Purpose Chant in Meditation

“I am one with the Force. The force is with me.” was chanted over and over by Chirrut Îmwe in Star Wars. This inspiring chant reminds me about the power of concentration chants.

Concentration chanting is a wonderful technique. As Dan Harris points out in the 10% Happier meditation app, it can be an enjoyable experience that gets you quite focused. The ability to get quite focused is a wonderful state of being. Sharon Salzberg covers the wonderful results of doing such a chanting practice in Concentration is a Skill in the same 10% Happier app.

Sharon shares wonderful insights such as:

  • “As we practice meditation, we get used to stillness and eventually we’re able to make friends with the quietness of our sensations.”
  • “We tend to count on intensity in order to feel alive. And the more we practice the more like simple things kinda pop and come alive for us like our hands in water, the sensations, or feeling a tea cup, or seeing a tree or whatever.”
  • “Just these moments that we usually disregarded or discounted in life as we sought greater and greater stimulation end up being very fulfilling.”

Inspired by George Mumford, my mantra is currently one of three words: hopeful, optimistic, or confident. However, doing a Lovingkindness based meditative chant also can serve well. Credit goes to Sharon Salzberg for the Lovingkindness words I have currently chosen.  On that note, “May you be safe, be happy, be healthy, and live with ease.”

Boom! Discovering Open Awareness Meditation

Boom! Brightly colored cards fly all over the game board. A little blue eyed boy sits stunned and motionless. Whoops! A moment passes.

In wonderment, he looks up and asks, “Can you think .. about nothing?” Ah! At that moment, he had a glimpse of just experiencing. A glimpse of what it’s like to take in all the raw sensory data with open awareness.

“You can observe everything as just input.”, was my reply. “You can hear a sound as just raw input. Input into your consciousness.” I paused for two seconds then “snap.” I gently snapped my fingers and let it sink in.

“Everything you see, hear, feel, and even think can be observed.”, I added. I didn’t go into the benefits of that. That was enough for now.

“Uh oh”, I thought some minutes later. Something more needs to be shared. Catching him just in time before he lost himself in play, I shared: “Since I have shared that secret, there’s something important to tell you.”

I went on, “People matter. Love matters. That is an axiom .. a foundation from which to live.” Thankfully, he agreed.

May we all embrace such a foundation. People matter. Love matters. Yes, you who are reading this now. You matter. May you be well.

Scared child with a wall of pillows

Procrastination and Mindfulness

Weekends are an interesting time for many go-getters. You have a sense of freedom and space, but the freedom won’t last forever. So, one needs to get going in order to get some goals accomplished.

What Do We Know?

In an effort to ensure that I am not procrastinating on the weekend, I turn to Sam Harris to see if he has any tips about procrastination. In the Making Sense by Sam Harris podcast : Ask Me Anything #15 (53:40), the question was asked: “Have you ever struggled with procrastination?” “Do you think mindfulness can be utilized…?”

The answer to at least one of the questions is “Yes!” As Sam shares “[mindfulness] is just increased awareness of what is actually arising in your mind.” By increasing your awareness of what is happening in your mind, you can figure out what you are rejecting and what you truly want. (If you want the great scheduling tip and “writing a novel” example he gives and are not a Sam Harris subscriber yet, I recommend subscribing and then listening to the podcast episode.)

Once you know what is troubling you and the emotions around it, you can make some logical choices. As Sam and others have shared, procrastination is the logical outcome of being afraid of failing. In short, you feel fear.

Since you are not guaranteed to finish and succeed, a person will naturally put off that potential pain of failing by not starting. Get started even though you’re highly concerned (scared) and uncertain. So, how does one tear down the wall that is blocking you from getting started at all?

How To Conquer Fear and Uncertainty?

Throwing yourself into a project can greatly help with fear. Pragmatic tips around tackling projects or problems include breaking down a big project into small manageable chunks. Tackle that small chunk and see what happens to the fear.

