BUDDHIST STUDY AND MEDITATION GROUP
This group meets Mondays from 8-9 p.m. in the 3rd floor Meditation Room. You are welcome to drop in whenever you can. Bring a cushion to sit on, if you have one. Please enter the building through the School Street entrance. Then go up the stairs to the top floor and head down the hall, we will be in the meditation room, the last room on the left.
From the organizer, Ben Draper:
The term mindfulness has become part of our everyday language. We talk about “eating mindfully,” or “trying to be more mindful in our consumer choices.” Furthermore, the actual method of Mindfulness is taught in prisons and schools to reduce stress, taught by cognitive therapists to modify dysfunctional patterns of behavior, and practiced by corporate CEOs to enhance effectiveness in the workplace. In other words, we have co-opted mindfulness. We have extracted it from its original context and stripped it of soteriological meaning. In some cases, it has even been turned into an elixir to promote the smooth functioning of our most destructive institutions.
The word mindfulness comes from the Pali term sati and it is part of the eightfold path which the Buddha prescribed to end Dhaka, the stressful and disturbing mental constructions through which we view ourselves and others. Mindfulness, in this context, is the basis for insight into the true nature of reality, and according to the Buddhist tradition, when we “wake up” to the true nature of things, we realize that we are not in as bad shape as we thought. It’s likened to waking up from a bad dream. Buddha is said to have become awakened through practicing mindfulness of the breath.
In our weekly meetings we practice basic mindfulness meditation and seek to understand how this practice fits within the framework of the Buddha’s teachings. Each meeting lasts about an hour and consists of brief meditation exercises and some discussion of the Buddha’s radical approach to life.