Local meditation group seeks members

Non-sectarian group at under-construction Japanese Temple Garden in Hollister invites guests to participate

Do you practice one of the many kinds of meditation there are available in the world? Or would you like to know what meditation is, or how you can begin to do it yourself? If so, you can find a weekly meeting in Hollister where  you can join others of like mind in quiet surroundings to meditate, discuss spiritual seeking and the joys and trials of everyday life.

Don Belt, Ph.D., a Hollister audiologist, opens his home each Monday evening to people who are interested in the above. The group includes experienced and inexperienced individuals and couples engaged in Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, non-sectarian, or agnostic studies or lifestyles. Some members are yoga practitioners, others pursue Qi Gong and/or veganism as means to improve health, vigor and a joy for life. Our ages range from teen to senior and we all value an open-minded learning environment. Atheists take note; you are welcome here!

We are fortunate to have a Zen priest, Rev. Cathy Toldi of the Santa Cruz Zen Center, visit us twice monthly for non-sectarian teaching in the ways that Buddhist principles can apply to the lives of people of all faiths. We are always interested in hosting qualified lecturers on any helpful topic including psychology, environment, music, the arts or spirituality.

Dr. Belt has long studied and practiced spiritual pathways and is experienced in Eastern religions, psychodrama, drum circles and gospel singing as effective means to discover human spirituality. For many years, he has been building a beautiful and authentic Japanese temple and garden complex, “Shinsen-In” (Sacred Waters) which will ultimately function as a meeting and convocation center for interested groups. The grounds contain a very large Koi carp pond, a temple building that is currently being built out and roofed, a completed meeting building with kitchen facilities that will be ideal for weddings and similar events, and the garden itself with its trees, flower beds and pathways lined by granite statuary imported from China. There is also a monastery building which may at some point house a permanent teacher and student group. This temple garden is a little-known treasure being created for the future of Hollister by Dr. Belt as his gift to the world. You can enjoy occasional progress tours as a member of our meditation group.

Our meeting starts each Monday evening at 7 p.m. at Dr. Belt’s residence, 920 Riverside Rd. on Hollister’s West side. There is parking along both sides of the road. The meeting is free of cost and open to all. There will be no proselytizing or religious coercion of any kind. Please come a bit early because meditation begins promptly at 7. Dress comfortably according to the weather and be prepared to take off your shoes at the door. We meditate seated on straight chairs or in “lotus” or “seiza” style (according to individual taste and need) for around 30 minutes, after which we do 10 minutes of “Kinhin” — meditative walking — and then have teaching and/or discussion until 8:30 or so, never as late as 9. We encourage everyone to speak and take part, to feel joy in the company of others awakening together.

Please contact me for further info or input;

Terry, 831 261-8351

[email protected]

Terry Butler

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