What we're about

Once the Buddha began to share his teachings with the rest of the World, he never instructed anyone to accept those teachings blindly. Instead he encouraged students to test his findings for themselves in order to develop their own experience of the practice. Our community attempts to operate with that same spirit of openness and respect.

You are cordially invited to join us as we sit, stand and walk in meditation, practicing simply for the sake of practice. All levels of practitioners are welcome so, regardless of whether you're embarking on or continuing your journey inward, we would be most honored by your presence. This is a non-denominational group. However, even though many of us do not have a label for our spirituality, we do primarily practice methods which have been handed down by the Buddha. Nevertheless, no matter what path you follow, it is our intention to provide you with a safe and non-judgmental environment for internal exploration, one where all attendees feel comfortable and at ease.

It is the further intention of this group to help its members identify areas where suffering (feelings of stress and dissatisfaction) may exist and to help them learn how to change their relationship with those feelings in order to cultivate deep inner peace. We envision this group being an interactive community where authentic personal connections are made as we share and learn together from the combined insights of all who attend. The eventual development of our collective wisdom should also help us to better assist one another on our respective paths. Ideally we must remember that, despite our wishes to the contrary, growth happens at its own natural pace. Thus it will be quite important to be patient, be gentle with ourselves and be supportive of our fellow practitioners in order to nurture these intentions in a beneficial way.

Event details vary from sitting to sitting and will be posted on each individual event page. Generally, we will practice these forms of meditation: Samatha (Tranquility / Calming the mind and body through one pointedness), Anapanasati (Mindfulness of the breath), Vipassana (Clear seeing / Insight), Metta (Loving-Friendliness / Kindness) and Tonglen (Exchanging self with others / Compassion).

A voluntary donation to help offset expenses would be most appreciated but is by no means expected. As causes and conditions permit, we look forward to sharing energy and insights with all who choose to be present.

With Metta, Mark Z

Upcoming events (3)

Meditation Practice & Support @ The Episcopal Church of St. James the Less

The Episcopal Church of St. James the Less

All teachers agree: The key to a successful meditation practice is regular practice. Therefore this meetup is looking for practitioners who are willing to make a dedicated effort to sit together weekly in order to fully realize the benefits of group practice. All levels and schools of thought are welcome. Meet like minded individuals while expanding your own personal practice in a non-competitive and supportive environment. Feel free to join us for a sitting and experience increased self awareness and inner peace by way of your journey inward. TIME: Our meeting time will be 6:15pm so please arrive as close to 6:15pm as possible. We will begin our meditation promptly at 6:30pm. This meetup should end by approximately 8:30pm. NEW LOCATION: The Episcopal Church of St. James the Less is located at 550 Sunset Ridge Road in Northfield, IL near the intersection of Willow & Sunset Ridge (Northwest corner). Ample parking is available in the lot surrounding the Church. Please use the west entrance located behind the building. If you think that you might need some additional help finding us, please feel free to contact the event host prior to the closing of RSVP's. GENERAL FORMAT: Those new to meditation and mindfulness practice are encouraged to arrive early for some brief instruction and practice from 6:15-6:30pm. At 6:30pm, once everyone has arrived, we will begin with either a body scan, gratitude or Metta (Loving Friendliness / Kindness) practice in order to center. On occasion we will perform several basic stretching exercises (yoga or qi gong) and partake in a period of walking meditation (both are optional) before we begin our formal practice which is described as follows: During our first fifteen minute sitting period we will practice Samatha (Tranquility / Calming the mind and body through one-pointedness). We will primarily use Anapanasati (Mindfulness of the breath) in order to accomplish this. The remainder of the first period will be held in noble silence. During our second twenty five minute sitting period there will be a Vipassana (Clear seeing / Insight) exercise offered for contemplation. When we finish there will be time for sharing and questions during mindful introductions. Finally a reading or audio presentation will sometimes be offered to assist with learning more about the practice for those who would like to participate. TODAY'S EVENT HOST: Tony has had a daily mindfulness meditation practice for nearly 4 years and has experienced overwhelming benefits from the practice. In the past year, he has added qigong (think slow movements with focus on the flow of energy in the body) as a physical compliment to his sitting practice. Tony has found a true passion in championing and coordinating meditation in his community and workplace and is honored to be part of the North Shore Meditation Community. FYI: Chairs will be available for those who prefer to use them. For those who choose to sit on the floor, blankets, cushions & floorchairs are also available but feel free to bring your own, meditation bench, pillow, yoga mat or zafu cushion if you prefer. COST: A voluntary donation to help offset expenses would be most appreciated but is by no means expected. If you have any questions about this particular sitting or our meditation community in general, please feel free to contact us. We are looking forward to sitting in practice and sharing energy in the present moment with all who choose to attend. With Metta, Mark and Tony

