Open House: start where you are

Monday 16 September 2019 (19:00 -21:00)
Friend's Meeting House, North Adelaide
Contact person : David Edwards
Start where you are

Open House is a gathering that provides a gentle introduction to mindfulness meditation, the Shambhala Buddhist teachings and our community.

It is an opportunity to learn sitting and walking meditation and engage in discussions about the application of teachings to everyday life from fabulous Shambhala teachers including Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Pema Chodron. 

If you are planning to visit Open House for the first time you are invited to arrive 15 minutes early at around 6.45pm to spend time with our meditation guide who will introduce you to meditation practice and Shambhala before the program commences at 7.00pm. 

Join us remotely using Zoom 

We are exploring the use of Zoom software (like Skype) to allow people to join us remotely. Using Zoom is pretty straight forward, you simply click on this link at around 6:45 pm Adelaide time and Zoom will ask you to install some software which will be your interface with the rest of us meeting at the Quakers Meeting Room. 

A typical Monday evening program includes:

  • Brief welcome followed by sitting meditation (7:00pm)

  • Walking meditation

  • Sitting meditation

  • Reading or video teaching...followed by contemplation, response and discussion

  • Pack-up (8:15pm)

  • Catch-up time including light refreshments and close around 9:00pm

Tonight's reading from Pema Chodron "Comfortable with uncertainty":

WHAT WE’RE WORKING with in basic meditation practice—and more explicitly in tonglen practice—is the middle ground between acting out and repressing. We learn to see our thoughts of hatred, lust, poverty, loathing, whatever they might be. We learn to identify the thoughts as “thinking,” let them go, and begin to contact the texture of energy that lies beneath them. We gradually begin to realize how profound it is just to let those thoughts go, not rejecting them, not repressing them. We discover how to hold our seat and feel completely what’s underneath the story line of craving or aversion or jealousy or feeling wretched about ourselves, underneath all that hopelessness and despair. We can begin to feel the energy of our heart, our body, our neck, our head, our stomach—what’s underneath the story lines. We find that there’s something extremely soft, which is called bodhichitta. If we can relate directly with that, then all the rest is our wealth.

In postmeditation, when the poisons of passion, aggression, or ignorance arise, the instruction is to drop the story line. Instead of acting out or repressing, we use the poison as an opportunity to feel our heart, to feel the wound, and to connect with others who suffer in the same way. We can use the poison as an opportunity to contact bodhichitta. In this way, the poison already is the medicine. When we don’t act out and we don’t repress, our passion, our aggression, and our ignorance become our wealth. We don’t have to transform anything. Simply letting go of the story line is what it takes, which is not all that easy. That light touch of acknowledging what we’re thinking and letting it go is the key to touching in with the wealth of bodhichitta. With all the messy stuff, no matter how messy it is, just start where you are—not tomorrow, not later, not yesterday when you were feeling better—but now. Start now, just as you are.