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 (4+)

Meditation & Support @ Clark Street Beach in Evanston

Clark Street Beach

Weather permitting we hope you can join us for one more beach meditation.

Everyone is welcome to join our weekly meditation group on Sunday, October 17th at 4:45 pm as we take our cushions out to the sand of Clark Street Beach in Evanston (Feel free to bring a beach blanket or chair if you prefer).

We will enjoy two sitting periods and one walking period together all the while being treated to the tranquil sounds of Lake Michigan and what we hope will be a vibrantly colorful sunset.

***PLEASE NOTE: We will honor all current Covid protocols. Since this is an outdoor event however masks will be optional. If you wish to wear one please bring one along with you. We respect everyone's current position on what is appropriate for them and encourage all attendees to bring that same respectful energy along with them to this event. It is our ongoing intention to make sure all attendees feel safe.

If attending please remember to wear weather appropriate clothing.

Bug spray is recommended.

No donations will be accepted for this event.

LOCATION: Clark Street Beach, 1811 Sheridan Road Evanston, IL 60201. We will meet in front of the beach office near the entry point at 4:45pm and walk out onto the beach together at 5:00pm.

PARKING: You can park on the street adjacent to the beach (Sheridan Rd.) for a fee by pay box. There should be ample spaces available.

FORMAT:
• We begin the evening with a Qigong "centering" practice.

• Then we begin our two 20-minute meditation sessions with a 10-minute walking session in between.

•Once we conclude we will have some time for introductions and sharing.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need help with directions.

With gratitude, Mark & Tony

Guided Meditation with Ellen Radha Katz - Monthly Zoom Meeting (Online / phone)

THIS SESSION WILL BE CONDUCTED VIA ZOOM.

To Join the Zoom Meeting via computer, tablet or smartphone app (preferred):
https://zoom.us/j/6678474673?pwd=K0twNnl0aThJL0toV2pFNnpjS241Zz09

Meeting ID:[masked]
Zoom now requires a password for added security.
Password for WEB or SMARTPHONE APP: peace

To join BY PHONE (audio only) :
One tap mobile -
[masked],,[masked]#,,#,070264# US (Chicago)
[masked],,[masked]#,,#,070264# US (New York)
**PHONE ONLY numeric password if prompted:[masked]

To join manually by PHONE (audio only) :
Dial one of the numbers below, then enter the meeting ID and password when prompted.

Dial by your location:
[masked] US (Chicago)
[masked] US (New York)
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad8Pi8gEDX

Meeting ID:[masked]
**PHONE ONLY numeric password:[masked]

Dial *6 to mute or unmute.

** If joining online, the numeric password will not work. Please enter the password "peace" lower case without quotes: peace

Every third Tuesday of the month when she's in town, Ellen (Radha) offers a gentle, guided healing meditation.

Typically the sessions begin with gentle stretching, moving into breath awareness. Ellen then guides us through a journey into our pre-conscious and subconscious selves. With her gentle voice and intentional words, she creates a space where our individual capacities for healing and love reside.

The sessions are not rigidly structured, rather their organic processes build a bridge connecting us intimately with ourselves. This is how we can cultivate a deep sense of emotional safety, and deepen this conscious, safe community. The meditations provide an experience of deep restoration.

Ellen Is both a licensed psychotherapist and an experienced meditation instructor. She includes teachings from many traditions in her guided meditations, having studied and emerged herself in a wide range of spiritual traditions throughout her life.

These meditations are offered without cost. Please share your love, kindness, and compassion generously with all you come in contact. If you would like to make a contribution supporting Inner Balance, feel free to send it to Inner Balance at 350 Pfingsten Rd. #107, Northbrook, IL 60062, or you can donate via this Meetup.

Sangha Support Group Bi-weekly Zoom Meeting (Online or by phone)

NEW DAY AND TIME!

We hope you are able to join us as we continue to offer a space for members of our Sangha to clear out any pinned up energy and gain support without any judgment, criticism or fixing. A safe space for internal exploration where all are considered equal.

As we move through this unprecedented period it is normal to experience intense and oscillating emotions. We are all fortunate to have the example of the Buddha, his teachings of mindfulness (Dhamma or Dharma) and the support of a Sangha (meditation community) to help us acknowledge, honor and regulate these emotions in order to remain peaceful and balanced, even under the most challenging of circumstances.