Meditation Practice & Support @ The Episcopal Church of St. James the Less

The Episcopal Church of St. James the Less

All teachers agree: The key to a successful meditation practice is regular practice. Therefore this meetup is looking for practitioners who are willing to make a dedicated effort to sit together weekly in order to fully realize the benefits of group practice. All levels and schools of thought are welcome. Meet like minded individuals while expanding your own personal practice in a non-competitive and supportive environment. Feel free to join us for a sitting and experience increased self awareness and inner peace by way of your journey inward. TIME: Our meeting time will be 6:15pm so please arrive as close to 6:15pm as possible. We will begin our meditation promptly at 6:30pm. This meetup should end by approximately 8:30pm. NEW LOCATION: The Episcopal Church of St. James the Less is located at 550 Sunset Ridge Road in Northfield, IL near the intersection of Willow & Sunset Ridge (Northwest corner). Ample parking is available in the lot surrounding the Church. Please use the west entrance located behind the building. If you think that you might need some additional help finding us, please feel free to contact the event host prior to the closing of RSVP's. GENERAL FORMAT: Those new to meditation and mindfulness practice are encouraged to arrive early for some brief instruction and practice from 6:15-6:30pm. At 6:30pm, once everyone has arrived, we will begin with either a body scan, gratitude or Metta (Loving Friendliness / Kindness) practice in order to center. On occasion we will perform several basic stretching exercises (yoga or qi gong) and partake in a period of walking meditation (both are optional) before we begin our formal practice which is described as follows: During our first fifteen minute sitting period we will practice Samatha (Tranquility / Calming the mind and body through one-pointedness). We will primarily use Anapanasati (Mindfulness of the breath) in order to accomplish this. The remainder of the first period will be held in noble silence. During our second twenty five minute sitting period there will be a Vipassana (Clear seeing / Insight) exercise offered for contemplation. When we finish there will be time for sharing and questions during mindful introductions. Finally a reading or audio presentation will sometimes be offered to assist with learning more about the practice for those who would like to participate. TODAY'S EVENT HOST: Mark Z. (Asoka) After reconnecting with the practice just over ten years ago, in an attempt to assist his son in overcoming a panic disorder, he has developed and maintained a daily meditation and mindfulness practice for the last 9 years. Over that time he has participated in over 1000 group meditations facilitating more then 450 of them. He has been formally trained by Buddhist Monks and Nuns in the practices of Samatha / Vipassana, Metta and walking meditation. He is a Co-organizer of the Chicago Weekly Sitting Meditation Group and Inner Balance Meditation as well as a Meditation and Mindfulness instructor for the Arlington Heights Park District. The practice has touched his heart deeply. FYI: Chairs will be available for those who prefer to use them. For those who choose to sit on the floor, blankets, cushions & floorchairs are also available but feel free to bring your own, meditation bench, pillow, yoga mat or zafu cushion if you prefer. COST: A voluntary donation to help offset expenses would be most appreciated but is by no means expected. If you have any questions about this particular sitting or our meditation community in general, please feel free to contact us. We are looking forward to sitting in practice and sharing energy in the present moment with all who choose to attend. With Metta, Mark and Tony

