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a southern illinois sangha
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Welcome to the Shawnee Dharma Tuesday Group.

The mission of this group is to provide a "sangha" or a spiritual community for persons following any meditative path but especially Buddhism in any of its forms. Anyone interested in practicing meditation and the Dharma is welcome to attend. We are an informal, egalitarian, democratic group, where most everything just "happens" without being announced. Our hope is that this unusual format will foster inclusivity of all those interested in a sangha or spiritual community. 

There is no leader for the group, nor do we follow a specific Buddhist tradition.  Everyone is actually a leader - and can make changes themselves if they wish!

We are a diverse group, in terms of Buddhist traditions, backgrounds and practices.  We meet together, quite frankly, because there are not enough of us in any separate tradition to make a viable group.

The form of our meetings has evolved over the years we've been together. We now gather around 7 pm in the dinning room of the Interfaith Center .   The meditation room is a special place and we do ask that silence be observed until after the meditation period and that you remove your shoes and leave them at the door.  Talking and visiting happen outside the room and silence/meditation once we're inside - which also allows one to meditate longer if desired.  

Members may sit on the floor or in a chair, as suits their needs and practices.  We have a formal period of meditation between 7:15 and 7:45. From 7:45 to about 8:30 we read a dharma text or listen to a tape. During the discussion which often follows, we do request that comments relate to the Dharma reading and that you speak from your own experience.
  Questions about Buddhism or meditation may also be asked after the sit and the group will do our best to either answer them or direct you to source information. The library at the Interfaith center has a nice collection of Buddhist texts which are available for check - out. Buddhist magazines are also available.

 After the meditation, members are free to leave whenever they need to leave. Members who are "host for the evening" are responsible for putting things away and locking up the Center.  

 We collect donations or "Dana" in a basket for our rent to the Interfaith Center

 Our web site (www.shawnee-dharma.org) lists many other Buddhist resources and acts as a newsletter and bulletin board for the group.

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