General Program (GP) Summer Meditation Series
Drop-In Classes Monday, Tuesday and Thursday Evenings at various locations. See Meditation Classes in right column or below for mobile devices.
MINDFULNESS AND MEDITATION
Mindfulness simply put means staying focused on or remembering an object previously known. So what objects should we be mindful of? Through training our mind to focus on virtuous objects such as patience, love or compassion we create the causes to experience inner peace.
During meditation we contemplate instructions that cause a specific virtuous state of mind to arise, then we focus single-pointedly for as long as possible on the object to become deeply acquainted with it. The function of mindfulness is to prevent distractions. Because our minds are so busy we apply mindfulness to bring our mind back to the object. For example, in meditation we may generate a mind that recognizes the kindness of others. Then, during the meditation break, we recall with mindfulness the object we previously mixed our mind with in meditation — in this case how others have been kind to us. We try to never forget it throughout our day. In this way our mind can remain peaceful and positive.
Through training in mindfulness and meditation, our mind will gradually become more and more peaceful, and we will experience a purer and purer form of happiness. Eventually we will be able to stay happy all the time, even in the most difficult circumstances.
Every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday night from June 19th through September 7th we will offer a series of classes studying the 21 Lamrim meditations known as the “Stages of the Path to Enlightenment” from the text The New Meditation Handbook. This beautiful text is a practical guide to meditation that teaches us how to make ourself and others happy by developing inner peace, and in this way we make our lives more meaningful. We will supplement our study with the text How to Transform Your Life available as a free download on our homepage. Hard copies of both texts can be purchased in our bookstore.
Each class will cover one of the twenty-one meditations, offer commentary on how to establish a meditation practice, give methods to control our mind to experience a lasting inner peace, and guided meditations. Additionally, we will recognize how our anger leads to suffering and learn how to cultivate causes of mental peace by practicing patience, love and compassion towards all living beings. This General Program class provides a straightforward presentation of Buddhist view, meditation, and practice that are suitable for beginners and advanced students.
What can I expect in each class?
Each class is two hours long and is broken down into several sections. We begin with an introduction on the topic covered then still our minds with a guided 10 minute breathing meditation. This is followed by a 50 minute commentary on the actual meditation practice, then 15 minute guided meditation on the topic that was covered, a 15 minute intra-class discussion and close with 15 minutes for questions and answers.
Classes are designed to be self contained and can be enjoyed on a drop-in basis
$12 per class, no one turned away for lack of funds
A beautiful quote from Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche
“When the turbulence of distracting thoughts subsides and our mind becomes still, a deep happiness and contentment naturally arises from within. This feeling of contentment and well-being helps us to cope with the busyness and difficulties of daily life. So much of the stress and tension we normally experience comes from our mind, and many of the problems we experience, including ill health, are caused or aggravated by this stress. Just by doing breathing meditation for ten or fifteen minutes each day, we will be able to reduce this stress. We will experience a calm, spacious feeling in the mind, and many of our usual problems will fall away. Difficult situations will become easier to deal with, we will naturally feel warm and well disposed toward other people, and our relationships with others will gradually improve.”
How to Transform Your Life, p. 328