This group is for anyone who wants to benefit from a 2500 year-old tradition of mental training that has proven itself (scientifically) to be effective in reducing anger, fear, depression and other negative emotions, resulting in a more balanced, peaceful, happy state of mind. Many people from other faiths or no faith study Buddhism for that reason and benefit greatly from it. For others, it is a religion or a spiritual path, and their goal is enlightenment: for their own sake, and so that they can most effectively help others.
“The purpose of our lives is to be happy” says the Dalai Lama, and the purpose of this group is to help us to attain that goal by working together to change our minds and hearts. According to Buddhism, the mind is both the cause of and the solution to most of our problems. Fortunately, through an ethical lifestyle, meditation and study, we can train ourselves to be peaceful, compassionate, and full of joy. We can develop the kind of happiness that isn't contingent on outside circumstances. The sangha (the group of practitioners) is considered to be a very important part of that process.
Beginners, those with some experience, and people who are just curious are all welcome to attend our meetings. There is no hidden agenda, no pressure to believe or do anything.
It's okay to come for only some parts of the meeting.
Meditation instructions: If you already have a meditation practice, just do it. Bring a cushion or bench if you wish. Otherwise, sit up straight in the chair provided, put your hands comfortably in your lap or on your knees, and focus your mind on your breathing. If you wish, count each in/out combination up to 10 and then start over. Any variation that keeps your attention in the present will do. When you realize you are thinking about something, just observe it without judgement or mental commentary. If an emotion comes up, don't express or repress it, just embrace it with your mindfulness.