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Joy course begins today at Shambhala Meditation Center

March 3, 2015

by Esrraa Felemban

The Joy in Everyday Life course begins today at the Shambhala Meditation Center and rungs each Tuesday of this month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Participants are encouraged to attend each session in order to complete the program.

The center is housed at 747 Madison Ave. and provides different programs and various types of meditation, including public meditation.logo5

“We have meditation general sitting every morning and then we have an evening sitting opportunity three nights a week and then classes usually a couple nights of the week,” said Elissa Kane, acting director of the center. The center also offers free meditation instruction, usually on the first and third Wednesday of each month, and by appointment with a variety of the meditation instructors.

Joy in Everyday Life is one of the courses in the Way of Shambhala curriculum. The Way of Shambhala is an extensive path of training in authentic meditation practices and wisdom teaching.

“It is open to anyone who’s had meditation instruction, and it is about the Buddhist Mahayana teachings, which are about developing compassion,” said Ellen Rook, Center Shastri, who is a senior teacher at the Shambhala Center, appointed by the spiritual leader of Shambhala, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. The program offers an experiential overview of the practices, teachings, contemplative arts, and physical disciplines rooted in the ancient traditions of Shambhala Buddhism.

The course also examines Shambhala teachings on cheerfulness and health. Through study and practice of these teachings, we will step out of the trap of our habitual patterns and free ourselves from confusion. This class is a strong introduction to the Buddhist concept of bodhicitta, and it includes meditation instructions, experiential exercises, and active community support.

The program is taught by David Rook, who has been practicing and teaching meditation in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition for nearly 30 years. The course text is available at the Center for purchase, and is called “The Places That Scare You” by Pema Chodron.image.png1-300x233

The Joy program fee is $75 and $90 for patrons. Since the Shambhala Meditation Center is a volunteer organization, donations are accepted, and this course offers a “pay what you can afford” policy if the program price is inappropriate for anyone.

People recognize the benefit of meditation and the numbers of the members who attend the Shambhala Meditation Center have increased over the years. Some people come consistently, and others like the idea of the center so they support it.

“I think we definitely have more people coming, interestingly we have a lot of people who come on the first and third Wednesday of the month. They learn to meditate at night, and that is really very basic, teaching people how to require their minds enough to just set with themselves, and those sessions are really really well attended,” said Kane.

The center has two meditation rooms, the prime room, and another small room if there are two workshops going at the same time. People always practice meditation in the prime room, and during the meditation class, people are encouraged to use either cushions or chairs. “Our meditation practices are about 20 minutes of sitting and then about seven minutes of walking sort of moderate walking in a circle and then we sit again,” said Kane.-30-

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