Meditation Instructors Gather
The first Meditation Instructors’ Gathering for 2013 took place in Chicago in January, directed by Acharya Dale Asrael, Dean of Meditation Instructors, and Kalapa Acharya Adam Lobel. Over sixty meditation instructors attended, with forty traveling from various locations in the U.S., and several from Canada and Europe. It was a rich four days of daily practice and study of the Shambhala Meditation text and some of the exercises described in it, which Rinpoche has asked that we study together in a deep and contemplative way.
The second focus of the Gathering arose from the Sakyong’s recent challenge to meditation instructors: “Don’t teach people something; help them discover something.” Each day, we discussed and practiced the skills of embodied listening and inquiry, and experienced the profound level of communication and personal exploration these methods support.
On Saturday evening, we initiated a new form — Meditation Instructors’ Circles — a way to talk with one another about the realities of our work as meditation instructors in our various Centers. Here, we were able to learn from and support each other in a peer mentorship format.
The Gathering concluded with the first presentation of the new, beautiful Meditation Instructors’ pin, marked with the wheel of dharma insignia chosen by the Sakyong and designed by John Weber.
Future Meditation Instructors’ Gatherings will be held this year in:
San Francisco: March 14-17
Karme Choling: June 6-9
New York: July 4-7
Los Angeles: July 18-21
Atlanta: October 10-13
Dates are still being arranged for Boulder.
All meditation instructors are strongly encouraged to attend one of the Gatherings, as an opportunity to deepen our own meditation and to practice the skills of hearing and inquiry. This is essential in preparing to guide our students in Shambhala Meditation, when they return from the specific programs at which it is presented (Being Brave Shambhala Retreats; Enlightened Society Assemblies; and certain pilot dathuns and half-dathuns). The M.I. Gatherings are open to vajrayana practitioners only.