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 eleven years ago, in an attempt to assist his son in overcoming a panic disorder, he was invited by a friend to attend the Chicago Weekly Sitting Meditation Group. The support of that group resonated deeply with his practice. A year later he became a Co-organizer of the group. It also inspired him to launch and organize his own group in 2011 and helped him to develop and maintain a daily meditation and mindfulness practice for the last ten years. Over that time he has participated in over 1000 group meditations facilitating more then 500 of them. He has been formally trained by Buddhist Monks and Nuns 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.
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