On the subject of fear, it’s okay to recognize the fear. Once that is done, don’t feed the fear. Just accept fear for what it is. An example of feeding the fear is telling yourself a story about all the things that might or might not happen.

If left unfed, fear is just a naturally occurring phenomena that will eventually pass like anything else in the world. It bears repeating that this is only true if you don’t feed the fear!

If you are having trouble with dealing with the uncertainly, I recommend practicing the Don’t Know meditation practice taught by Jeff Warren. There’s a Don’t Know audio recording on his website and a YouTube
video of him guiding others through the practice. The YouTube video is titled The Do Nothing Project with Jeff Warren February 25, 2019.
Here’s the video:

Summing Up

Fear and uncertainty are often the cause of procrastination. Be the hero you are meant to be. Look fear in the eye. Deal with the uncertainty and just get started. May your journey forward go well.

I am Not Dead – Meditation and Mindfulness Online Community

Contrary to popular belief, I am not dead.

When not coding on iPhone app development related projects, mentoring a software developer, and meditating, I have been working closely with the online Meditation and Mindfulness community. The website is Project Mindfulness and I’m a proud member.

Our meditation community has been doing wonderful things. As a member, I have been:

So, I am not dead. On the contrary, I am sharing my light with all. More writing on this blog is planned. Thank you for being here. May you be safe, be happy, be healthy and live with ease.

Update: Fixed broken links to the Project Mindfulness website.

Teaching Others Meditation

“How do you do what you do?”, she asked. That question came right after she complemented me on my ability to completely focus on one thing at a time.

What should the practiced meditator-on-the-street do next? When asked this sort of question, this is the crucial moment where I share that I meditate.

How they respond could start them on a meditation journey that levels them up to a next level of life optimization. When you’re prepared to share the wisdom and they’re ready to learn, you’ve both begun a new journey together. As someone who has taught meditation for decades on and off, there are some things you should know.

One Offs

Sharing meditation tips once in a while is completely fine. However, there’s going to come a time when you need to lead a person through a meditation. Where to do that? At first glance you might consider doing it where they live. That can go badly.

My First Rich House

Once, I responded to the request to teach a nurse meditation. The only place available at that time was her beautiful large house. Since I can appreciate the beauty of a wealthy home, this was looking to be a fun and novel experience.

After I walked up the long lit path while admiring the beautiful flower garden and lush green lawn, I rang the doorbell and her son answered the door. He looked up at me like “What are you doing here?” and yelled for her mom. With a smile, I mentally wished her son lovingkindness and let go of the “What are you looking at?” thought that arose in the mind.

After the usual exchange of greetings and her thanks to me for coming over, we went into the living room. All of us. The nurse, her kids, and me. We all took a seat on her extremely comfy carpet.

I’m Not Your Dad

I started with the basics of mindfulness meditation. After the introductory meditation session was complete, her son looked at me with an accusatory look and said:

Why are you teaching her? Are you here to replace dad?

I still remember me saying “I’m not trying to become your new father. I am here to teach meditation.” This later led to a deeper conversation with the nurse about how her family life is not a happy one. Such discussions would never have happened if we had another location.

As I mentioned in Meditation, Neopagans, and Sex, it was risky anyway for me to teach meditation where someone lives. I do not recommend it. At least this time, I was not offered sex.

What’s Traditionally Available For Teaching Meditation?

Typically, meditation can be taught at meditation centers where they receive proper instructions. However, syncing up the needs of the meditation student and the needs of the meditation center can be tricky. A perfect example is when I asked a center when the next beginners meditation course is starting and the response I got was “In the fall.” That was months away. Too long of a wait for people who feel the call of starting down the meditation path now.

Where Online Can They Learn?

