mindful in Manoa
About Aloha Sangha
The purpose of this website is to suggest ways we can realistically bring about true happiness, true contentment in our lives as they are.
Now when I say our lives as they are I mean just as they are.
Many forms of spiritual practice which have found a home here in the West advocate meditation practice, which is great.
One very rich area, which unfortunately I don’t see discussed thoroughly enough, is how practical some of these ideas regarding meditation are for most of us. Some forms of meditation practice have been adapted to our contemporary society from renunciate, ascetic origins in the East.
Many of us first encountering these adapted forms of spiritual and contemplative development undestandably may be just a little are put off by the emphasis placed on the value of meditation retreats.
This website strives to offer an alternative to many retreat-focused approaches to contemplative spirituality, as it recognizes that a huge portion of our society simply cannot afford the expense nor the time involved in undertaking retreats.
And it presents the point of view that spiritual development is at times more thorough-going when undertaken in our lives as they are — and for many of us that means living paycheck to paycheck, or raising kids, or taking care of our aging parents.
What I present here are simply my own personal findings of a 36 plus year journey through Buddhist systems of meditation and contemplation. But please know that my approach to teaching is thoroughly secular and contemporary, making more use of poetry and ecology than things you would read in some old books from the East.
I also hold very dear the contemplative teachings of the Christian and the mahasiddha teachings of ancient Indian mystics, almost as much as from Early Buddhism and Taoism.
I hope that you find something here that makes sense for you.
Hi. My name is Tom Davidson-Marx and I have been teaching Buddhist-inspired yet secular mindfulness meditation in Honolulu since 1998 in our home in lower Manoa on the island of O’ahu.
I received instruction and training in both the “vipassana” approach to insight meditation in the USA and Burma and the anapanasati (breath awareness) in Sri Lanka. I spent three years training as an ordained Buddhist monk practicing these forms of meditation. I found the simple breath awareness practice leading to very profound, abiding peace (anapanasati) to be the most effective meditative approach in our group meetings.
Over the 36 plus years I have been practicing and teaching meditation I have come to settle on a simple set of instructions that I feel is well suited for busy people, as they point out an accessible way to discover joy and fulfillment in your life just as it is, regardless of the external circumstances of your life, and which does not require you to spend long hours on the cushion or go away on retreat somewhere (you can, of course, if your life circumstance permits … but not necessary — a relief, ya?)