Thank you for taking the time to read through this guide before your next visit. This information will help you understand some basic things about our group and thus help you be comfortable when attending in the future.
Who are we?
We are much more than a “drop in class” or a social group, although of course anyone is welcome to drop in and see what we’re about. We are a group of people who meet to learn and practice the meditation techniques of a specific Buddhist lineage. This group’s guide, Sean McNamara, is a senior student of Reggie Ray, who is a student of the late Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Reggie has encouraged Sean to teach, and Sean has done so with this group since 2008.
“Do I have to be Buddhist to come?”
No, not at all! This is open to anyone from
any background. In fact most people who attend haven’t taken the Refuge Vow (when one formally enters the Buddhist path). Sean teaches in a way that is accessible to anyone, and maintains the
view that Buddhism is primarily a path concerned with a human being’s discovery of wisdom, love, and strength that is the inherent quality of reality.
For those who want to enter the Buddhist path in a formal way, that opportunity is made available periodically. Those who don’t are still completely welcome here.
What can I expect?
We try to maintain a relaxed atmosphere, and at the same time create a structure that fosters one’s awareness. Sean teaches from his individual experience and in a personal manner – so sometimes the conversation is intimate and direct. Sometimes nothing needs to be said. This is not a “canned” situation where one’s ego expectations are fulfilled – this is an environment that could certainly disappoint your usual expectation while inspiring your deeper connection to a greater potential. First and foremost, we meditate; we are a “practicing lineage”.
What does it cost to attend?
We ask everyone to contribute financially, $5 (students or low income) to $10 (middle/upper income) per visit. There are several important reasons for this, some you might not expect:
1. To help pay for the space rental and supplies.
2. The practice of Generosity (“Dana” in Sanskrit/Pali), making donations, is actually an important aspect of the path. In our culture it’s far too easy to give “stuff” more importance than spiritual teachings – so by contributing, we’re learning to let go of our stinginess while acknowledging our deeper priorities.
3. Dana closes the circle of generosity. The teacher is a lay practitioner, so he has a regular day job, and doesn’t make a living from teaching. Yet he contributes his personal free time to pass on what he has received, and a show of gratitude communicates that this is an effort worth continuing.
I need some personal guidance, is someone available?
From time to time personal interview with Sean are offered. He
is also available by phone and email. Also, Dharma Ocean Foundation, the main group headed by Reggie Ray, makes meditation instructors available to anyone who requests them. You can learn
more about this great resource at www.DharmaOcean.org.
There is no need to determine if you are in a student-teacher relationship with the teachers here. If one decides to take Refuge and approach the path in a more structured way, this is a conversation that can be had at that point in time.
If you do ask the teacher for advice or guidance, please know that you will always be encouraged to make meditation a regular, even daily, practice. The teacher’s job is to empower the practitioner to find her or his own answers – telling you what to do is not what we do here.
Getting along with others in the group
In any group situation, conflict and misunderstanding are a natural and inevitable occurrence. If you are having difficulty with someone and would like help, please let Sean know. We need to make sure this is a safe place for everyone who comes here. Sean might speak with people individually, or might mediate a meeting between the parties involved. We can work to include difficulties into a useful part of the path.
Situations that cannot be included in our group include:
- - - Behavior which is aggressive or threatening to others
- - -Unwanted sexual behavior or harassment
- -Being disrespectful to others or the teaching space.
-Similar to professionally therapeutic situations (counseling, therapeutic massage, etc.), the teacher is not available for romantic/sexual interactions with students. Making this boundary clear makes it possible for him to speak from the heart to students and participants without it being mistaken for an inappropriate invitation.
Situations that are totally welcome include:
- Laughter, crying, asking difficult questions, making friends, taking care of oneself, coming as you are, and asking for help.
*** If you attend regularly, it’s important to make sure you are joined up on www.Meetup.com/DharmaOceanDenver (it’s free), and your profile settings allow you to receive emails from Meetup into your inbox - this is how Sean sends out special announcements and letters to the group, or alerts everyone to last minute schedule changes or cancellations.
Tuesday night is for you!
Visitors and new members, your are invited to attend on Tuesday nights. Check out our Meetup.com page for location and schedule details. If after some time you would like to join the community in a more dedicated way, speak to Sean about attending Sunday nights.
We lock the doors after we start, please arrive on time.
We need to secure the front of the building before we begin, so once we are scheduled to start, the doors are locked. We cannot interrupt a meditation class to go unlock doors during a teaching, so please arrive with a few mintues to spare so you can get settled before we start.
It is important to RSVP for each class that you want to attend
You can do so by clicking here and going to the specific page for the class you want to attend. You will be asked to "join" the meetup group in order to RSVP, and there is no fee involved in joining the group; it's just necessary to make use of our meetup page.
How to be on our Mailing List
Our Meetup.com page is how Sean McNamara sends out announcements and communicates with our larger community, so by joining the Meetup page you will automatically be on the e-mail list, stay up to date on our activities, and have opportunities to get involved.