The 10% Happier courses on the mobile app and website are wonderful. 10% Happier has coaches that come with real life experience. Yet due to the nature of the situation, conversations with them will be slow. You send a message and wait for about a day for a response. Although I absolutely love my online coaches and have gained special insight from Rae in particular, there’s no substitute for a realtime conversation.

Where Can Meditation Be Taught Outside of a Meditation Center?

Chatting with your local meditation center instructors can reveal new ideas. I had a wonderful chat with Armine Alioto at the Show Me Dharma meditation center. (A description of the center is covered in the Show Me Meditation post.)

She pointed out that the Unity Center of Columbia church may have some space available for us. She also said I might pick up a few others who want to learn as well. The key is to have an uninterrupted safe area.

Outside of churches, I have taught meditation in the backroom of a store, a townhome clubhouse on a quiet weekend, and in library study rooms. I have also shared insights online in the new online Discord Meditation community.

It’s Worth Sharing Your Insights

It’s worth figuring out the logistics so that you can help others begin. By teaching, you’re sharing and learning. If you let the wisdom flow through you, it will feel as natural as breathing. It’s a natural choice which brings you closer to oneness and wholeness. For me specifically, it’s a natural expression of my Personal Mission as shared in Resilience and Optimism. Good luck and happy sharing.

Meditation Mind Community on Discord

Humans love to compare experiences and share what they learn. Sharing knowledge, compassion, and wisdom makes us all stronger. With meditation, there are certain natural questions and experiences that come up. Although the meditation learning experience is best facilitated by interacting with a reputable meditation instructor, it’s fun and comforting to casually interact with other meditators.

If you’re looking for an online community of passionate meditators where you can post a thought, question or just want to say hi, the best online meditation community I have found is the Meditation Mind community on Discord. The website is titled Meditation Mind. The URL is https://meditationmind.org

Found in the #about channel, their vision statement includes:

Meditation Mind is a global community to support each other on the path of being present. We keep the emphasis on mindfulness, respect and compassion; This is a space for all interested in or practicing meditation & mindfulness and all are welcome. Self-moderation, habit building and personal maturity is our purpose for coming together

The community is run by thoughtful people who I have had the pleasure of directly interacting with online. At the time of discovering the Meditation Mind community, I was one of two organizers running our own online meditation community named Still Life. The other organizer and original founder of Still Life was Eddie Cohen. I proposed Still Life merge into the Discord community and Eddie heartily agreed!

There have been no regrets in making that move. The people are quite friendly and willing to help each other.

This Discord community formed just a few months ago and yet have hundreds of members. in the year 2018 and has 2700 members now! Whenever I get on, I see multiple posts in the #the-lounge text channel every day.

As said, they use the communication platform called Discord. Originally built for gamers, the Discord communication platform is used by many other different groups. Here’s a video that will teach you how to use Discord:

There is a Meditation Mind Discord link for joining the community. If you join, be sure to say hi on the #introductions text channel. After that, checkout the #about text channel for more details about the community.

Since this is a casual community, most of the people you will be interacting with are not meditation teachers. Also, people are people even if they meditate. So, it’s theoretically possible to run into a mean person even though I have not met one there.

Book Club

There’s a book club in the community. Be sure to check it out at #book-club! It has been active for years now.

What Am I Saying?

I am saying that I highly recommend the Meditation Mind community. Feel free to say hi to me, finneycanhelp, after you join Meditation Mind on Discord!

Update (February 2019): Removed a chat image, updated the name of the group to Meditation and Mindfulness, names of Discord communication channels, and the number of community members.  

Update (March 2019): Added Book Club section

Update (July 2020): Updated URLs and name of community to Meditation Mind. Updated number of members: “..has 2700 members..”


Forgiving and the Five Fingers of Freedom

A question from one of my favorite meditator friends:

I read the Five Fingers and they sound great! Something I have a hard time getting past is forgiving others when they don’t care. They won’t acknowledge what’s happened, and certainly don’t care if you forgive them. How do you get past that?

