Actually turning up for the first time... post-COVID

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Paul2020
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Actually turning up for the first time... post-COVID

Post by Paul2020 »

Hello all,

I had a single opportunity to visit my local Kagyu Buddhist institute before the second wave came and everything was locked down. I was right at the start of my journey. So a complete newbie to Buddhism. Since them, I have attended guided meditations via Zoom four nights a week with the Lama of the institute. This has really helped.

Now the restrictions have eased again and the evening Zoom guided meditations are no longer taking place.

I am now at a quandary: how do I actually fit in at the temple and what should I expect. I see there are specific training events and retreats, none of which work with my schedule right now. Is it considered ok to simply walk into a template when there is guided event happening and meditate in silence?

I'm not sure what the correct etiquette is... should I wait under I am able to commit to attending one of the formal weekend retreats (e.g. introduction to chiné).

Does anyone with more experience than I have a view on this?

Any advice much appreciatd,

Paul
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Hazel
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Re: Actually turning up for the first time... post-COVID

Post by Hazel »

There's probably an email address or something you can contact to ask. Best to get it from the source! And also, that forms another connection with the community :-).
Happy Pride month to my queer dharma siblings!

What do you see when you turn out the lights?
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Actually turning up for the first time... post-COVID

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Paul2020 wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 9:25 pm Hello all,

I had a single opportunity to visit my local Kagyu Buddhist institute before the second wave came and everything was locked down. I was right at the start of my journey. So a complete newbie to Buddhism. Since them, I have attended guided meditations via Zoom four nights a week with the Lama of the institute. This has really helped.

Now the restrictions have eased again and the evening Zoom guided meditations are no longer taking place.

I am now at a quandary: how do I actually fit in at the temple and what should I expect. I see there are specific training events and retreats, none of which work with my schedule right now. Is it considered ok to simply walk into a template when there is guided event happening and meditate in silence?

I'm not sure what the correct etiquette is... should I wait under I am able to commit to attending one of the formal weekend retreats (e.g. introduction to chiné).

Does anyone with more experience than I have a view on this?

Any advice much appreciatd,

Paul
You should ask, but most Dharma centers open to the public don't have very specific expectations for people who have never been. Be polite, ask questions, etc., just like anything else. If it's a monastery or something there might be more protocol, but most centers I've been to or attended expect that 90% of people walking through the door will have no idea what's going on. In that sense, you are likely well ahead of the curve.

Find the most general practice they have and go to that one, it tends to be the one more geared towards a newer or more general audience.

All just my experience of course.
There's no hoarding what has vanished,
No piling up for the future;
Those who have been born are standing
Like a seed upon a needle.

-Guhatthaka-suttadinesso
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Paul2020
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Re: Actually turning up for the first time... post-COVID

Post by Paul2020 »

Many thanks for the insight. I think it's just as case of turning and seeing what's going on. There is a little shop there which is staffed, so I could always go in there and ask what I should and where I should go. I will definitely enroll on an upcoming weekend retreat it's just not good timing for me right now.

I've also sent an email to the centre to see what they suggest. It is sent in a lovely park, so if nothing else, you could go for a nice walk around the grounds and visit the stupa.
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Actually turning up for the first time... post-COVID

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Also everyone is going to have a bit of social anxiety for a while as re-opening etc. happens, so remember you are never the only one in the room who is nervous or uncomfortable.
There's no hoarding what has vanished,
No piling up for the future;
Those who have been born are standing
Like a seed upon a needle.

-Guhatthaka-suttadinesso
avatamsaka3
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Re: Actually turning up for the first time... post-COVID

Post by avatamsaka3 »

how do I actually fit in at the temple and what should I expect.
Expect to find the wisdom that helps reduce suffering. Trying to fit in often causes suffering in us, or makes us cause suffering in the lives of others: for instance, when people don't like us, when we don't like someone else, or when some people are in an "in" group and some are in an "out" group. Remember that you only (for sure) have control over your own actions. Are they consistent with what the tradition you follow teaches under the category of ethics?

Expect that people who go to dharma centers have probably suffered and experienced a lot of tragedy, trauma, disappointment, etc. Be careful not to rely on those who are not reliable sources of refuge.

All the kindness and courtesy you should show to others needs to be based on an understanding of how suffering operates, not on fear, or on expectations, or on greediness for engagement.

I hope this helps.
Last edited by avatamsaka3 on Thu Jun 24, 2021 5:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Paul2020
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Re: Actually turning up for the first time... post-COVID

Post by Paul2020 »

Many thanks again. I contacted the centre directly by email. And the administrator there was very helpful and reassuring. I'm booking myself in for a two-night stay so I can get a feel for the place and also take part in the daily activities. I'm also going to attend a beginner's Chiné weekend in October.
Danny
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Re: Actually turning up for the first time... post-COVID

Post by Danny »

Paul2020 wrote: Sat Jul 10, 2021 2:07 pm Many thanks again. I contacted the centre directly by email. And the administrator there was very helpful and reassuring. I'm booking myself in for a two-night stay so I can get a feel for the place and also take part in the daily activities. I'm also going to attend a beginner's Chiné weekend in October.
Cool. It’s good to also make yourself available for chores,
Free up someone’s time by taking on some duties.
That goes a long way.
If you can of course.
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Paul2020
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Re: Actually turning up for the first time... post-COVID

Post by Paul2020 »

Thanks Danny for confirming what I already thought: volunteering to take on some of the daily chores is a polite thing to do, and with the correct intention. That's a big reason why I'm staying overnight. To help with the end of day tasks, and help prepare breakfast, coffee, tea and so on.
Danny
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Re: Actually turning up for the first time... post-COVID

Post by Danny »

Sincerely, good luck Paul.

D
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