On Monday 12/28, we had an open topic night. Phil kicked it off giving us a brief summary of an article he had written last week (see here)
We talked for a little while about the importance of moderation and not getting sucked up into the commercial side of Christmas. In addition, there was agreement on how critical it is that we instill the correct values related to giving and receiving to the children in our lives. From here we talked for a while about the traditional Buddhist stance on God. Dave pointed out that its often best to turn directly to the Buddha’s words when trying to tackle such a major topic as this. The Buddha apparently did not speak very much about God and religions. He wanted his followers to remain focused on Nirvana without distractions, and I believe we’ve all seen a little bit of that in our lives. Anyway, I’m going to step away from this subject & as a final comment I believe our sangha’s view on God is that it is a personal choice for each of us and that it certainly does not hinder our Buddhist practice.
The discussion went in several directions including mentions of the 12-step program and a buddhist version of such–dharmapunx. There are apparently a few of these types of 12-step programs with a focus on Buddhism–one such program that appears quite legitimate is founded by author Kevin Griffin. His site has several books, one of which includes praise by Jack Kornfield.
In the end, it was a great discussion and I for one enjoyed everyone’s input. I look forward to seeing some of you for our New Year’s Eve gathering and wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year.