A fantastic question. This wonderful meditator is referring to the FinneyCanHelp Five Fingers of Freedom‘s 3rd finger, “Forgive yourself and others.” The short and quick answer is to accept reality, let go of stories, make life adjustments, and take care of yourself.

Accept Reality

Sometimes people are the embodiment of a thoughtless chaotic storm. They are a storm of indifference that sweeps through your life, cause mayhem, and then hopefully moves on. If a person is truly indifferent, I accept the chaotic storm as a natural yet untrustworthy phenomena.

Boats and Story Weather

Let Go

What stories are you telling yourself about this storm? When I observe thoughts in my mind like, “But he did this”, “She said that”, I recognize the thoughts as just stories about a storm. The storm doesn’t care about what stories are in my mind.

If a story persists, I change the story in the mind to say “The storm did this. The storm did that.” At that point, I realize I am dealing with nature as it is. Like a real thunderstorm, conditions came together to create the storm that is in front of you. It’s true that some of those conditions are based on actions from others. However, it all comes down to conditions and nature. Let go of any useless stories that are saying the same thing over and over in your mind.

Make Life Adjustments

So now, I have come to terms with the storm that I have faced or am facing. For this thunderstorm, I shall protect myself and loved ones. If the storm is over, I shall clean up the damage done to my life. If I can create different conditions so as to make the storm less likely, I shall. However, most of the time the wholesome and mindful action is to do Lovingkindness meditations, protect what I can, and stay clear of the storm’s chaotic and damaging influence.

10% Happier

To help keep perspective, the meditation I like to do is called “Anger: The Big Lie” by Sharon Salzberg in the 10% Happier meditation app. In that meditation, Sharon shares that there are lots of forces and variables at work. Being mad at someone doesn’t help you. As Sharon would put it, staying mad is “not onward leading.”

There’s a peace that comes from letting go of the useless thoughts and emotions. There’s harmony in coming back to a mindful awareness of existence.

Take Care of Yourself

For those people who are chronic indifferent storms of chaos, I drop those relationships where I can. Although you can make a slight influence on the conditions which form such a storm, you are also potentially fighting nature itself. Yes, you are giving up something by dropping a relationship, but you are gaining space to let goodness come into your life.

If it’s not possible to drop those relationships, deal with the situation like the bad weather. Make sure you take care of yourself first so that you are strong enough to take care of others as needed. Get regular exercise, good nutrition, and meditation into your life. All of this is your foundation which will help you and those around you weather any future storms in life.


Alarm clock by a bed

What Gets You Meditating, Time or Triggers?

When and why do you meditate? This question bubbled up into the mind when I was asked the following great question by Lulu, an experienced and friendly meditator:

Do you meditate at certain times, or because of certain triggers, etc?

Morning Routine

Great question! I meditate for sure as part of my morning routine. The routine goes like this:

  1. Brush my teeth to keep my teeth
  2. Take prescriptions to keep my physical health
  3. Meditate to explore my mind, satisfy my curiosity, and enjoy the benefits.

I strengthen my mind using mindfulness meditation and enjoy the benefits of Lovingkindness meditation.

Alarm clock by a bed

States of Being

My morning meditation is time based. However, I also meditate when I see that my mind or body is in a certain state. In other words, the trigger to meditate is the recognition of its useful in response to having certain states of being. States of being that encourage me to meditate include:

  • Apathy
  • Full mind – Due to learning lots of new things or life
  • Distress – What people usually call stress
  • Excessive excitement related to eustress
  • Fear or heightened concern
  • Nausea – such as when I feel sick
  • Pain
  • Sexual arousal aka feeling horny when such a feeling is untimely and distracting.
  • Sleepiness when a power nap is not appropriate

Also, I continuously practice mindfulness even while walking. Look for “Plug yourself in and let’s go for a walk” in these Guided Meditations by 10% Happier to get a sense of what’s possible while walking. Alternatively, read more of my posts about 10% Happier.

