The best part of moving to Orlando has been the regular, group meditation. So, far I’ve been going twice a week.
On Wednesday nights, I do Vipassana Meditation in Winter Park with the Orlando Insight Meditation Group. On Sunday evenings, I do Zen sitting and walking meditation (along with some chanting) with the Orlando Zen Center at Shine On Yoga, which is literally 5 minutes walking from me.
Usually, there’s about a dozen to two dozen people. Minimum instructions given besides pay attention to your breathe. I’ve noticed that Zen provides the least instructions of any group. On Wednesdays, Peter (not me) gives a short talk and discussion about Buddhist psychology after the sitting meditation. Peter is a practicing and licensed therapist along with a very experienced vipassana meditator.
There is naturally a lot of overlapping members who show up at both.
The Zen meditation of chanting, sitting, walking, and again sitting meditation is new to me. However, I do enjoy it a lot. The walking meditation reminds me of Tai Chi Quan. The chanting is surprisingly a good way to relax and hone the mind. It also helps that we get pho sometimes afterwards.
It’s also interesting to note that the demographic of the groups tend to be in the 30s or older crowd. Occasionally, there’s a young face, but they don’t seem to last long just as I didn’t in the past. I guess I’m just ahead of the curve. The DC Insight Group had a much broader but also larger demographic of people.
On the other hand, I’ve never meet such committed, American Buddhists before. Usually, the sort I meet are the ones, who like myself, include Buddhism and meditation into their daily life rather than become a member themselves. Several of the Zen members have taken on the Precept Vows and do the early morning, Zen bowing ritual.
Either way, I’m thoroughly happy I found both groups. I would do even more sitting groups, but they aren’t compatible with my working schedule. The other five days of the week, I’m trying to sit by myself for at least half a hour.