THE NUNS OF ALOKA VIHARA MONASTIC DAYLONG “IT’S CLOSER THAN YOU THINK”

I recently found this place in San Francisco called the Mindfulness Care Center. There are a number of different classes and seminars that offer guidance for meditation and mindfulness. Each week they even offer weekly guided meditation, I think this is a powerful place for a growing community.

The Sisters of Aloka were dressed in orangeish monk type garments. They sat on meditation cushions and wore a serene smile while adorning a pleasant presence that was radiating. The sisters introduced themselves and we began to meditate for 35 minutes, they then spoke about Dhamma and the power of thought, the four virtues. We then presented the food & offered it to the Nuns. This was the first time I had been apart of something like this and it was not only insightful but a calming a nurturing experience. To be surrounded by other calm individuals, practicing peace in silence but coordinating together to present a meal. Once the Sisters served themselves and sat down, we then too ate our food in a silent meal. After eating, I took the time to reflect in my journal, I wrote this.

What a wonderful experience the “Day Retreat” is. The day began with a chant, then moved into meditation for what felt like five minutes but was really 35. I have read, studied and practiced meditation and mindfulness for some time now but what has been introduced to me today brings a different level of consciousness. After the bell had chimed to pull us out of our current though the sisters explained what Dhamma is and how to maximize mediation to reach it. Focusing on the positive, elminating the negative, going outside of self for best introspection. They explained that often time we dance around particular thoughts when we medidated and that these thoughts elicit feelings that can only bring discomfort or the time being, but if we explore the reason why we are avoiding these thoughts. We need to confront them to find comfort and are able to let go. I feel in tune with myself.”

This was the most rewarding seminar I have participated in, in a long time. I am feeling prepared for my surgery.

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