After some months of looking for new sangha meeting space, I am happy to announce that we have reached an agreement with the Memphis Friends Meeting House at 3387 Walnut Grove Road. We will begin meeting regularly on Monday evenings sometime in mid-late July, which will give us time to get the word out.
The Friends, aka the Quakers, have a lot in common with Zen Buddhists. For instance, we both take a meditative, silent approach to spiritual practice and have a very open idea as to what spirituality means to each individual. Nonviolence, non-harming, animal- and Earth-friendly world views and habits are common to both Quakers and Zen practitioners. Both Zen students and Quakers tend to embrace their respective traditions as a all-encompassing life practice that colors every moment of the day. In fact, the Austin Zen Center used to be a Quaker meeting house, and it is my understanding that they shared that space for a while before the Quakers moved to a larger house. There are plenty of Quakers who also practice Zen or other Buddhist forms of meditation.
In other words, all signs point to a productive, cooperative relationship with our new host organization. We look forward to a great future with the Quakers of Memphis.
I am even talking to folks at MFM about allowing us to host a Saturday introduction / orientation on a Saturday prior to our first regular sit together. More details to come!