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Starting a Learning Circle

Here are a few ideas to help you find fellow adventurers, and to help you all begin and continue the exploration of meditation practice together.

Of course, you can all use the Why is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling? book as part of that exploration. You can read a bit during the week, then gather in someone’s living room to discuss that bit, seeing what gem of understanding you create when you share all your varied facets of understanding. Or, you could sign up for the Namchak Always Smiling eCourses and work through the videos and lessons together on a weekly basis.

To keep things focused, I recommend following the simple procession of events I’ve outlined below. You could trade off being the person who leads the group. When I was doing three-month-long retreats, that’s what our weekly group did. At the beginning of the three months, each member signed up for a particular time. It worked quite well, and everyone became very close.

During the meetings you can talk together about each of your life’s challenges and how these understandings and methods are, or aren’t, working for you. You offer each other your simple, caring support. Then you meditate together, a beautiful experience like none other—sharing the silence.

But how do you find such a group if you don’t happen to have one handy? This modern world, where we don’t even know the names of most of our neighbors, doesn’t make it easy. But there’s a very modern solution: the internet. If you’re enrolled in the Always Smiling eCourse, visit our closed eCourse Facebook group to find fellow practitioners or a meditation buddy. Or, email our Community Steward at  to find a group near you.

In the Learning Circle section of you’ll also find our Learning Circle Toolkit, which includes more advice on how to conduct and manage meetings. Or find blogs like this one to share!

The above is an excerpt from Lama Tsomo’s new book, Why is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling? Order the book today.

Published on Jul 19 09 : 00 am