Good evening and welcome to Monday Group Meditation, we will be sitting from 7:30 to 10:00 PM EST. It is not necessary to sit for the entire extended time, which is set up to make it convenient for people in four North American Time Zones; sit for as long as you like and when it is most convenient for you.
Monday Group Meditation is open to everyone, believers and non-believers of all stripes who are interested in gathering in silence. If you are new to meditation and would like to try it for yourself, Mindful Nature gave a good description of one way to meditate in an earlier diary, copied and pasted below:
"It is a matter of focusing attention mostly. In many traditions, the idea is to sit and focus on the rising and falling of the breath. Not controlling it, but sitting in a relaxed fashion and merely observing experiences of breathing, sounds, etc. Be aware of your thoughts, but don't engage in them. When your mind wanders (it will, often), then return to focus on breath and repeat."
We habitually erect a barrier called blame that keeps us from communicating genuinely with others, and we fortify it with our concepts of who's right and who's wrong. We do that with the people who are closest to us and we do it with political systems, with all kinds of things that we don't like about our associates or our society. It is a very common, ancient, well-perfected device for trying to feel better. Blame others. Blaming is a way to protect your heart, trying to protect what is soft and open and tender in yourself. Rather than own that pain, we scramble to find some comfortable ground.--Pema Chodron