Mindfulness is awareness of what is within and around you in the present moment.
By bringing awareness to the in-breath and out-breath, we gently bring the mind back to the body in the present moment. If a thought or feeling arises, simply recognize it and gently return attention back to the in-breath and out-breath following it the full length in acceptance and recognition just as it is.
We have two sitting meditations sessions, a 20 minute one before the walking meditation and a shorter one after. Most often we practice sitting meditation in noble silence and occasionally a guided meditation may be offered. We sit alert and relaxed, practicing mindful breathing and simply enjoying the sitting.
Walking meditation takes place outside (weather permitting) and is the practice of bringing attention to one's feet as they touch the Earth and to the breath in that moment, enjoying walking.
A reading from one of Thay's books, a Sutra or DIscourse, or a short Dharma Talk video from Plum Village is shared. The recitation of the 5 Mindfulness Trainings is the first Friday of each month. At times we will have special guest speakers.
Dharma sharing is the practice of deep listening and loving speech. We take turns sharing from the heart of personal experience our daily practice with the mindfulness trainings, our joys and difficulties. As one speaks, the others listen with open heart-mind.
To close the session, we sing, share the merit of the practice by honoring the joys and bringing awareness to the sufferings of all beings, or recite a Metta, the words of loving-kindness... and smile!
We welcome all ages, backgrounds, and faith traditions of wellbeing to join us in these mindfulness practices.
A sangha is a garden, full of many varieties of trees and flowers. When we can look at ourselves and at others as beautiful, unique flowers and trees we can truly grow to understand and love one another. One flower may bloom early in the spring and another flower may bloom in late summer. One tree may bear many fruits and another tree may offer cool shade. No one plant is greater, or lesser, or the same as any other plant in the garden. Each member of the sangha also has unique gifts to offer the community.
We each have areas that need attention as well. When we can appreciate each member's contribution and see our weaknesses as potential for growth, we can learn to live together harmoniously. Our practice is to see that we are a flower or a tree, and we are the whole garden as well, all interconnected.
-Thich Nhat Hanh