I am a solitary practitioner.


I am a solitary practitioner.

by Lyn

(Todd, NC)

Todd Island Park, a great place for meditation (courtesy of www.fallcreekvacationrentals.com)

Todd Island Park, a great place for meditation (courtesy of www.fallcreekvacationrentals.com)

My teacher and co-meditator moved away a couple years ago.

I am faithful to my Sunday morning sitting and somewhat less to every day. Do you have any suggestions or ideas for making my practice more meaningful/ easy/ productive …I guess the word is “better”, or more sustainable?

I feel that I have little direction or purpose, but maybe that’s not the point. Your ideas and thoughts would be very helpful to me. Thanks


*****************My Answer********************

Dear Lyn,

thank you for your question. I am not great at practicing myself but I might have a tip or two for you.

The first, most obvious one, would be for you to look for a community. You didn’t tell me what kind of meditation you are doing so I can only guess. If you do Zen meditation, for example, there is a group at the Unitarian Church in Abingdon VA on Saturday at 10:00 AM. That is what? 50 miles from you?

The second, less obvious but better way, would be to start your own group, become a teacher yourself.

“What?” I hear you say? Well, there is nothing more motivating than teaching when you want to do your best at something.

Here are some reasons why teaching is a good idea:

1-You already know it. You have been taught and you practice regularly.

2-New comers know nothing and the little you think you might know is more than what they know so it would be an incredible help to them.

3-You would be accountable to your students, motivating you to do what you are supposed to.

4-The best way to learn something is to teach it. I learn English because I was hired to teach it in Japan. I read without problems but my fluency was far from perfect and my pronunciation was…well. You get the point.

By teaching something, you are forced to stop and think about what you are doing to be able to explain it in a good, understandable way. This will make you understand better yourself.

What you don’t know, you will research and thus improve your understanding.

5-Part of the Dharma is help others on the path to enlightenment. There is no need to try and “convert” anyone but even devout Christians or agnostics might benefit from meditation.

So, put an ad somewhere, start a meet-up (look up the website) or a Facebook group. Find one or more people willing and interested in practicing with you.

If you are ready, the students will come to you.

Tell us how it is doing in the comments section below, please.


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