Mindfulness Class: Get Ready for the Merry Seasons

Introduction to Mindfulness for Urban Living

In the October of 2018, the English Dharma Group (EDG) is offering an introductory meditation class. In this four-week class, participants receive instructions on Mindfulness Meditation with weekly group practice and daily self exercises at home.
  • Where: Jade Buddha Temple
  • When: 4 Sundays
    • 2018: 10/14 10/21 10/28 11/4
  • Time: 8:00 am group instructions & discussion | 9:00 am meditation practice
  • Orientation: 10/7/18 (to see if this is for you)
Background: We live very busy and sometimes chaotic lives.  There are times we wish to slow down and smell the roses. In the past twenty years, a wealth of scientific and medical research studies and programs have explored the benefits of Mindfulness Meditation. It has found its way into the business world, schools, military, medical and others.
This EDG class is an introduction to the Fundamentals of Mindfulness with emphasis on “doing” more so then concepts. Consisting of four weekly sessions with instructions and actual practices.  The class uses the meditation taught by the Buddha 2,500 years ago. The instructions are non-religious.  It is aimed to introduce and develop the mindfulness skills for busy urban lives. It is designed to allow individuals to develop regular mindfulness habits therefore attendance to all classes are mandatory.

The class is free of charge; donations are welcome.

Expectations and Schedule: To benefit from the program, all participants are expected to commit to class schedules and requirements.  The four classes are conducted over 4 consecutive Sundays, from 8:00 am – 10:00 am. Weekly instructions are given every Sunday for an hour starting at 8:00 am; participants will then attend EDG’s meditation program from 9:00 am to 10:00 am.
Participants will be given daily mindfulness exercises and are required to keep a diary of short check-lists, provided by the instructor. You are encouraged to ask questions and actively contribute to the growth of the group. There is a minimum requirement of 5 participants to start the program.

Program: The class is led by Josten Ma, a long-time member of Jade Buddha Temple and former manager of the English Dharma Group (EDG). His meditation practice evolved over more than 20 years, during which he participated in numerous meditation retreats in the US and overseas, lasting as long as a month. He has studied various popular meditation methods and as a result chose the Insight Meditation practice as a place to develop his mind.

Goals:  The class central focus is on techniques and habit-forming developments, not on concepts. Discussions on meditation difficulties with personal practices are encouraged and individual attentions could be possible.
  • Participants get to know the “How to” of mindfulness meditation
  • Learn the basics of Mindfulness Meditation (Mahasi Methods)
  • Develop Mindfulness habits
  • Develop 24 x 7 awareness in Urban living (yes, even during busy office hours)
Orientation October 7, 2018 : A meet and greet session; learn about the program with a brief introduction of techniques, set expectations and determine if the class is a good fit for you. You may participate in both classes (Fall and Winter) or only one.

Why do you want to invest your time and efforts for four weeks? When Josten Ma was asked about the reasons for this class, he recalled the following story:

Story of the “Truth of the World”
A man seeking the ultimate wisdom (Truth off the World) searched high and low for many years, to every corner of the world.  And he is growing old. Finally, when he was 80 years old, he arrived at the door of the wise man and then asked: “What is the ultimate wisdom of the world?”
The answer that came from the wise man was “Do good and avoid evil.” Immediately, the old man responded angrily and shouted: “Why did I search high and low for such a long time and every corner of the world for these words that even a child knows?”  He was so angry that he was about to strike the wise man. 
The wise man then kindly looked at the angry old man and said, “Yes, a child might know but not even an 80-year-old man can do.”
 In these four weeks you will learn and practice mindfulness techniques that have been proven effective in dealing with difficult encounters. The program is designed to help you establish and strengthen your meditation habits.

Who should attend?
  • Anyone interested in gaining a deeper awareness of day to day busy urban living.
  • Anyone who would like to learn more about meditation practice in a group setting.
  • Anyone who is willing to commit to the program for four weeks.
Registration: Prior registration by September 23.

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