Peace is the Way - Eight Mindful Steps Toward Peace @ Techny Towers

Please note—you cannot RSVP for this event directly via this website on meetup. Click here for registration on Eventbrite. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/peace-is-the-way-eight-mindful-steps-toward-peace-tickets-52485420305 Be prepared to make your room selection, state your roommate preference (if you are selecting a double room), report your dietary restrictions, and make full payment with a debit or credit card. All are welcome to join in our first ever five day retreat co-sponsored by the Chicago Weekly Sitting Meditation Group and the North Suburban Meditation Community. Sometimes we are at war with ourselves, sometimes we have conflicts with others and sometimes it feels like the world is tearing itself apart. In the face of conflict, we can feel angry, torn and disoriented we suffer. The Buddha gave us a clear path to peace in ourselves and the world: The Noble Eightfold Path. We hope you are able to attend our extended retreat as we explore this powerful path to peace. This meditation retreat is suitable for new and experienced practitioners, and, in keeping with tradition will be held in noble silence. The retreat will include sitting and walking meditation, Dharma talks, teacher interviews, group discussion periods, guided Qigong practices, and mindful eating. Date, Time and Location: Wednesday, April 10, 3:00PM to Sunday, April 14 4:00PM. All sessions held at Techny Towers Conference & Retreat Center, 2001 Waukegan Road, Techny, IL 60082 [masked]). **Please plan to arrive in time to be present for the opening session at 4PM. Parking: Techny Towers has a parking lot that will accommodate all residential and commuting participants at no cost. If you use a meditation cushion or bench, please bring it. Chairs will also be available for meditation. Presenters: David Haskin has practiced meditation since 1971 and has been a student of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh since 1993. He was ordained into that teacher’s core practice community, the Order of Interbeing, in 2006. David has been particularly moved and motivated by Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings on engaging our practice of Mindfulness as we interact with others and with the world at large. He teaches Mindfulness widely, including to prison inmates, men’s groups, combat veterans and those in recovery from addictions. Janice Cittasubha Sheppard has been practicing meditation since 1995 and teaching meditation since 2002. She received training through Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leader program and from the abbots of Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery as a Lay Buddhist Minister in the Theravada Thai Forest lineage. She teaches introductory and continuing classes on meditation and leads a weekly meditation group for the Madison Insight Meditation Group. She leads Buddhist practice groups in Wisconsin prisons, and offers a year-long intensive program, Form and Freedom in Theravada Buddhism for individuals seeking deeper understanding of the Buddha’s discourses and meditation practice. Steven Spiro is an ordained Buddhist Chaplain in the American Zen Peacemaker Order with a concentration in Being With Dying. He’s been a Qigong teacher for twenty years, and is the originator of Breathing Earth Qigong, which he’s offered in a variety of retreat settings. He’s an artist, a grandfather, and a core member of SnowFlower, a Thich Nhat Hanh sangha in Madison, Wisconsin. Fees: • Single-occupancy room with private bath - $625 (early registration encouraged) • Double-occupancy room with semi-private bath - $575 (early registration encouraged) • Commuter (meals/retreat only) $295 (early registration encouraged) Fees cover dinner on Wednesday, breakfast, lunch and dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and breakfast and lunch on Sunday, lodging, private or shared baths, towels and the meeting rooms. If you have dietary restrictions or roomate requests please make those known when you register on Eventbrite. **Special note: We have planned for vegetarian meals to be served both for lunch and dinner but, per Techny policy, breakfast is always served along with meat options to accommodate other retreats that may be present. We support that each retreatant's choice for their morning meal will be based on their own value system. Fees cover retreat costs but do NOT include compensation for the teacher. Following an ancient tradition, David, Jan and Steven offer these teachings freely and will gratefully accept dana, or a free-will offering, at the end of the retreat if you are able and if you find the teachings helpful. For more information feel free to contact either: Mark Zelkowitz, Organizer, North Suburban Meditation Community ([masked] or[masked]) OR, Stephen Starr, Organizer, Chicago Weekly Sitting Meditation Group ([masked] or[masked]) A limited number of scholarships are available. If you are interested in obtaining one or contributing toward additional scholarships, please contact Mark or Steve. We would be honored by your presence.

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