Yesterday I spent my morning at a small Tibetan monastery that I located online by happenstance a couple weeks ago, Gaden Khachoe Shing. While their website refers in great detail to their Bloomington, Indiana location, they also have another site in Colerain Township, so after some internal debate I made the choice to check the place out.
This was my first visit to a Buddhist monastery or temple, and I’d say it worked out fairly well and the experience has helped ease my anxiety a bit. I’ve realized that my nervousness over just “dropping in” on people I’ve never met is a huge hindrance to my progress, one that must be overcome.
While I don’t think anyone has done anything to wrong me directly, I haven’t felt like the other places I’ve considered visiting have seemed quite as welcoming. It is seriously and truly all in my head — so I’ll try to explain. There are two other places that I’ve considered visiting, one a Khmer Temple and the other a Theravada Vihara. Both of these places (and the above-mentioned monastery, actually) are within five miles of my home and fairly easy to find. Problem has been that their websites are years out-of-date and there is no schedule suggesting when I ought to visit.
So basically what I’m coming to is that I’m going to have to just stop in at these places and knock on the door I think, regardless of my anxiety over doing so. My experience with the Tibetans was very positive and I think I’ve come to the point that I realize I have no reason to be worried about offending anyone… and what I’ve read actually suggests that if someone gets upset with me that it might just be an indicator that I don’t really want to be bothering with them anyway.
So life goes on and I continue to practice what I have learned, and it continues to be of great benefit. I hope you are well, also, my friends. I will write again soon.