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."
The Vivekananda quote below resonates deeply with me as I remember how much time on my spiritual path I spent looking for the one religion or spiritual tradition in which I belonged. There is a spiritual adage admonishing the eclectic seeker for digging many shallow wells that loomed large in my mind as I experimented, studied and practiced in different traditions. Surely, I thought, I would find one spiritual tradition that would feel like home.
Eventually I understood that you had to look at the results of the practice. If the path takes you to a place beyond dogma and belief, the labels themselves become meaningless. Finally it occurred to me if you can see the fruits of the practice perhaps it is also possible to dig one deep well using many tools.
A Sannyasin cannot belong to any religion, for his is a life of independent thought, which draws from all religions; his is a life of realization, not merely of theory or belief, much less of dogma.~Swami Vivekananda