I am at the Rime Center the 4th Wednesday of every month leading a drop in meditation group. This is both in person and online. You don’t have to have any experience to attend and this doesn’t cost anything.
Meditation Practice Every 4th Wednesday – In Person and Online
This classic text of teaching verses from the earliest period of Buddhism in India conveys the philosophical and practical foundations of the Buddhist tradition. The text presents two distinct goals for leading a spiritual life: the first is attaining happiness in this life (or in future lives); the second goal is the achievement of spiritual liberation, freedom, absolute peace. Many of the key themes of the verses are presented in dichotomies or pairs, for example, grief and suffering versus joy; developing the mind instead of being negligent about one’s mental attitude and conduct; virtuous action versus misconduct; and being truthful versus being deceitful. The purpose of these contrasts is, very simply, to describe the difference between what leads to desirable outcomes and what does not.
We’re going to do explore the passages in this foundational Buddhist text together.
These classes are available to EVERYONE. We have “Suggested Fees,” however pay whatever you can afford for the class. Everyone is welcome! It is our hope that some will pay more to cover those who can’t afford the usual fee. We simply want everyone to have access to these wonderful classes.
Use coupon R1M3CL@55 if you are unable to afford to class fee.
“Each moment of cultivating the psychological gesture of kindness rather than the impulse of abandonment is learning to inhabit our life in a fearless way.” -Christina Feldman Kindness is fundamental to living an ethical life, with positive thoughts, words, and actions. It’s hard to imagine living a life of virtue that isn’t predominately focused on kindness. I’m using the word ‘kindness’ because that’s easier to use and understand, but what we’re really talking about is ‘Metta’. Sometimes this word is… Read more
“Compassion has the power to bring harshness and cruelty to an end; compassion heals our hearts even when pain cannot be fixed; compassion is the root of forgiveness, patience, and tolerance. The seed of profound and immeasurable compassion lies in each of our hearts.” -Christina Feldman Compassion is fundamental to living an ethical and fulfilled life. The original term that we’re translating as ‘compassion’ is ‘karuna’. It’s an attitude we can cultivate in our lives. Compassion is the wish for… Read more
“Joy has its roots in mindfulness, which sensitizes us to our world of the moment. Mindfulness brings intimacy with all things. With mindfulness we simply learn to make room for joy; learning to see, listen, and attend to all things with a spacious heart.” -Christina Feldman Joy makes us feel alive. It’s part of our innate potential. We can have joyous lives. With mindfulness we can learn to see the roots of our joy and to have some understanding of… Read more
“Equanimity is understanding what it means to stand in the midst of all experience with unshakeable balance, to be responsive yet unbroken.” -Christina Feldman Equanimity is that quality of mind that helps us keep us together when things get hard, our ability to weather the storms of life and to not fall apart. It’s that quality that stops you from freaking out and falling to the floor when there are setbacks in life. We’ve all been kicked in the heart… Read more
“Joy has its roots in mindfulness, which sensitizes us to our world of the moment. Mindfulness brings intimacy with all things. With mindfulness we simply learn to make room for joy; learning to see, listen, and attend to all things with a spacious heart.” -Christina Feldman
16. I have taught my Introduction to Meditation Class at 16 public libraries since the end of May. It has been a wonderful experience and I have met and talked about meditation with a lot of people. There is only one of these classes left. So, if you’ve been wanting to go and have missed it so far, this is your chance:
I have a drop-in meditation group at the Rime Buddhist Center on the 4th Wednesday of every month at 7pm (central time). You can come show up and meditate with me or you can access the meditation group through zoom. I always prefer in person things, but I know many people are unable to attend things like this in person. Meditation is better together. Show up if you can.
So, I’ll be doing this one day after my last introduction to meditation class. Here are the details:
Joy makes us feel alive. It’s part of our innate potential. We can have joyous lives. With mindfulness we can learn to see the roots of our joy and to have some understanding of what gets in our way. A lot of things do get in the way of our joy. We get caught up and obsessed with fulfilling our desires. We start telling ourselves stories and convince ourselves that if just one or two circumstances in our lives were different, then we could be happy.
It’s, of course, totally understandable that we would want to strive for getting our desires and wish for things to be different. It’s just that state of mind that says, “I’ll have time to be happy later.” that gets us all mixed up.
Sometimes we keep ourselves so busy that there’s no room for joy. Sometimes we need to slow down and appreciate the good in the world. But we’re often so busy chasing after the next thing, that we don’t appreciate anything in our lives. This doesn’t serve us very well.
