How We Came About

Our community evolved from regular gatherings of a handful of old friends over a period of more than 30 years (beginning in the late 1970s and early 1980s). For many decades, prior to the Internet, a small group of us have been gathering together once a week or so, here in Colorado, generally on Sunday mornings, at one or another of our homes but sometimes at one or another of our work sites, or in the mountains west of town or on the prairies east of town. Years ago we sometimes jokingly called ourselves, the High Mountain Church, or High Plains Church, because we would go up into the mountains, or out on the plains, get high, and talk about church—or churchy stuff, if you know what I mean. Those were the days.

At other times we called ourselves the Church of Chairs, because we would set up a chair in the living room for each of our inspirational teachers with a picture of each sitting on a different chair. It wasn’t hard to come up with pictures or statues of Jesus and Moses and Buddha, though we couldn’t be sure if the likenesses were  genuine. We also put up photographs of  Paramahansa Yogananda, Ram Dass, Joel Goldsmith, and an ever-changing list of others. We would discuss, or sometimes even channel these various teachers and their influence in our lives. It was– and is– a nice way to spend sunday mornings.

As the first organizer (and now Senior Librarian) of the New Buddhist Methodist Church  one of my tasks was  to put a more comprehensive name to the work and play that we found ourselves engaging, and then set up our website and Facebook page for any others who might want to join us , others who likewise enjoy to work and play with these ideas, these teachers, this blossoming,  or at least observe from a distance the interplay (literally) here ongoing.

Again, our original group lived in Colorado, 40 miles north of Boulder, so we also had the opportunity to personally experience some of the most notable (and some of the most ignoble) and inspiring spiritual teachers of our era. We’ve had the opportunity of  live encounters (satsang) with such wise guys and gals as the Tibetan Crazy Wisdom rogue, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who held talks at his mountain Shambala retreat center 30 minutes west of town, and then moving on to top devotees and associates of   Da Free John (Adi Da) who had a fairly thriving community in Boulder, and then with numerous other visiting teacher-gurus such as Andrew Cohen, GangajiNeil Donald Walsch, Tich Nhat Hahn, Byron Katie, Guru Mayi, Rupert Spira, and Candice O’Denver, among  others.

In the Christian Tradition we might  be aptly described as, “Steeple Chasers.“  So be it. We are also simply, “methodists.”

These are some of the methods and teachers who have appeared in our lives, and inspired us, sometimes just for a season and other times they continue to influence us today.  Although we in the Buddhist Methodist Church have been, individually or collectively, inspired and helped by all these brave souls, we are not an “off-shoot” or “official representative” of any of them. What we have gained from them are  methods for higher, more natural, more loving daily  living,  including the “method of no method.”  We recognize our organization as part of the worldwide movement of  Spirituality Without Borders.

Why The Name?

The emergence of any spiritual community, either formal or informal, (ours is very informal) comes about, at least ideally, in order to help each other discover and experiment with  methods  (thus the name, “methodists“!)  that help us draw closer to God —closer to Allah, Amma, Nityananda, Da, closer to the Tao, closer to Love, to Peace, closer to Jesus, to Joy, closer to What Is Going On (WIGO)  —to name just a few of the thousands of names of God.   “With names,” Lao Tzu wrote, “one should know where to stop.”  He also observed,  “The Tao that can be named is not  the real Tao.”  Enough said.

Our name, The New Buddhist Methodist Church, Satsang  and Art Studio signifies a growing off-line/online community of very diverse old and new friends, starting in Colorado but now also around the country and around the world. We try to  encourage each other in the daily experiencing and expressing of what seers such as Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra and Byron Katie recognize as a new consciousness here blossoming on our old planet. We recognize it too, at least sometimes, and are experiencing this new consciousness more and more.

The name “Buddhist Methodist” seems an appropriate  summary, and simplification that describe the pilgrimage, and blessings, we find ourelves experiencing.

If this might describe, at least in part,  the pilgrimage you find yourself engaged with, we encourage you to participate with us here on line by commenting on posts, and/or writing and submitting your own posts for any of the many  methods we’ve articulated. (If you have another method you think we should include, please let us know!) We also encourage your “ministering” to your own  local community by organizing your own local New Buddhist Methodist Church.

Thanks for taking a look at our work and play. Hope it brings some grins, and a closer walk…

For further information on how (and why) to organize your own Buddhist Methodist Church, Satsang and Art Studio (“where two or three are gathered together…” ) or to sbmit something for this website, contact us here:

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