At Mike's suggestion, we went to the local Buddhist temple this morning. First time for me, not so much for Mike. This morning's schedule, eerily reminiscent of a traditional Christian Sunday sermon (but fewer hymns and more semicolons), looked like this:
8:30 - 9:10 am First Sitting; 9:10 - 9:25 am Walking Meditation; 9:25 - 10:00 am Second Sitting; 10:00 - 10:45 am Talk.
We arrived just as the Second Sitting commenced. The room was packed, people spilling out into an adjescent room listening over speakers. We removed out shoes, shuffled over to the doorway, hugging out sitting pillows tight, where we sat down. Me guiltily because of the people's whose view I might abstruct with my greedy need to see the master.
After a list of public announcements which reminded me uncomfortably of AA, but delivered at ridiculously hushed voices, our teacher talked about how Buddhism is an extension of skills we already posses applied to all aspects of life, rather than some exotic, complex philosophy.
To examplify he suggested we try to apply the meditation techniques we had mastered at the center in the supermarket. Instead of aggressively fighting for the best checkout line and grinding our teeth in frustration as everyone picks today to pay with cheques...