Clouds With Sun Rays

And You?

How about you? When and why do you meditate? You can reach out to me on Twitter @FinneyCanHelp or join a new Slack meditation community that I joined recently by going to http://still.onuniverse.com and click on the “Join the Community” button. Looking forward to hearing your experiences!

Team Building Your Mind Through Meditation

Are you mentally tearing yourself apart, putting yourself down, fighting yourself, and getting in your own way? Do thoughts race through your mind about all the ways you might fail and be hurt? That’s common. Yet, it’s not useful.

Wouldn’t it be great if all of you coexisted in harmony? All the parts of your mind?

Instead of just raising concerns and dealing with them logically and with love, our minds can become a factory of panic. We panic and then sometimes panic about panicking.

Time Out! Time for a Mental Meeting
Team meetings and retreats happen all the time. Organizations sink a heavy amount of investment money into them. The importance of teams building and maintaining healthy and mutually beneficial relationships that function well together is highly treasured.

Can we think about the individual as a team? The individual has a team of cells that form larger human parts working together in harmony like notes in a beautiful song. Without harmony, the song collapses in chaos. The individual is no more. The brain also works well when in a harmonic state of flow.


When a fear is injected into consciousness by one part of the brain, how will the other part of the mind handle that? To get scientific, the amygdala can inject stuff into the system and the prefrontal cortex has to know how to handle that or you get mental chaos and stress. In response to raw fear getting dumped into your experience, what will you do?

As Oren J Sofer said in the 10% Happier meditation app recording titled Just Another Emotion, “This is the universal human experience of this emotion. Everyone feels this.” There’s no need to take your emotions personally. Your emotions are not reflections of you being a good or bad person. It’s a reflection of you being human.

However, not having your mind working well together is selling your potential short.

Survival Is Not Enough

To really go all the way in life and thrive, the individual must team build their own mind. Emotional agility is the enabler of Powerfully Productive Happy Meditators. As they say, show up for yourself. Make the appointment to meditate and by doing so learn how to regulate your emotions, open up channels of creativity, and experience a positive peaceful mindset.

When you have a positive mindset, you can see solutions and opportunities that you would not see when you’re in survival mode. That is a scientific fact. When you are in survival mode, your cognitive abilities are impaired.

Meditate For Others Too

Seeking harmony of the mind through meditation helps those around you. You’re doing this for all those you interact with and the people they interact with. Relationships are the slender strands that tie together all of humanity.

I See Teams Everywhere

I encourage you to explore this notion of your mind being its own team. You’re a collection of mental parts striving towards harmony. See yourself as the constellation of stars in the night sky that make up you. Through Lovingkindness meditation and mindfulness meditation, you can harmonize all of your mental parts and your relationships with others.

Show Me Meditation

The snow fell hard as I approached the building. Ah! I saw a nice Show Me Dharma sign. I had arrived where they do Insight Meditation and Sunday morning service was about to begin. There’s a playground here too. Knowing that it’s a kid friendly area felt like a good sign.

Show Me Dharma Sign

Some young teenagers were gathering near the entrance. They looked excited and eager as a woman was gathering them up and doing a pre-entrance talk with them. It certainly feels like a field day!

By some strange coincidence, I ended up ahead of the woman letting in the youths. I smiled and mentioned that this was my first time there. In a soft friendly voice, she said “welcome!”


She explained to all that we take off our shoes here at the entrance. I said with a smile, “Just like at home. “

In an attempt to not get his feet wet, a young teenage boy gracefully leaped from the doorway and softly landed to the side. Impressive! Perhaps, I can do a similar feat and keep my socks dry too. I did a small side leap and landed in front of the wooden bench. Excellent!

With shoes off and feet dry, I thanked the young nimble youth with a smile and gave a thumbs up. He gave me an uncertain yet grateful thumbs up back not knowing what he did. I explained, “You showed me the way to keeping my socks dry. Thank you.”

