People have asked “What do you mean by contemporary when you describe your group as a contemporary meditation community?”
Inspired by the discussion on the Buddhist Geeks Podcast #217 , we started to think about Rohan’s ideas about modernizing our meditation practice to attract new practitioners. According to a number of meditation teachers, it’s normal for them to get a 95% dropout rate! Some of the ideas as to why up to 19 out of 20 meditation students drop out include the images & language used in classes and practice.
As a contemporary practice, we’re trying a more modern approach to the teaching and practice of insight meditation. The techniques are the same originally taught by the Buddha, but we’re making a conscious effort to keep the language, images, and practice more accessible to new practitioners.
This in no way means that traditional meditation practice is wrong or ineffective. Many of our members also belong to other meditation communities with a more traditional approach, and many decorate their meditation spot at home with Buddhist accessories to help set the tone for their practice. This is perfectly OK!
We simply want to offer a practice that is as accessible as possible to someone interested in starting or maintaining a meditation practice, who might be turned off by “foreign words” or ancient-looking statues used in the practice hall.