- Schedule: Practice is
held on the first three Sundays of each month from 4:00 until
6:00 pm at Congregation Har Shalom, 725 West Drake Road. Plan
to be in and seated by 4:00 pm; the door locks at 4:00 pm.
- Agenda: The first
hour includes silent sitting and walking meditation; the second
hour includes tea and snacks followed by dharma discussion.
incense, and candles: We use 'gathas' or short mindfulness
sayings at different points in our practice, especially when
lighting incense and candles.
During sitting meditation, feel free to sit on a cushion, sit
in a chair, stand up, or lie down. During walking meditation,
you may continue to sit, hang out in the lobby, or join the group
in the walk.
Five Mindfulness Trainings: Each session includes a sharing of one
of the Five Mindfulness Trainings, a set of principles that date
back to the Buddha's first teachings. The Buddha offered these
as guiding principles meant simply to guide us to more mindful
ways of living; they are not 'commandments'.
- Transitions: When it's
time to change activities, the facilitator will signal the transition
with the sound of a bell.
- Bowing: Bowing is
a greeting of respect and a reminder to be mindful in that moment.
We encourage you to adopt this practice of putting your hands
together at your heart and bowing, making a lotus with your hands.
Bowing is a sangha tradition as we enter the meditation hall,
prepare to take a seat, prepare to speak, finish speaking, or
acknowledge each other.
We serve tea and snacks as a way to practice the Fifth Mindfulness
Training, "mindful consumption". Eat quietly, mindful
of each bite, each sip, and all of the sensations of taste, texture,
and temperature from moment to moment.
This helps us practice of the Fourth Mindfulness Training, "deep
listening and loving speech". It's a time to listen deeply
and speak from your heart about your own experiences; it's not
a time to give advice or to engage in debate.
- Closing: The practice
comes to a close with three bows and three bells. The bows honor
the Three Jewels: the Buddha (our ancestral and current teachers),
the Dharma (the teachings, old and new), and the Sangha (our
community of practice). Finally, we dedicate the merits of the
practice, honoring our commitment to practice mindfulness for
the benefit of all sentient beings.
twenty minutes early to speak with one of the facilitators and
ask questions about the practice.
and the Occasional Fifth Sundays
.....Since we don't
meet on the fourth Sunday of each month, we encourage you to
practice on your own. We'll share suggestions for on-line resources,
other study materials, and practice activities.
.....When there is
a fifth Sunday, we sometimes meet for regular practice or hold
special events such as pot-luck socials, days of mindful service,
or other activities that would support personal growth and fellowship.
We will announce any 5th Sunday plans via email.
it matters more what you do with your mind than what you do with
your body. Sitting on a cushion cross-legged, sitting on a chair,
sitting on a small bench, standing, lying down -- these are all
matters of individual preference and physical capability. The
goal is to find a position for your body that will free you to
pay attention to what is going on in your mind.
maintain awareness of your entire being. When sitting, keep your
spine in an aligned and lifted position to allow deeper breathing.
Periodically scan your body for signs of discomfort and quietly
adjust yourself as needed.
.....Learn to "follow"
or pay attention to your breath. When you notice that your mind
has wandered, bring it back by gently re-focusing on your breathing.
This helps you settle the restless activity of the mind so you
can begin to notice what is happening within you in the present
you will be distracted by physical sensations, thoughts, and
emotions during meditation. Don't fight or judge them. Simply
observe them, letting them come and go. You might want to examine
one of them more closely to see what it has to say to you. Listen
to your thoughts and emotions with respect and love. Let go of
.....You might also
choose to silently repeat a gatha or short phrase to help you
focus your mind. Here are some short gathas offered by Thay to
coordinate with your breath: In-Out; Deep-Slow; Calm-Ease;
Smile-Release; Present Moment-Wonderful Moment. Slowly say
the first word as you breathe in, then say the second word as
you breathe out.
meditation, take each step at a gentle, mindful pace, paying
attention to how the sensation of slow walking shows in different
parts of your body. You might want to coordinate your steps with
the rhythm of your breathing. Walking meditation helps us learn
to be more mindful "off the cushion."
.....The sangha supports
itself by accepting donations or "dana" in the spirit
of sharing resources generously. There is no obligation to contribute,
nor is there a fee to attend practice.
.....We use the dana
to pay rent for our meeting space and to purchase supplies. When
possible, we also offer scholarships for sangha members to attend
retreats using dana funds.
Sangha is connected with other sanghas in Colorado and Wyoming.
We occasionally help host "Days of Mindfulness" as
well as multi-day retreats with Dharma teachers in Thay's tradition.
.....Each month there
is a Day of Mindfulness at the Compassionate Dharma Cloud Monastery
in Morrison, Colorado. (http://www.compassionatedharmacloudmonastery.org/)
.....The Zen Club
at CSU meets in the Danforth Chapel on campus each Wednesday
from 5:30 - 6:30 pm. (https://ramlink.collegiatelink.net/organization/zen-club)
.....Heart of Recovery
is a weekly addiction recovery program that meets in Fort Collins
and blends a twelve-step approach with Buddhist and other spiritual