As the Orlando Insight Meditation Group grows, we are expanding our outreach as well.  This new web site has increased opportunities to dynamically respond to further changes as we go along.  Additionally, we are introducing a periodical newsletter, and the recorded MP3 files from various dhamma talks will be posted at the iTunes audio store and can be accessed free of charge.

We live in a time of unprecedented change in understanding and applying spiritual practices.  All the world’s religions are organized around two basic principles: an increasingly clear understanding of the interdependence of being in the world, and the importance of compassion.  What makes this time exceptional comes from the universal access to information that is part of the digital revolution.  There’s an increasing dialogue between the different faith traditions, particularly in the more mystical aspects of spiritual practice.  There’s also an astoundingly rapid expansion of knowledge about the inner workings of the human organism—the “body-mind”–that brings together the rigorous analysis of science and the deeply profound insights produced by the rigorous training of the mind through meditation.

It is hoped that this site will provide a platform for accumulating and sharing information that emerges from the cross-fertilization between Buddhist psychology and Western neuroscience and physics.  In terms of Buddhist history, the concept of “turning the wheel of the dhamma,” that is, revealing the nature of human existence has evolved since the time of the historical Buddha.  The first turning occurred when the Buddha gave his first teaching, and the second occurred when Mahayana Buddhism emerged early in the Christian era.  Perhaps we are living in a time when the “third turning” will develop, at least initially.  This third turning involves the integration of Buddhist meditation practice with neuroscience and medical research.  May this site and your own efforts help bring this to fruition!

I wish you well,
Peter Carlson