“The idea is not that because there are a million people doing the same thing as you, you feel secure because you’re not the odd man out. The idea is more that you are the odd man out in any case, and there are lots of odd men out together.”
— Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, The Path Is The Goal

About the Community

There is tremendous benefit in connecting with fellow practitioners. Toward that end, we’ve collected here the many ways that one can connect with others practicing in this lineage. Whether it is gathering together with a local practice group, formally joining the sangha, or making a relationship with a meditation instructor, we hope you find a way to deepen your connection.

Dharma Ocean is a community of meditators, in Colorado, North America, and around the world, following the path of embodied spirituality. Dharma Ocean is a non-monastic, householder based lineage, a community of householder yogins and yoginis, who prioritize the practice of Somatic Meditation in their lives.

Although we are an inspired and vibrant community, and although there is a deep caring for one another, Dharma Ocean is not an organized religion. We are a large and diffuse community without any definite boundaries, but one linked by a common inspiration for embodied spirituality, a deep respect for the the direct, intuitive wisdom of the body, and a common love of life. There is no “signing on the dotted line” or any series of requirements for you to be part of our community of somatic practitioners. Simply by connecting with the somatic teachings, you are already a member of this lineage and the flame of this lineage is already beginning to burn brightly within you. How you want to position yourself in relation to your other fellow practitioners is entirely up to you.

You may want to hang out on the periphery for a long, long time, or forever, making the somatic journey alone, perhaps attending programs occasionally. This is the retreat style of Milarepa and the other great meditators of our lineage: solitary, self-contained, and noble. Or you may wish to be part of the day-to-day community wherever you live, connecting with your sangha sisters and brothers in person and also through the online sangha events and trainings that we offer. Because we are a lineage of householder practitioners, most of us are deeply involved in our daily lives, our relationships, families, and work. For that reason, Dharma Ocean is now working to offer more programs online, including on-going courses, virtual retreats, and live-streaming events, to honor the spiritual way of the householder.  Finally, you may wish to come into the center of the mandala of our community, working with our leadership and senior teachers and lineage holders to create programs, nourish our community life, and help extend the somatic lineage to those thirsting for it.

In fact, most sangha members, including our most senior teachers and meditation instructors, cycle through these different ways of being in sangha at different times, according to their individual inspirations and needs. We often compare our community members to comets. Sometimes we circle very close to the Sun, the “center of the mandala” as we say, pulled very close by our longing and devotion, and energized by intense training with our mentors and sangha peers; then swooping by, we catapult out into space, the teachings within us, and we explore the universe of our lives on our own. Perhaps we disappear from sight for a long time—historically maybe even years—and then when we feel it is right, we circle around and come in close once more. In Dharma Ocean there is no one way to do anything; one size does not and cannot fit all or even two individual practitioners. The only rule is that of our own human heart. As a member of our community, you are called only to trust your heart on your journey and to help others do the same.

From ‘How to Become a Member of the Dharma Ocean Community’ from The Training and the Path.


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