Spirit Grooves Blogs

Published on September 5, 2014

I find myself in the midst of an inner change and
crossing over from being a little private to being more public as regards sharing the dharma. I know, you already think I am sharing, but here I am talking about sharing with some of you on a one-to-one basis. Probably this decision simply is part of the fall-out from my recent 10-day meditation intensive in New York, which was a dramatic and powerful experience.

And I am talking about learning meditation as in "you learning meditation." I am already working on it and have been for decades. Margaret and I have been running a Buddhist meditation center since the 1980s. It is called Heart Center KKSG (Karma Kagyu Study Center), and we have had many events here and outreach as well.

It has become clear to me that meditation and its results is the most important activity I am involved in. It is also clear to me that it is not so easy for people to learn to meditate properly. By "properly," I mean to get results that encourage us to keep going. We really need someone to bounce stuff off of, and such persons are rare. I might be that person for a few of you.

And for some insane reason folks in America think that beginning meditation is something private, something that should not be shared or talked about. That is a bunch of hooey and I proved it to myself while at the monastery. I asked a Tibetan Khenpo, who speaks English, whether in Tibet and at the monasteries in India beginning students in meditation keep their experiences to themselves. And he clearly told me that there is nothing private about beginning meditation like Shamata, and that students talk about and vet their experience with their teachers and each other constantly. It is a simple technique, so let some air in!

The "private" part of meditation experience comes much later when your root lama gives you special teachings just for you, dharma advice for your particular conditions and dharma path. That is held privately.

I have been blogging dharma posts here on Facebook for years, hoping some of what I write will be useful and help to introduce the dharma to those who might appreciate it. Now I want to up the ante and begin to work with a few of you on a one-to-one basis. This is a big decision for me because my time, like yours, is precious.

I have been given permission by my dharma teacher of thirty years to teach basic meditation practices like Shamata, Lojong, and Vipassana, and have been teaching beginning meditation for a long time, so I am good-to-go. Here is the deal.

If you have found that what I write and how I present things makes sense to you, consider working with me on a personal basis, one-to-one. I am not looking for money, but only trying to be of help. And I can't do an unlimited amount of this either. I have a family and responsibilities just as many of you do.

We can work by email, Facebook chat, and phone. I will do my best to point you in the right direction and be there for you if you have questions. However, I won't sugar coat anything and I will expect you to make a real effort – that kind of thing. I am not doing you a favor, either. I am doing myself a favor by learning to work with those interested in the dharma. I need to do this too.

So, think about it. If you want to get started with basic mediation or need some help keeping it going, I may be able to help.

Send me an email (not just a Facebook message) at Michael@Erlewine.net, so I can put your information in a folder and keep track of it. You can message me too on Facebook if you want, but I need that email to make it possible to manage this.

Let's start out by talking about this idea here. Your thoughts please?

[Photo is a close-up of an Echevaria flower.]