This site is committed to supporting those people whose path of growth is through Buddhism and Buddhist meditation. So what is Buddhism? Buddhism is a word invented by British scholars and Christian missionaries at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Buddha is a word that means awake, awakened, or enlightened. It might be thought of as the path to awakening as revealed and taught by the Buddha Gautama. We have some difficulty in the west because our religions involve subscribing to a system of beliefs. We don't have a concept of spiritual practice that is not tied to the concept of religion.   Eastern practices aren't even thought of as spiritual practices, let alone religions. It might be better to consider them as offered paths to a richer, fuller, and more deeply satisfying life. There was no word for religion in most of the cultures of the world until we introduced that concept and imposed it upon people. What Buddha taught was a path to release suffering from our lives. Release of suffering requires a reasonably close to realistic understanding of who you are, and how the world works. This is sometimes referred to as awakening, enlightenment or nirvana. Of course an incorrect understanding will not get you where you want to go. And Buddhism offers a path to discover the truth for yourself. The path offers you a way to find your own understanding based on your own experiences. This path is sometimes referred to as the Noble Eightfold Path.

Part of this path involves meditation. Buddhist meditation begins as a method of taming our wild mind. If you don't think your mind is wild and untamed try sitting quietly for 30 minutes, remain still, and keep your attention focused on your breath. How long does it take before your mind wanders? How long does it take before you want to scratch or move? In the beginning, we need to tame our mind, and meditation is a valuable tool for accomplishing this. It serves other functions as well, but first we need to tame our mind. If you ask who the "me" is that has to tame "my" mind, that is a valuable question, but it is a question that can't be answered with the authority of direct knowledge until you have tamed your mind and you can investigate without its interference.

It's been said many times that we don't practice and study Buddhism to become better Buddhists. We practice Buddhism to become better people. We practice Buddhism to reduce our suffering, to open our hearts, to become more open peaceful and loving, to be less pulled and swayed by the cravings, desires, fears, and pulls of daily life. To obtain some degree of equanimity in the best sense of that word.

My objective is to make this path less lonely, more available, easier to share, and easier to follow. I am beginning by trying to make every significant resource available in Maricopa County available to anyone seeking those resources. To me it was amazing to discover that the resources available in Maricopa County are limited compared to what is available in other parts of the state. So I am gradually adding important resources from other parts of Arizona to this site.

As I write all of this, I recognize that I could argue well against most of what I say Buddhism is or is not about. I could argue against the very concept of growth, for example. I am trying to say something well that is important but is very difficult for me to say. The richest and fullest aspects of what we are are pre-conceptual and pre-verbal. Quieting the mind and paying attention to direct sensory experience, such as the bodily sensations involved in breathing, are important in getting below the filter of words. Please excuse my obvious weaknesses in trying to say the unsayable. Maybe I'll get to write something that says it all better at some point. I once heard it said that there isn't really much we can do to become become more of who or what we truly are; we just discard all the wrong ideas and thoughts. Only what is real will remain.

You should also notice that this site has no commercial objective. There is no advertising, no requests for money, no acceptance of payment from anyone for any consideration, no spyware in any sense of the word. This site is for no other purpose than to be helpful. Because the purpose of all the major search engines is to make money, this site may never fare well with them. It may be hard to find on a search, so share it with anyone who may be interested

When I started this site, I thought that I'd be able to devote a lot of time and focus to just it alone. That was true for some time, but it turns out that life happens, and I now understand that development and maintenance of this site may be a bit uneven. So if things get a little out of date, or if you find obvious errors, let me know. If they are not taken care of promptly, remind me again in a month or two.  : I am committed to the objectives I described.

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