However this is by no means an easy or perfect practice. We are all unique and process things in different ways. Many folks have not come to practice yet or posses different beliefs than we do which may complicate our feelings about this period even further. That's where compassion, gentleness and Loving-kindness / friendliness come in. When we are able to open ourselves and connect with these beneficial qualities it becomes far easier to determine our own path towards the Middle Way.

Our Format:
We will begin with a short ten to fifteen minute meditation followed by a spiritual reading from a variety of traditions. Then we will communicate mindfully, practicing deep listening and Loving speech supporting one another as best we can. We will divide our time equally amongst all participants who wish to speak. It is not mandatory that you speak. You are welcome to simply join as a show of support. On occasion we may pause after an intense sharing to allow that energy to settle and if time permits before offering our goodbyes.

**Please note: our ending time is not a hard stop. Often times these sharing's can be deeply emotional and we feel that it's very important to allow an adequate amount of time and space for that to come forth.

We will practice the following six guidelines to the best of our abilities when participating:

1) Welcoming ourselves as we are
2) Mindful communication (Deep Listening and Loving Speech)
3) No judgment, criticism or fixing of others
4) Allow space (For your truth and the truth of others to flow together, side by side. Turn to wonder if you notice any internal struggle with that, "what must this be like for them?")
5) Respect silence (Silence is a rare gift in our busy world. Allow time after speaking for internal reflection)
6) Trust the Sangha (All voices are valued equally and together we will co-create a safe space in which all participants can respectfully share)

This meeting is virtual - You can join via phone or audio/video online

To Join Zoom Meeting via computer, tablet or smartphone app (preferred):
https://zoom.us/j/6678474673?pwd=K0twNnl0aThJL0toV2pFNnpjS241Zz09

Meeting ID:[masked]
Zoom now requires a password for added security.
Password for WEB or SMARTPHONE APP: peace

To join BY PHONE (audio only) :
One tap mobile -
[masked],,[masked]#,,#,070264# US (Chicago)
[masked],,[masked]#,,#,070264# US (New York)
**PHONE ONLY numeric password if prompted:[masked]

To join manually by PHONE (audio only) :
Dial one of the numbers below, then enter the meeting ID and password when prompted.

Dial by your location:
[masked] US (Chicago)
[masked] US (New York)
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad8Pi8gEDX

Meeting ID:[masked]
**PHONE ONLY numeric password:[masked]

Dial *6 to mute or unmute.

** If joining online, the numeric password will not work. Please enter the password "peace" lower case without quotes: peace

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 David

In Person Meditation Practice & Support @ St. James the Less

St James Less Episcopal Church

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 6:30pm so please arrive as close to 6:30pm as possible. We will begin our meditation promptly at 6:45pm. This meetup should end by approximately 8:30pm.

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.

GENERAL FORMAT: Those new to meditation and mindfulness practice are encouraged to arrive early for some brief instruction from 6:30-6:45pm. At 6:45pm, we will begin with either a body scan, gratitude, Metta (Loving Friendliness / Kindness) or Qigong practice in order to center. Then we will 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. In between out two formal sitting periods an optional period of walking meditation will be offered. 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 over 6 years and has experienced overwhelming benefits from the practice. He also practices qigong (flowing movement with focus on moving "qi" energy in the body) as a physical complement 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.

SAFETY: All attendees will be required to have been fully vaccinated. Masks will be required for all participants unless we meet outside. We will space ourselves comfortably apart. Additionally the Church has recently installed a new filtration system that greatly reduces the spread of airborne illnesses. Furthermore we will attempt to hold as many periods as possible outdoors as weather permits.

It is our goal to make all attendees feel safe and comfortable but we do realize that everyone has there own unique comfort level so if this doesn't feel right for you now please honor your feelings and we'll look forward to seeing you whenever you're ready.

FYI: Chairs will be available for those who prefer to use them. For those who choose to sit on the floor please bring your own; meditation cushion, 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

Past events (816)

In Person Meditation Practice & Support @ St. James the Less

St James Less Episcopal Church

Photos (420)