Thank you all for the support you have given me during this 11 month hiatus.
Aloha Sangha will resume the weekly newsletter this week. The group sessions, however are still on hold for the time being. I will be available via email if you need any help.
It was very important that I took this break. It gave me time to evaluate my life and this sangha.
I went through periods of clinical depression and very difficult acting out behavior on my part, such as compulsive spending, and problems being honest with myself and others. Psychotherapy has been very useful, as has been my own Dhamma study and meditation.
I questioned deeply held beliefs about the Dhamma, and if it is even worth it for me to even try to communicate my limited understanding.
My concern is to offer the sangha the best guidance I can in approaching the remarkable Early Buddhist teachings both in terms of practice as well as in their integration into the crazy world we live in.
My hope is to present the teachings as objectively as possible, and let them work their magic without my interference.
I have benefited immensely from email correspondence with my mentors in the USA. There are also two senior Theravada Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka I have been studying with during this hiatus. They offered to answer any questions which you may have through email.
I have little interest in approaching this work from what currently passes for “mindfulness” in our times. I stay as far away as possible from this “capitalist hijacking” of the pristine teachings.
Although my own practice is decidedly not secular, I have no problem in presenting the Dhamma in a way that satisfies a secular audience, which is quite different from what has been criticized as the “McMindulness” movement.
The question of resuming group meetings, either online or perhaps later in person, is one I am still evaluating. One option I am exploring is to invite one of my mentors to participate online, but this is proving challenging due to time zone issues.
Please stay subscribed to the weekly newsletter, as any changes in this matter will be announced there.
I thank you all again for all your concerns and support. I have been trying to answer every email I have received form you all, and have still not responded to every single one. Please be patient as I intend to do this soon.
Please feel free to share your comments or suggestions below.
With heartfelt metta. May you be well, happy and peaceful.
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