Author Archives: Chris Towery

April 22-28

“The realization of no-self is not at all nihilistic. It simply means that the self is something different from what we habitually assume it to be.”

-Guo Jun

This Week’s Discussion Topic
What did you consider “Self” to be before you started practicing? How would you describe Self now that you’ve gotten to know your mind and its qualities of perception better?

Note: There is no “wrong” answer, as the question is merely asking for your opinion.

March 4-10

“Death is all around us everywhere. For the most part—following the lead of our culture—we avoid death. But if we do open our hearts to this fact of our lives, it can be a great help to us. It can teach us how to live.”

-Larry Rosenberg

This Week’s Discussion Topic
What lessons have you learned from being around death and the dying?

Feb. 4-10

“We need not be limited by our stories. We are much more mysterious than they are.”

-Mark Epstein

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Discuss some of the “stories” you’ve told/tell yourself about “yourself” and/or “reality.” Or, what story are you currently formulating in your mind about this DCZC meeting we’re having right now? For example, how do you think tonight’s sit went—was it productive or otherwise?

Jan. 28-Feb 3

“When we make the effort to understand what may seem strange in the religious practices of others, we may find that it opens the door to something beyond the particular case, something quite general: the capacity of humans to participate in divinity.”

-Robert Bellah

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
What’s one Buddhist ritual or practice that you initially thought was strange, but have since found to be  useful and/or practical?

Jan. 14-27

“When a compassionate intention arises, don’t evaluate it. Trust it. Just do it.”

-Colin Beavan

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Can you think of any situation or circumstance where practicing compassion for another would NOT be appropriate? Discuss.

Jan. 14-20

“When we start to develop maitri for ourselves—unconditional acceptance of ourselves—then we’re really taking care of ourselves in a way that pays off. We feel more at home with our own bodies and minds and more at home in the world. As our kindness for ourselves grows, so does our kindness for other people.”

-Pema Chödrön

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Do you often find it harder to forgive yourself, compared to forgiving others? Discuss reasons why/why not…

 

Jan. 7-13

“Spiritual practice ought to be childish. It ought to help us recapture something that gets lost in the process of growing up. It ought to foster a sense of play, a sense of magic, a sense of humor.”

-Norman Fischer

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Discuss some of the behaviors that you engaged in as a child that were centered on the non-dual or egoless qualities of life.

Dec. 10-16

“Compassion is not condescension, but a leveling of the playing field, recognition of yourself in others and an acceptance that their stress is your stress, that their happiness is your own.”

-Stephen Schettini

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Discuss some of the situations and/or people that you find challenging to maintain compassion with/for.

Nov. 19-Dec. 2

“We don’t wish for suffering, but once we understand how to be in relationship with it, it becomes the means through which we mature as loving and wise people.”

-Thanissara

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Discuss a personal example of how suffering has made you more wise and/or loving.

Nov. 12-18

“When we meditate, we begin to discover the fallacy in reducing our identity to any one of the many conditions that form us.”

—Martine Batchelor

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Discuss how your relationship with your thoughts has evolved since you began practicing.