The place had a familiar feeling to it. It was small yet clean and organized. There was a small library with books in their shelves. The place certainly felt established. It felt cozy yet homey.

Fragrance Free means one can breathe with ease

Staking Out My Territory

I walked up a short flight of stairs into a small room where there were meditation cushions that one could use. Nice! There were plenty in there. As someone who has bought a zafu in the last few years, I know zafus and zabutons don’t come cheap. I am impressed.

From their website, I know they have chairs. So, I continued on past the cushions. The soft-voiced woman said to me, “There are cushions available.” I politely shared that I am “pro-chair” and thanked her. On that note, there’s a good article on how to meditate in a chair.

I walk inside, see the meditation instructor sitting on a chair, and see the donation basket. I was ready for this basket. Here in my wallet was the money I had already decided I was going to place in the basket. That helped take the awkwardness out of it. I simply recognized that they have to pay the rent and yet so do I. I pulled out the money and placed it into the basket next to the five dollar bill there.

Chairs and Meditation Cushions are Available

With the donation done, I approached the front of the room. “Hmmm. Which chair do I want to sit on?” Ugh. All I could see were cold black metal chairs. The instructor offered that there are meditation cushions available if I want. I told her that I appreciated the offer, but would like to use a chair today.

Time to choose a chair! There’s a woman sitting to my left in the front. Since I wanted to respect her space, I sat across the aisle on the right. Whoops! Big mistake. The chair is right next to a wall. If I turn my head to the right, I am kissing the wall. Yuck.

I asked the woman if she mind if I sat next to her. With a welcome and friendly tone, she said to come on over. She started to move left one chair, but I told her she didn’t have to move. “I’m not territorial. Usually.”, I said with a grin.

We introduced ourselves. I told her I was Mike and she said her name was Julie. She seemed like a kind woman. She said the instructor is Linda. Looking around, I was one of two males in the room. There’s probably fifteen people that were there.

The Service Begins

The service began with the instructor ringing a bell. She said something like:

We usually start the service by doing a meditation walk.

“Oh really?”, I am thinking. Cold tiny frozen ice crystals aka snow is coming down. Brrr.

“However, since it’s nasty outside we will do something different.”, she said. “Thank you!” I said to her in my mind. I gave her a mental hug.

Show Me Dharma Building Back

Show Me Dharma

She said we would instead do a practice where one person asks the other “Who are you?” and the other listens deeply. Both are to set aside their typical narratives / stories and completely be in the present moment.

“Ah! Free word association. I presume they prefer us to respond in a safe-for-work manner. Ha ha!”, I thought and gave her a big grin. I wonder if she knew what I was thinking?

Rae, my online meditation instructor from the 10% Happier meditation app, says that’s known as an inquiry practice. Good to know.

Who Are You?

We began. Since neither Julie nor I had a preference, I playfully pretended to flip a coin up into the air. Catching the invisible coin and flipping it onto the back of my hand, the invisible coin landed showing heads. In that way, I became the first “speaker.”

Inwardly, I said to myself, “Just dive in deep. Just go for it. Open my heart and see what happens.”

Whoops! Oh! I instantly felt an opening up sensation and tears of happiness, love, and joy were beginning to twinkle in my eyes. As shared in “Good” Meditation Growth Then Tears Flowed, this emotional response to mentally opening my heart is not new to me.

“Who are you?”,Julie asked. I said, “I am the one who tears easily.” OK. She’s been warned. I don’t actually cry often. However, she deserved a fair warning  and I answered truthfully in the context it was asked.

Julie: Who are you?

Mike (me): I am the snowflake on the hill.

Julie: Who are you?

Mike: I am the … (oops stopping myself). I explain I was going to say I was the enlightened one. However, that didn’t seem proper.

Julie: Who are you?

Mike: The sleepy one. (Daylight Saving just happened.)

