Helen (heleninwales) wrote,
Helen
heleninwales

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I think this needs looking into further

I'm supposed to be working, so I don't have time to write the full saga of my erratic spiritual journey from C of E to Methodist to rejection of the traditional Christian God yet still Looking for Something to Zen Buddhist, but I think fjm might have provided the answer to my ongoing problem of finding a bunch of like-minded people to meet with regularly for meditation/prayer.

Not all Quakers are Christians.

I didn't know that, but now I do it means that a group of Friends might be exactly what I'm looking for and (having checked) there is a local group meeting only a few minutes walk from my house.

I have for some years considered myself a Buddhist and I have tried several times to find a local Buddhist group. I quite liked the Western Buddhist Order, but their nearest meetings took place on a Wednesday evening in Llangollen, which is 1 hour's drive away. Not very practical, especially as I teach evening classes. I tried visiting a friend's Zen group in Chester, but that is even further, though they did meet on Sunday mornings. But driving 1½ hours each way for an hour or so of meditation is just not cost effective in terms of spiritual peace and happiness. Finally I tried the small local Buddhist group, but they also met on a weekday evening and also were mostly Tibetan Buddhist. I went to some of their special events and got quite a lot out of them, but I didn't quite click with the people there because -- how can I phrase this tactfully? -- they were a bit too woolly and New Agey for me. Also very hooked up on the reincarnation aspects of Buddhism, which (as far as I can make out) Zen doesn't much bother with.

So I remained a rather pathetic lone Buddhist who read books and tried to meditate alone and gave up trying to find a group to join because I have to admit that the whole chanting aspect doesn't do anything for me. Having been brought up mostly Methodist, it's completely alien and I feel awkward. It's the core of Zen that I connect with, not the religious trappings from another culture whether that's Tibet or Japan.

But if you don't have to be a Christian to be a Friend (and I'm not not-a-Christian, I have no problems with the Jesus of the New Testament), then that suddenly opens up a whole load of possibilities.

I feel like I've been looking all over the house for the car keys and have suddenly realised that they're in my pocket all the time.
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