A new direction…

My practice seems to be taking off in a new direction.

Actually it’s more of a rejuvenation of my familiar practice, though it feels like a new direction in many ways. I just began Dharma mentoring with a teacher, Therese, whose teachings I blogged about a bit in The Hybrid Way, and after the first call I’m feeling so strong and serious in my practice that I’m starting a whole new thread here on Shunyata’s Apprentice, which I’m calling Real Practice.

This path to a rejuvenation of my practice really began back in February with the “Waking Up to Your Life” online sangha experience with Maia Duerr and Katya Lesher.

WUYL was great, and got me back on track with a consistent practice, and it was through this experience that I built up the confidence to take on the dharma mentoring, which I had been considering since spring of 2014 when I first sat a sesshin with Therese. The people of that online experience, which included people from all around the US and Canada, I now consider my virtual sangha.

We were together for three months, with a website, a Facebook group (closed), and monthly one-on-one phone calls plus two group calls. Maia and Katya provided lots of programmatic material for us, and the exchanges were lively and warm. I think everyone deepened their practice or got established in a practice through the process.

I highly recommend it for people without access to teacher and sangha. Maia is online at Liberated Life Project and I understand that they will be doing another Waking Up to Your Life this fall.

After a few years of “wandering in the wilderness” [see The Hybrid Way] it feels real good to be in a stable, vital practice again. My original Zen teacher always told me, “If you don’t feel like sitting, don’t sit. When you don’t sit, you discover why you want to.” My period of disturbed, lost sitting – what the old masters called “Bompo Zen” – certainly has convinced me that I want to sit, and I need to sit consistently in order to live a productive, fulfilled life.

I am grateful to all of these people, and the people of Red Clay Sangha in Atlanta, for their support and for being there to guide me back to the cushion.

And I am profoundly grateful to Therese for giving me the opportunity to work with her in this Dharma mentoring project.

As part of this new level of practice, I am committing here to keeping a journal of my experience with practice and to post at least some of that here in the hope that it will be helpful to others who may be struggling to find a real, meaningful practice.

May all beings awaken from forgetfulness and realize their true home. Much Metta!

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