Teachings from the Gaea Retreat. Part One

The following talk was given at the Gaea Retreat Center on May 22nd, 2015.

Welcome to Meditation Group. My name is Daniel.

The Buddha sat under a tree in the woods, kind of like this. He sat with the intention of attaining Enlightenment and eventually he did.

Let’s talk about what meditation is. Meditation is a general term for several religious practices, some different from others. These methods have the same mystical goal. To bring the awareness of the practitioner to a state in which they can come to an experience of ‘awakening’ or ‘enlightenment’. This means a state that’s beyond discursive thinking. That is, we have what’s called a ‘monkey mind’, this habit of always jumping from one thing to another. Our mind is often a crazy person. It takes us down whatever roads it wants to go, regardless of our opinions on the subject. If you’ve ever tried to sleep and been unable to because you were thinking too much, then you can understand what I’m talking about.

So, we are meditating to get a handle on this, so our minds become our servants rather than our masters. I started meditating because I had anxiety problems. I would worry and stress out about things that haven’t even happened. That was really bad for me. I tried medication for that first and it made me really crazy. Then I tried meditation and I’ve been a real lover of the practice ever since.

This practice we are going to do is going to help us concentrate and focus, calming and clarifying our thoughts.

Diligent practice will lead to great results.

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About Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel Scharpenburg is an independent dharma teacher living in Kansas City. He gives online teachings through the Open Heart Project. His writing has appeared in Lion's Roar, Patheos, Tattooed Buddha, and Elephant Journal.

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