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 (5)

Virtual Meditation Practice & Support via Zoom Meeting (online or by phone)

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 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 6:50pm - 8:30pm. NEW LOCATION: Virtual FORMAT: 6:50 - 7:00 Welcome and technology familiarization 7:00 - 7:20 Centering exercise 7:20 - 7:30 Contemplative offering 7:30 - 8:05 Vipassana meditation 8:05 - 8:30 Optional group sharing/discussion TODAY'S EVENT HOST: Mark Z. (Asoka) In an attempt to help his son in overcoming a panic disorder, he reconnected with the practice in 2008. A year later he joined the Chicago Weekly Sitting Meditation Group to seek the assistance of others with that process. The benefits and support he received from the group were life changing. He was eventually invited to become a Co-organizer. He has maintained a daily meditation and mindfulness practice ever since. That experience furthered his growth and ultimately inspired him to launch and organize this group in 2011. During that time he has participated in over 1000 group meditations facilitating more then 500 of them. He has been formally trained by Buddhist Monks, Nuns and Lay Teachers in the practices of Samatha / Vipassana, Metta and walking meditation. He is also a Co-organizer of Inner Balance Meditation as well as a Meditation and Mindfulness instructor for the Arlington Heights Park District. The practice has touched his heart deeply. 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

Chicago Weekly Sitting Meditation Group Zoom Meeting (online or by phone)

Everyone is welcome to join our weekly meditation on Monday evening at 7:00pm. All levels of experience are welcome. THIS MEETING WILL BE CONDUCTED ONLINE or by telephone via zoom. Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89213010006?pwd=ZG9wMFh0d1dZMzBLeWVRbHRjVWprZz09 Meeting ID:[masked] Password:[masked] One tap mobile [masked],,[masked]#,,,,0#,,290221# US (Chicago) [masked],,[masked]#,,,,0#,,290221# US (Germantown) Dial by your location [masked] US (Chicago) [masked] US (Germantown) [masked] US (New York) [masked] US (Tacoma) [masked] US (Houston) [masked] US (San Jose) Meeting ID:[masked] Password:[masked] Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdaAWwNNP When you click on the hyperlink in the email, a piece of software from zoom.us will be installed on your computer after you consent (if it is not already). This is a known source and is safe to install. I'll encourage you to turn your video camera on for an enhanced experience of "being with" other people, but it is optional. If you dial in on your cell phone, you'll be directed to key in the meeting ID number. You can join via voice after that. NOTE: THE ZOOM MEETING WILL BE LOCKED AT 7:15PM. We will follow our usual format with brief introductions, a sitting session, a standing or walking session, another sit and time for reflection/discussion. I'll encourage patience with the zoom technology. It is quite simple, but all things on computers can present issues depending on your level of familiarity. If something does not function properly, please stay and sit! You will know there is a group sitting with you in spirit. You can trouble shoot later. Please try to minimize any noise in the room where you are sitting during the meditation sessions. The host will mute all participants during meditation. During times for sharing, you can unmute yourself by clicking the microphone icon in the lower left corner of your interface OR hover over your image and select "unmute."

Weekly Sangha Support Zoom Meeting (online or by phone)

Please join us for something new. As we move through this unprecedented period it is normal to experience intense and oscilating 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 under the most challenging of circumstances. However this is by no means a perfect practice. We are all unique and process things in different ways. Many folks have not come to practice yet or may believe differently than we do which may complicate our feelings about this crisis even further. That's where compassion, gentleness and Loving-kindness come in. This Meetup is designed with the intention of providing a space for those in the Sangha to express whatever they wish without judgment, criticism or fixing. A safe space to clear energy or for taking a moment to simply stop and investigate how all of this is impacting you. Format: We will begin with introductions followed by a short a ten minute meditation. 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. We will close with a five minute silent meditation to let the speaking energy settle before offering goodbyes. We will practice the following six guidelines to the best of our abilities when participating: 1) Welcome yourself as you 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 create a safe space in which all participants can 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

Outdoor Practice & Support @ St. James the Less with live Zoom feed

***PLEASE NOTE: All attending in person will honor social distancing protocols and masks will be required in order to participate (Although they will not need to be worn at all times). We are limiting the number of on-site attendees to twenty total so please be considerate of others and update your RSVP promptly if your ability to attend changes. If the weather does not cooperate we will only meet via Zoom. FYI: Those who will be meeting outdoors should bring a chair to sit on. If you prefer to utilize a meditation bench or cushion you may also wish to bring a blanket or beach towel to place underneath it on the grass. Applying bug spray in advance is highly recommended. TIME: Our meeting time will be 6:30 pm so please arrive as close to 6:30 pm as possible. We will begin our meditation promptly at 6:40 pm. This meetup should end by approximately 8:15 pm. 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 (NW corner). Ample parking is available. We will be meeting outside around the Labyrinth. If you need some additional help finding us, please feel free to contact the event host prior to the closing of RSVP's. ZOOM INFO: Those joining us on Zoom can utilize any of the following methods in order to attend: 1.) Direct link: https://zoom.us/j/6678474673?pwd=K0twNnl0aThJL0toV2pFNnpjS241Zz09 2.) Via computer, tablet or smartphone app (preferred). Sign in to your personal account then enter the meeting ID & password: Meeting ID:[masked] Password for WEB or SMARTPHONE APP: peace 3.) BY PHONE (audio only). Dial one of the numbers below, then enter the meeting ID and numeric password when prompted: One tap mobile - [masked],,[masked]#,,#,070264# US (Chicago) [masked],,[masked]#,,#,070264# US (New York) Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad8Pi8gEDX Enter Meeting ID:[masked] **PHONE ONLY password:[masked] Dial *6 to mute or unmute. GENERAL FORMAT: Those new to meditation and mindfulness practice are encouraged to arrive early for some brief instruction and practice from 6:30 - 6:40pm. At 6:40pm, 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 mindful movement exercises (yoga or qigong) 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 introductions, sharing and questions during our mindful communication period. 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. 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. With Metta, Mark and Tony

Past events (621)

Social Distancing, Mindful Walking & Nature Meditation @ Ryerson

Ryerson Conservation Area

Photos (391)