Recently divorced and at a loose end I saw a short course for women at the local college. It was called a springboard course and there were only about 10 of us on it.
One day we had to set ourselves some goals, short term and long term goals. (I reached all mine in a shorter time frame than I set, but that my friends is another story!)
Anyway one girl on the course decided to get one of her goals started and organised a meditation group. She arranged for a Buddhist monk to visit every friday to lead us in a meditation.
I remember her saying that although she had it well advertised, she was worried no one would turn up.
I have to say at this point that the town it was to be held in had a population of 10,000 and was miles from a city.... nearest Marks and Spencer was 50 miles away!!! Nearest motorway was 80 miles away.... get the drift?
So.....I went along to make up numbers,
Boy was I glad that I did....... the monk that came, Tharchin, had an awesome presence..... the first meditation left me wanting to return for more. Needless to say I was a regular attendee, to the degree I ended up helping out when Patti had other commitments. She had a good strong group of about 25 people attending regularly, some making a round trip of 36 miles. Which wasn't as far as Tharchin as he came from Ulverston in the Lake District which was about a 300 mile round trip!
After many months of regular meditations I decided to join a group 75 miles away who held a study session on a saturday morning.
By this time we had a different teacher at the group, a young monk who would arrive by train for the friday night meditation session. I then took him home with me, fed him..... luckily for me he was not a fussy eater as my cooking was pretty basic! The next day (very early) we would set off to Dumfries for the study group session. We were joined by another lady for the journey.
So you see, by going along to help a friend make up numbers for something I had no initial interest in. I found myself immersed in Buddhism. I went to a retreat, an empowerment and travelled to the far east to visit Buddhist temples.
I also spent a week at Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre on a "working" break. It was a week that was exhausting but totally fulfilling.I have just found they have a Facebook page, Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre and there is a group also on Facebook, Students and Followers of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso .
I had the great fortune to meet this man at Manjushri.
Remember the saying ....... Everything happens for a reason........