Welcome. If you are interested in spiritual growth, and have reason to believe that Buddhism has something to offer you, this group may be helpful. It is for anyone who wants to benefit from a 1500 year-old tradition of mental training that has proven itself (scientifically) to be effective in reducing anger, fear, depression and other negative emotions, resulting in a more balanced, peaceful, happy state of mind. Many people from other faiths or no faith study Buddhism for that reason and benefit greatly from it. For others, it is a religion or a spiritual path, and their goal is enlightenment: for their own sake, and so that they can most effectively help others.
“The purpose of our lives is to be happy” says the Dalai Lama, and the purpose of this group is to help us to attain that goal by working together to change our minds and hearts. According to Buddhism, the mind is both the cause of and the solution to most of our problems. Fortunately, through an ethical lifestyle, meditation and study, we can train ourselves to be peaceful, compassionate, and full of joy. We can develop the kind of happiness that isn't contingent on outside circumstances. The sangha (the group of practitioners) is considered to be a very important part of that process.
Beginners, those with some experience, and people who are just curious are all welcome to attend our meetings. There is no hidden agenda, no pressure to believe or do anything. A $3 donation to cover rent would be appreciated.
The Saturday meeting is like an introductory class on Buddhism. The subject matter of the talks will range from early Buddhism to the development of Mahayana philosophy and its manifestations in the Zen and Tibetan Buddhist schools. There will be plenty of time for questions. Okay to come for some but not all of the meeting.
Talk and group discussion 9:30-10:20
Meditation instructions: If you already have a meditation practice, just do it. Bring a cushion or bench if you wish. Otherwise, sit up straight in the chair provided, put your hands comfortably in your lap or on your knees, and focus your mind on your breathing. If you wish, count each in/out combination up to 10 and then start over. Any variation that keeps your attention in the present will do. When you realize you are thinking about something, let the thought go and return to the present. If an emotion comes up, don't express or repress it, just embrace it with your mindfulness.
NOTE: The website is set up by default to ask for RSVPs, and it then reports how many attended each meeting based on that information. PLEASE DO RSVP IF YOU ARE PROBABLY COMING TO A MEETING, but with no commitment and please be aware that the website's attendance reports are inaccurate, since most people do not RSVP. The Saturday meetings average about 18 in the Summer and 28 the rest of the year.
THE DALAI LAMA
ZEN MASTER THICH NHAT HANH