Next Meetup

Weekly Zen Meditation & Discussion Group
Meditation is a chance to stop arguing with life at a fundamental level. It is an opportunity to stop making the world wrong, ourselves wrong, and our minds wrong. This is a small piece of compassion, which is really all of compassion: just letting this moment through the gate, then this moment, then this moment. Then you might notice that there is nothing that you can't love, including the incredibly difficult things you may face. What a valuable thing in times like these. Our small group is a great way to get your feet wet with koans and meditation in a friendly and informal setting. Sitting with us does not require any previous experience with Zen, meditation or koans, and in fact being clueless is probably your best bet anyway. What's the skinny? The group will be every Wednesday evening from 6:30 - 7:30pm. There is no cost for attendance, but a donation of $5.00 is suggested to help pay for the room. Donations in any amount are greatly appreciated. If you have cushions or a bench other sitting gear you’d like to use, feel free to bring it; otherwise, we’ve got plenty of chairs that you’re welcome to use. If you would like to arrange to come a little early for some beginning instruction, please let us know. However, this is not necessary and it might be good just to throw yourself in. What happens during the group? We meditate for about 30 minutes, starting a little after 6:30pm. Then we open the floor for sharing what we noticed. You don’t have to sit super-still like a mountain and have excellent concentration, and there’s really no need to come up with something clever to say–you can just notice what’s true for you and that will be enough. We pick a new koan when it seems like it’s time to, which means we might hang out with any given koan for a few weeks, a month, two months… Some basic group suggestions: 1. Speak from the heart and trust your own experience 2. There’s no obligation to share 3. Listen with your whole body 4. There is no need to fix yourself or anyone else 5. It’s OK to ask questions of anyone 6. It’s OK if there’s silence 7. Try to be on time, but if you’re late, that’s OK. Just come on in and take a seat. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me through Meetup or by email at: [masked] Hope to see you there! Thanks, Jesse

First Unitarian Universalist Church

7150 IH-10 West · San Antonio, TX

What we're about

It’s Alive! (https://www.facebook.com/ItsAliveZen/) is not your granddaddy’s Zen. You will not find many of the traditional forms here and there are no complicated rituals or foreign words to learn. What you will find is a community that values awakening and Zen practice as it shows up in your life—yes!, the life you have right now.

Zen isn’t about improving yourself or becoming more kind or calm or productive at work, although these common side effects may occur. Zen is not a religion and it offers nothing to believe in. It’s not about bullying yourself into being someone you’re not, but rather the vibrant process of discovering and appreciating who you already are.

We are a branch of Pacific Zen Institute (http://www.pacificzen.org), and as such our primary modes of practice are meditation with koans and conversation with each other. Koans are stories that erode our ideas about how things are. They often get the reputation of being difficult or scary, but really koans just invite us to be friends with the whole of life. You won’t find anything in a koan that isn’t already in your own heart. Conversation is itself a practice and a way of entering deeper into the mystery of who we are. Enlightenment is a team sport.

We currently offer individual work with a teacher and a weekly meditation and discussion group. We hope to offer additional programs soon. If you're interested in reading more about how koans might show up in your life, check out our website (http://www.cvillezen.com) and the It's Alive! blog (http://cvillezen.com/category/blog).

You can also follow us on Facebook. (https://www.facebook.com/ItsAliveZen/)

Let us know if you have any questions!

Thanks,

Jesse

It's Alive! values the inherent worth and dignity of all creatures. We welcome anyone regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, politics, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, size, shape, ability, socioeconomic status, past experience, and any other descriptors you can think of.

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