Sat, May 7
Sat, May 7, 1:00 pm–3:00 pm
– A Winter-Spring 2016 Study and Practice Group for Experienced Practitioners
Eight Saturday sessions, 1-3pm. Four sessions will be held in Takoma Park, Maryland (Feb 27, March 19, April 9, and May 7), and four in Columbia, Maryland (March 12, April 2 and 16, and May 14)
Two thousand years ago the Buddha taught his followers a way of using the breath to attain ever deeper states of concentration, clarity, and inner freedom. Known as Annapanasati or The Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing, the short teaching — only 2000 words in English — became a foundational text for meditators through the ages. Thich Nhat Hanh writes:
I was so happy the day I discovered this sutra. I thought I’d discovered the greatest treasure in the world. Before, I’d be content to simply gain knowledge. I didn’t know how to enjoy the present moment, how to look deeply into my life, and how to enjoy the positive conditions that were all around me. This sutra is so basic and so wonderful. There are many great sutras, but approaching them without this sutra is like trying to reach the top of a mountain without a path to go on.
During this Deepening Our Practice Study Group, we will explore together the sutra and the 16 recommended exercises or practices. We will use as our guides commentaries by Thich Nhat Hanh (Breathe, You Are Alive!), Larry Rosenberg (Breath by Breath), Ajahn Buddhadasa (Mindfulness With Breathing), and other teachers.
During our eight sessions, we will clarify the terminology used, address questions and concerns, and share our experiences practicing with each of the 16 exercises. Additionally, between sessions, participants will support each other in groups of 2-4 participants, meeting in person or virtually, at a time that is agreeable to the members of each group. (During our first session, on February 27th, we will collaboratively form the groups.)
The class will be facilitated by Mitchell Ratner, Still Water’s Senior Teacher. To ensure that there is a shared understanding of mindfulness practice in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, we ask that participants have at least six months of experience with mindfulness meditation gained through regular participation at the Still Water MPC or at another practice center.
The recommended mindfulness practice commitment is daily sitting and walking meditation, along with other practices that nourish mindful attention throughout the day.
If you have questions about whether your preparation is appropriate, or other questions about the study and practice groups, please email Still Water at Info@StillWaterMPC.org, or call 301 270 8353.
The Deepening Our Practice Groups are offered in accord with the spirit of Dana. Participants are encouraged to make a donation to the Still Water MPC that accords with the promptings of their heart and their personal circumstances. The tax-deductible contributions are used to support the community and its projects. All donations are appreciated. The suggested donation range for this four-month study and practice group is $160 to $320.Register/Enroll