All are welcome as we celebrate the fourth in a series of introductory meditation retreats to be held at North Shore Unitarian Church (NSUC) in Deerfield, IL. This series of retreats is part of an ongoing effort to help NSUC continue to revitalize its meditation community. That effort has also involved the addition of two new Tuesday night sittings at NSUC to our calendar. We are extremely grateful to our friends at NSUC for generously providing the space in which our affiliated meditation communities can practice and grow together.
What a genuine honor it is for us to welcome revered teacher Upasika Shih Zhen ("Shih Mom") all the way from Taiwan to guide us in our first two day retreat. Shih Mom started to guide meditation in 1997. She has guided thousands of students including monks and nuns over that time. She also established the Mt. Kinabalu Meditation Center in January 2008. Currently,
she leads many meditation retreats in Taiwan and Malaysia. Upasika Shih Zhen started to practice meditation at the age 41 and developed a profound understanding of Buddha Dharma.
The meditation technique taught by Shih Mom is insight wisdom meditation, which is Vipassana in Buddhism. This kind of training in contemplation is based on the four foundations of mindfulness (satipattana)--mindfulness of body, mindfulness of feelings, mindfulness of mind and mindfulness of Dharmas. Furthermore, it helps develop an understanding of the law of impermanence, suffering, emptiness and non-self and can lead you to nirvana which is often referred to as the pathway to “Enlightenment and Deliverance”. Her teachings (New Burmese Method) come from the school of the Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw's. In this practice the meditator anchors their attention on the sensations of the rising and falling of the abdomen during breathing, observing carefully any other sensations or thoughts that arise.
This retreat, including all break periods, will be held in noble silence but there will be several question & answer periods.
There will be two break periods. The first, on Saturday (@ approx.12:30-1:15pm), will be devoted towards lunch. Please bring something with you for this period. A refrigerator will be available to store any items which need to remain cold. The second, On Sunday (@ approx. 2:30-2:45pm) wil be devoted to an optional snack period so please bring one if need be. **Since Sunday will be a shorter day of practice please remember to have lunch prior to your arrival. **At the teacher's request, only clear liquid beverages should be consumed while at the retreat.
This retreat is open to both newcomers and experienced practitioners of meditation and mindfulness.
Please wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. If you use a meditation cushion or bench, please bring it. Chairs will also be available for meditation.
DATES, TIMES & LOCATION: Saturday, May 10, 2014, 9:30AM-5:30PM & Sunday, May 11th, 12:30pm-5:30pm. North Shore Unitarian Church, 2100 Half Day Rd., Deerfield, IL. We will meet in Fellowship Hall on Saturday and in the Main Sanctuary on Sunday. **The main entrance is located off the parking lot behind the Church. Please plan to arrive at least fifteen minutes prior to each day's starting time so that we can begin the proceedings on time. **Once the Teacher enters the Sanctuary the doors will be closed. Please be mindful if entering the Sanctuary after the proceedings have begun.
DIRECTIONS: North Shore Unitarian Church is located in Deerfield, 29 miles north of the center of downtown Chicago. The church is located on Half Day Road (Route 22) west of Waukegan Road and east of the I-94 Tollway (about a ½ mile east of the tollway and 1 mile west of Waukegan on the north side of the street.) The church shares a driveway with 3000 Half Day Road. Look for their sign as you approach the building. Once you’ve turned into the driveway, you’ll take an immediate right to enter the church campus. The front door is in the back! Ample parking will be available at no cost.
COST: A voluntary donation of $10.00 (includes both days) to help offset expenses would be most appreciated but is by no means expected.
If you have any questions about this event or our meditation community in general, please feel free to contact me. I hope that you are able to be present with us for a wonderful two days of practice together! Namaste, Mark Z