We meet every Tuesday at 7 p.m., 1105 Parkside Lane, Woodstock GA (look for the purple YOGA sign in the shopping center behind the Starbucks and Smoothie King), to meditate and to discuss the Buddhist path to happiness, specifically, The Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path. We meditate at every meeting but on the last meeting of the month, we focus on the basics of mediation practice.
There is no cost to attend, but we do ask that you donate according to your ability. There will be a bowl in the center of the group in which to put your donation. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing, and remove your shoes before entering the sitting area. Meditation mats are provided or you can bring your own. Please try to come on time because we begin our meeting with meditation. And, we ask that you remain mindful and respectful. Namaste.
The Four Noble Truths
1. The truth of dukkha: Traditionally translated as “life is suffering,” the first noble truth is probably better put as “life is often out of balance and unsatisfying.”
2. The causes of dukkha: Dukkha is caused by our ignorance of the fundamental characteristics of our existence, our lives in the world. Everything changes, is impermanent. Everything is interconnected, nothing exists by itself in a vacuum. But, failing to realize these facts, we cling to false conceptions of ourselves, others, situations and the world generally. We become attached to what pleases us and try to avoid that which does not. We do not see that good, bad or indifferent, “this too shall pass.” That is the principal cause of our unhappiness.
3. An end to dukkha: We can be happy. It is as simple (notice that we didn’t say easy) as accepting reality as it exists and not as we want it to be. This does not mean that we have a lackadaisical or despairing “whatever” attitude about life. To the contrary, we believe that we can affect positive change in ourselves and the world.
We do not have a set schedule for covering this material, but we will proceed in the order described. We rotate the discussion leader position so that everyone who wants to can participate, and so we get a variety of perspectives.
We meditate at every meeting, but once a month we will have a “Mediation 101” meeting to focus on practice fundamentals. We especially encourage beginners to come to these meetings.
Why Meditate, Matthieu Ricard
Awakening the Buddha Within, Lama Surya Das
Mindfulness in Plain English, Bhante Gunaratana
More advanced reading
Happiness, Matthieu Ricard
The Wise Heart, Jack Kornfield
The Four Foundations of Mindfulness, Bhante Gunaratana
Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness, Bhante Gunaratana