I can’t take much joy in seeing the mailman get a promotion. But what if I could? If I can extend my circle and take joy in the success of more and more people, then happiness is always out there for me.
The foundations of joy are Integrity and Appreciation.
Integrity has been described as ‘the bliss of blamelessnesss’. I like to think of that Mark Twain quote, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” When we don’t live ethical lives we get in our way. It’s easy to feel like we aren’t good enough when we aren’t making the best choices. We always know what harmful actions we’re letting ourselves get away with. This is a way to live with less regrets and to have more harmony and trust in our day to day lives.
Appreciation is when we learn how to focus on the positive instead of getting caught up in the negative or the imaginary all the time. There’s an old traditional Chinese saying that is relevant here. It is, “Write your sorrows in sand and etch your joys in stone.”
Christina Feldman says, “Mindfulness teaches us to reclaim our capacity for appreciation. We learn to cultivate many moments when we pause, step out of our busyness and our stories, and truly see what is before us, to listen wholeheartedly, to be touched, and to make room for joy.”When we appreciate what’s happening, we make room for joy to exist in our lives.
I’m co-leading the Free Meditation Workshop for the Rime Center.
May 25 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Meditation has been proven to: lower blood pressure, relieve stress, and help you cope with anxiety. It has also been shown to be very effective with chronic pain, insomnia, and panic disorder. The wonderful thing about meditation is that it can be used anywhere, even on the way to work and has no dangerous side effects. In this one session class you will learn this simple technique that can change your life. This class is based upon the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.
The Sunday service consists of various chants along with short periods of meditation, music consisting of singing the Tara and Chenrezig mantras, a guided meditation, and concludes with a short Dharma talk. This is going to be streamed on the zoom platform. The Rime Center isn’t fully open for in person services at this time. Come see me give a talk on zoom.
Self Compassion is a concept I had trouble understanding at first. I heard we need to cultivate self-compassion and I thought to myself “I am selfish. I have no trouble making sure I go after the things I want. How could I be struggling with self-compassion. How is this an issue for anyone?”
You may have felt this way too.
But the truth is I tell myself negative stories and I think we all do. I put together a cabinet for my office and one of the drawers doesn’t work right. It’s not in exactly right, so it doesn’t close all the way. Instead of working to fix it, I’m telling myself the story that I’m really bad at putting furniture together. Telling this story about myself is a lack of self-compassion. I suspect we all have little stories like that. Little stories we tell ourselves matter. You may say, “I’m a clumsy,” “I’m lazy,” “I have a terrible temper,” or even worse…”I’m unlovable.”
I definitely told myself that last one for many years, but not now.
These are examples of failing to have self compassion.
In ‘A Fearless Heart’ Thupten Jinpa PhD, Professor and former monk says, “When we lack self compassion, we are less self accepting, less self tolerant, and less kind to ourselves.”
In ‘Daring Greatly’ Brene Brown PhD says, “Self-compassion is key because when we’re able to be gentle with ourselves in the midst of shame, we’re more likely to reach out, connect, and experience empathy.”
I’m defining Self Compassion as taking care of ourselves while being attentive to the feelings and needs of those around us.
It’s not the same as Self Pity. Self Pity is narrow because it really comes from a place of being obsessed with yourself. It’s also not the same as Self Esteem. Self Esteem involves judging yourself and finding yourself worthy. Self-Compassion really gives us the opportunity to be honest with ourselves. It gives us the chance to say to ourselves, “I did this wrong and I’ll try to do better.” Instead of “I did this wrong and I’m a bad person.”
We sometimes have a sort of generalizing tendency. This gets in the way of our Self compassion and our compassion toward others. Like my example above, if I fail to correctly build a cabinet, then I think I’m really bad at building things. If I lash out in anger at someone I can easily tell myself I’m bad at self control. It’s stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. But there’s a lot going on and one incident doesn’t define us. One incident doesn’t define anyone. So give yourself a break.
In ‘A Fearless Heart’ Thupten Jinpa goes on to say, “In cultivating self compassion, we don’t evaluate ourselves according to our worldly successes, and we don’t compare ourselves with others. Instead, we acknowledge our shortcomings and failings with patience, understanding, and kindness. We view our problems within the larger context of our shared human condition.”
It’s all about loving yourself and having some perspective.
Self compassion helps us relax when we need to, understand our limitations when we set goals, and learn from our life experiences. Because if we’re overcome with self doubt or self pity, it affects everything in our lives. If we can just learn to love, care for, and respect ourselves…it can change everything for us.
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