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)

Digital Detox, A Day Of Mindfulness

The Episcopal Church of St. James the Less

"Disconnecting from our technology to reconnect with ourselves is absolutely essential." - Arianna Huffington Please join our community in our lovely new space for a day of mindfulness where we will go off the grid for 6 straight hours of seemless practice. We will surrender our devices for the day to be present with each other and more importantly with ourselves. We will practice sitting, walking and standing meditation along with the qigong practice of gentle movement. We will consider the effect our digital world plays in our lives and cultivate an intention to bring more awareness to our ongoing involvement in it. We will contemplate the digital habits that we have formed: - Are we so busy documenting our lives that we don't have enough time to actually enjoy them? - Remember what it’s like to stand in line and NOT check your phone? - Think about our “diet” – TV, news, movies, social media, etc. - Consider how the immediacy of technology can keep us from being aware and how we might manage that relationship more beneficially by using the tool of mindfulness. We hope you can be present on Saturday, June 1, 2019, 10AM-4:00PM for "Digital Detox" A Day Of Mindfulness sponsored by the North Shore Meditation Community. Registration will begin at 9:30AM and concludes at 9:55AM. Please plan to arrive in time to register and find your seat before we begin promptly at 10AM. For the most part we will spend our time together in Noble Silence but there will be a brief amount of time set aside for spoken reflection. Your hosts for the day will be Tony Schmidt and Mark Zelkowitz, Co-organizer's of the North Shore Meditation Community. Tony's Background: 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. Mark's Background: 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. Please bring a brown bag lunch and a beverage for the noon meal. Wear comfortable clothing and if you are accustomed to sitting on a cushion, please bring that. Chairs will be provided for those who prefer a chair. There is no cost to attend however donations to help offset our costs for the day will graciously be accepted. As always, we would be honored by your presence.

Laughter Yoga, Meditation & Support @ The Episcopal Church of St. James the Less

The Episcopal Church of St. James the Less

It's been a while since we've connected with this practice so lord only knows what Faye has in store for us. I'm sure it will be a ton of fun though! Especially since Ellen Klein will be partnering with her for this special event. Laughter Yoga is a physically-oriented technique that uses a perfect blend of playful, empowering and otherwise "tension-releasing" laughter and breathing exercises. These exercises are simple, structured and based on the philosophy of "acting happiness." They are appropriate and beneficial for all. You do not need to have a sense of humor, be happy or have any reason to laugh. 10 reported benefits from laughing: Laughter is a stress buster, it strengthens the immune system, is anti-aging, is considered aerobic exercise, it's a natural pain killer, it can control high blood pressure, it can reduce anxiety and depression, it improves our sense of humor, it alleviates bronchitis and asthma and finally, it just makes you feel good! Please join us for what has become a very popular event in our circle! TIME: Our starting time will be at 6:30pm so please arrive in advance in order to get settled before we begin. 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: We will begin the evening with a centering exercise and a brief period of silent meditation followed by Faye and Ellen's guided Laughter Yoga Program. When we finish there will be time for questions, reflection and mingling for those who would like to participate. FYI: Chairs will be available for those who prefer to use them. For those who choose to sit on the floor, blankets, & floorchairs are 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 event or our meditation community in general, please feel free to contact me. I am looking forward to sitting in practice and sharing energy in the present moment with all who choose to attend. With Metta, Mark Z

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

Past events (502)

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

The Episcopal Church of St. James the Less

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