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Many Paths to Meditation and the Reed College connection

June 26, 2015

One observation that I've made since opening Karuna (just seven weeks ago!) is that meditators come from diverse backgrounds. Or perhaps I should say people who want to sit comfortably on the ground are not just Buddhist! I've been meeting people from all walks of life, from Sikkh to Quaker, from Zen to Theravada, from Vippasana to a ton of unaffiliated folks who are simply exploring ways to balance their lives.


I've begun to have my first returning customers! One woman said she bought a gomden at my former location and was returning to buy a zabuton. A man named Kevin came in to buy a cushion during my grand opening. I felt bad because it was chaotic in the store and he was trying to decide on the best cushion for a Goenka retreat that he was attending in Northern California (these are completely free, by the way!)  After his retreat he returned to Karuna to get an additional cushion. He tried a bunch of options and realized that he liked the bench the most. Turns out that he is an assistant professor of Chinese at Reed College and is now moving to teach at Iowa State. Gloria had been to a number of excellent retreats- Sharon Salzberg's retreat (at Cloud Mountain, I think) and Plum Village (Thich Nhat Hahn's place in France). I'm still exploring retreat opportunies in Oregon (I think Cloud Mountain and Breitenbush are the main ones) Here's a blog about California retreats that I found interesting.


Ted, a recent Reed College grad (!), wanted to get a cushion that he could put in his backpack. He wanted to be able to transport it to the park where he could meditate under the greenery of the trees.  This got me thinking about the new Meetup I started, the Portland Meditation Meetup. The weather has been so hot and we all want to be outside. Why don't we meditate in the park. My meet up will be doing that occasionally. It's along the lines of a contemplative hike but this is a real statement; hey basketball players, homeless persons and families - we are here and we are going to fill the space with…silence. If you want to learn how to meditate I am offering instruction at Karuna on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month. You can reserve a spot at the Meetup site.


Have you shopped at Karuna? I would be so grateful for your review!

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