Archive for Sangha & Support

When I was invited last month to be interviewed for the “Buddhist Geek” podcast  –  I was surprised.  I did not consider myself to be quite Buddhist enough or geeky enough – but I have just returned from the 2nd day of the first  Buddhist Geek Conference and I want to say, “These are my people!”

In June, Vincent Horn, a founder & the main interviewer of Buddhist Geeks, sent me an email saying that, based on my  website & interviews he’d seen me do with Shinzen & Ken McLeod, he thought we could have a really interesting conversation.   And we did.  Here’s a link.

What impressed me about this interview is that this was the first time anyone asked me about how acting & meditation share skills – and what meditators could learn from the process of acting.  I’ve been teaching actors for over 20 years and meditators for about 12 – and needless to say, I was instantly struck when I began meditating by the similar muscles used in both  – but, as a teacher, found that  actors were rarely that interested in really learning the depths of meditation and  meditators were even more rarely interested in learning about the acting process – so I’ve just subtly ‘slipped in’ some ‘cross pollination’ on my own.  But this was really the basis of what Vincent wanted to talk about and I was just so impressed that he – and his audience – would be interested in that.  (And needless to say, I had alot to say on the topic.)

But here at this conference,  even more satisfying discussions are taking place -about Buddhism, practice, purpose, use of technology with it all – with people in their 20’s & 70’s.  Everyone has an interesting & unique perspective – writers, computer programmers, meditators, respected teachers  – all have come together to  interact & share – such riches.  (And some have come from as  far as England & Europe for this exchange.)

I can honestly say that there has not been one conversation I’ve had in the past 2 days that hasn’t been interesting, stimulating….and downright fun.  It’s a high, for sure.  Yes, who knew?  These, indeed, are my people.

In fact, one of the most fun discussion groups I joined was one this afternoon about blogging where I got to talk with & listen to guys who have been doing this in all sorts of contexts for years – all candidly sharing their experience & insights.   I asked questions, was captivated by the variety responses, and the frank and often funny dialogue.   And at the end, we each spoke of why we wanted to write….and blog.

And thus inspired, I come home today to write my first blog entry.   I’ve often heard a friend &  fellow meditation teacher tell at his retreats of Ananda asking the Buddha if  noble friends & noble conversations were half of the holy life, and the Buddha saying to Ananda – “No!  Noble friends & noble conversations  are the whole of the holy life!”

There is something to that, to the inspiration, comradeship, support, enjoyment, & fulfilment that comes from such interactions – and I, for one, do not create enough time and/or space for that exchange in my life.  So, still feeling the feelings I just described – and before I go back tomorrow for the last day of the conference – I hereby make a resolution to value & make this kind of exchange more of a priority.

And maybe this first blog – will be a step in that direction.

To Noble Friends – and yes, Noble Noble Conversations.

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