— we just go by one breath at a time philosophy. Time is relative. And what else? Another spiritual altruisms can I toss out there? Alright, so let us begin in settling into a comfortable posture by sitting upright, and trying to sit in a way that your body can be very stable so you don’t have to move. So, we’re kind of trying to find out that balance between being comfortable without sort of getting drowsy. That’s one of the risk of lying down which is covered here last night with the people who were here. We had a snore—usually they snap out of that at some point, that person was persistent in their snoring, and some people from the treatment center, and apparently they’re not letting them sleep at the treatment center.
Okay then—gently closing your eyes.
And settling into the body. Sometimes it takes a little while for us to ___ and sense that we’ve arrived, that we’ve stopped moving. And their bodies are moving through space rapidly as they do in their vehicles. Think there’s a way in which the body can still feel as if it’s moving.
And kind of moment. Forward. Thrust. And we arrive and relaxing the body. And we can go through the body part by part, releasing tension from head to toe. So, relaxing the jaw. And small muscles around the eyes, the forehead. Relaxing the shoulders. The arms and hands. Softening the belly. Letting the chest be very open or receptive. Hearing the breath. Plenty of space in the chest and belly. Relaxing to the hips and pelvis. The legs. The feet. And now, just feeling the body sitting. The way that the body, that intensity. The energy of the body. All the sensations of movement. Pulsing. Streams of energy. The nervous system. Alive.
Then feeling the mood and the motions as they manifest in the body. Being open to that other form of energy, that emotional energy. Letting that come through, just fearless as you allow yourself to feel. And being open as well to sounds. Sounds in the rooms, sounds in your body, your ears. You might hear that sound of your own breath, or your heartbeat. The sound in our ears, sometimes we call the sound of silence. The sound of the nervous system. The firing.
And coming to the breath. Now we use the breath, or the nostrils of the body as our concentration object. Now, we try to maintain continuous awareness of the breath. But to the term, we may find that continuity interrupted as we drift off into thoughts. Find yourself struggling with some sensation or mood. Distracted by a sound. Or we keep coming back to the breath. Just to explore the sensations of the nostrils, and the air comes in and out or feeling the sensations of the belly rising and falling.
We’re not trying to demonize thoughts, or surprise thoughts. Certainly this practice inclines towards a gradual climbing of the mind, but we don’t really make that happen or control that to our own will power.
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