What We're All About
Ever wondered why someone would devote their life to Buddhism and become a monk? The conventional answer might have something to do with enlightenment or nirvana or something. Still the question remains as to WHY they seek those things. Someone seeks enlightenment and/ or nirvana because s/he has recognized that life as it is lived by the masses is vastly problematic and unsatisfactory. Someone entering the monastic life is seeking something better. However, life in our contemporary world does not lend itself to hermitage. We live ever more connected lives. Some will continue to seek sanctuary in a monastery, but is this the only option - seclusion?
No. Your life can be your monastery. The Center for Pragmatic Buddhism (CPB) has chapters in St. Louis, MO, Columbus, OH, and Stirling, Scotland, but our primary medium of connection is the internet. We utilize Chan and Zen Buddhist practice methods that resonate with Westerners, including the central practice of sitting meditation (zazen). The Pragmatic Buddhist approach uses modern-day language to explain Buddhism's relevance to the contemporary Western lifestyle. In addition to regular sitting and meditation practices, OPB teachers give weekly dharma talks. We also engage in group discussions following the talks in an open forum atmosphere, where participants discuss their thoughts and views of issues pertaining to practice, philosophy, and everyday life.