Julie: Who are you?

Mike: A gentle breeze in the wind.

Julie: Who are you?

Mike: A writer

Julie: Who are you?

Mike: I am the snowman on a hill.

Julie: Who are you?

Mike: I am love.

My eyes open. Our eyes meet. It’s an interesting sensation to do a meditative practice while your eyes are meeting another’s eyes.

Julie: Who are you?

Mike: Curious

Next we switched. Out of respect, I will leave her responses out. However, I will share one thing. She seeks enlightenment. No surprise there. I thought to myself the following:

Oh Julie, my new found friend. Seeking enlightenment is like trying to grab a floating ballon by poking it with a finger. Strongly seeking enlightenment will push it away. Through the practice, you should just allow enlightenment to open you to life and to all you meet.

Someday, I may get to tell her.


The inquiry practice was followed up with a discussion about discomfort. Lynn asked if anyone wanted to share about the discomfort they experienced while doing the practice. No one said anything for awhile. So, I half raised my hand and got a head nod to proceed.

I shared that one of the moments of discomfort involved crying. (Ha ha! I got two of the youths glancing back at me and doing a double take. Welcome to a truly open discussion, my young friends.) I shared:

When opening your heart without reservation, tears can flow. I’ve learned that it’s best just to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Another person shared her awesome insights into vulnerability and then the instructor spoke. She spoke of suffering. In Meditating on Suffering From Unawareness, I go into suffering from the perspective of life being intrinsically dissatisfying due to continual change and how to handle that. However, Lynn was sharing something more tangible. She shared her own physical suffering from extreme back pain. Ouch! It was a great dharma talk about the importance of opening up to the experience of suffering in all its forms when you can. Beyond other benefits, you’ll experience more life that way.

After the dharma talk, we began the thirty minute meditation. During this silent meditation there was the obligatory stomach growling from one of the youths there. I wanted to support them by saying “Hey. Stomach noises are natural. Experienced meditators have heard much worse. Believe me. It doesn’t matter to the meditation pros what biological noises you make.”

Announcements and Community Outreach

After the thirty minute silent meditation, announcements were made. They have a “Caring Committee” and one of their activities is the Donate for Puerto Rico. Using the donated money, they order lamps at a discount and send the lamps to the people in Puerto Rico who are are still suffering from Hurricane Maria. As you may know, a lack of power there is still an issue. As shared in Rebuilding Puerto Rico’s Power Grid:

But U.S. officials were saying that remote areas in “challenging terrains” would not get service until the end of May.

That threw a little more light on how Show Me Dharma contributes back to the global community. Well done!

Bowing to the Buddha Statue is Optional

Service Completed

Service ended with a lowering of the head and hands in prayer. I lowered my head and briefly held my hands up as in prayer. This time though, I decided not to bow to the Buddha statue. To be clear, holding up my hands and bowing is optional and not a form of worship for me. After a nice chat with Julie about how I first got interested in meditation and she in Buddhism, it was time to go. Making my way back to the wooden bench, I started to put my shoes on. Wouldn’t you know it? Julie’s shoes were right behind my legs where I was sitting. What were the odds of that happening?

As I put on my shoes, I ended up in a nice conversation with a young woman and another woman about genealogy. Without going into the whole conversation, there was a nice idea that came out it.

Knowing our ancestors faced terrible trials can give us strength. This inspires us to overcome our own challenges.

After that, I gave a farewell and mindfully walked to the car with gratefulness in my heart.

Update: After speaking with Julie and getting her permission, I changed the name used in this blog post from Jan to Julie. (Thank you, Julie. Your support and understanding is appreciated.) I also changed the instructor’s name to her true name of Linda. All the names of the teachers for Show Me Dharma are publicly available.

Second Update: Images of the inside were inserted and a link to bowing not being a form of worship was added. Thanks goes to Joe McCormack for his help in taking the inside images.