ONGOING CLASSES & GROUPS
INTRODUCTION TO MINDFULLNESS MEDITAITON
Spring 2024 Wednesdays 6:30-8:30
INTRODUCTION TO MINDFULNESS MEDITATION
A 10-Week Course at Show Me Dharma
Date and Time: Wednesdays 6:30 pm. – 8:30 pm., January 17th-March 27th, 2024
Location: Show Me Dharma, 1600 W. Broadway, Columbia Missouri (entrance through the parking lot in the back of Unity Church) and/or via ZOOM (Most classes will take place.in person and via Zoom, but because of the instructor's travel schedule and/or weather conditions, at least two of the classes will likely be via Zoom only).
Cost: This class is offered on a Dana (voluntary donation) basis. You may pay cash in the dharma hall or via PayPal: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=KZJWCWYQ4DH6L or Venmo @ShowMeDharma.
Welcome to Show Me Dharma's 2024 Spring Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation class! This class will provide the opportunity for an in-depth overview of Mindfulness Meditation as taught in the "Insight meditation" tradition of the Theravada school of Buddhism. The location is in person at Show Me Dharma (1600 W. Broadway, Columbia MO 65203) and/OR Show Me Dharma's Zoom "Dharma Hall" (the Zoom link will be sent out a few days before the class begins). The class will meet 10 Wednesdays, from January17th through March 27th. Some days the class will only be via Zoom and it is possible we will not have class at all on February 28th.. Students are invited to commit to meditating daily (guided meditation recordings will be provided) and to doing, as possible, the exercises in the textbook as well as to providing feedback via an anonymous survey to help Show Me Dharma improve our class offerings.
The textbook for the class is "Journey to the Center" by Matthew Flickstein. This book is based on the “Ten Ox Herding Pictures” which a series of short poems and accompanying drawings used to describe the stages of a practitioner's progress toward enlightenment, and their return to society to enact wisdom and compassion.
Although mostly used in the Zen tradition, the calf, bull, or ox is one of the earliest similes for meditation practice in the Buddhist scripture. According to Wikipedia, the ox metaphor comes from the Maha Gopalaka Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 33). It is also used in the commentaries, especially the one on the Maha Satipatthana Sutta (Digha Nikaya 22) and the Satipatthana Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 10). As Buddhism spread throughout South-East Asia, the simile of the bull or ox spread with it. The well-known ten ox-herding pictures emerged in China in the 12th century.
In this book, Flickstein applies Insight Meditation (or Vipassana) principles to the ox-herding story.
He outlines the journey as follows (pp. 4-5 of the book):
Searching for the Ox. You recognize that what you are truly seeking is contentment, not just momentary happiness—inner peace rather than outward excitement.
Discovering the Footprints. You realize that the journey to the center takes place within your own mind.
Perceiving the Ox—You uncover the ways in which you have unconsciously defined yourself, and you realize how profoundly these self-images have affected the quality of your life.
Catching the Ox—you begin to resolve your issues from the past and start to confront your fears regarding the future.
Taming the Ox—you learn how to maintain a moment-to-moment awareness of the thoughts that incessantly arise within your mind.
Riding the Ox home—you learn to live in the moment, in the “here and now” of your life.
The Ox Transcended – you unify your fragmented mind as you begin to live in harmony with the natural rhythm of your life.
Both Ox and Self Transcended -- You realize who you are beyond your self-definitions.
Reaching the Source -- You reach the center of your being, and your psychological and spiritual struggles finally come to an end.
In the World -- You learn to integrate your new understanding with the rest of your life and to appreciate the joy of sharing with others what you have come to understand.
The outline of the class is as follows:
1. Introduction to Meditation and Establishing a Practice; mindfulness of breathing. pp. 1-14 of the text.
2. Searching for the Ox & Discovering the Footprints.
Clarifying what you are seeking; setting intentions; reviewing your life; deepening the practice: mindfulness of the breath and the body. Understanding our thoughts, beliefs, conditioning and self-image; deepening the practice: mindfulness of breath, body, thoughts & beliefs; pp. 15-32
3.Perceiving the Ox.
Recognizing and working with our "shadow" and the conditioning of the self-image. Releasing identification with self-image and using intention as a way of making progress on the journey toward freedom. pp. 33-54
4. Catching the Ox
Resolving (or increasing awareness of) issues that keep us stuck in our conditioning; taming distractions;
forgiveness work; pp. 54-76
5: Catching the Ox continued. Continuing to resolve (or at least increase mindfulness of) the issues that keep us stuck in our conditioning; resolving grief; addressing conflicts; confronting fears; pp. 77-102
6. Taming the Ox. Deepening our understanding of how unconscious patterns control us and moving from identification with thoughts to objectively observing thoughts, beliefs; Bare attention; bareness of decision; bareness of mental commentary. 3 characteristics of experience: impermanent, unsatisfactory, selfless;
awareness of habits; pp. 103-126
7. Taming the Ox continued. Mindfulness of the body; Walking Meditation; working with the four aspects of "Clear Comprehension." as a way of bringing our practice into our daily lives. pp. 127-147.
8. Riding the Ox home & The Ox Transcended.
Living in the present moment; right effort; guarding the sense doors; eliminating unskillful states that have arisen; cultivating "the four skillful states" (the Brahmaviharas ). pp.149-172
9. Both Ox and Self Transcended. The Understanding of "No Self" and its role in our practice; pp.175-188
10. Reaching the Source & In the World. Freedom; Knowing and living from our "True Nature." pp. 189-208.
Each class will include an introduction to the theme of the day, periods of meditation, a short talk, pair or small group practice and discussion, Q&A. Throughout the 10 weeks you will have an opportunity to do homework from the text (journaling exercises) and you are encouraged to have a daily meditation practice (instructions and recorded guided meditations will be provided).
Although this is an in-depth course with a lot of content, you are welcome to go as deep as you like or keep it as basic as you like. All are welcome, no matter who you are, no matter whether you have any experience with meditation or not.
To find out more information and to register go to this google form: > https://docs.google.com/forms/d/15NGHQ1_l2qJ_XsNpZAXPrO6UKBnNgUcwhJSjMgAFLrA/edit#response=ACYDBNj2hN2uSB1wPBWB47KaHKf5XEYZ6lulQEiZ0RW77e4_82iVL6iE5QCzW3NsbLWQRdY
If you have questions, contact Caya Tanski at email@example.com.
Weekly Sitting Meditation
On Sunday morning (10-11 am) and Tuesday evenings (7:30-8:30 pm) we offer a 30-minute sitting meditation followed by a short dharma talk and discussion. Currently these sessions are offered on Zoom. They are led by a member of the Show Me Dharma teachers’ council. All are welcome. No registration required. For more information visit our FAQs
Monday Morning Class
Meets every Monday 8 - 9:30 am
The Monday morning class is a committed practice group that offers an opportunity to bring the practice of insight meditation into all aspects of daily life. It is for those with several months’ meditation experience. Participants register and commit to regular attendance of the meetings. The class is taught by Joe McCormack and is focused on a dharma book that Joe and the class have selected.
To register or get more information contact Joe McCormack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday Evening Class
Meets every Thursday 7 - 8:30 pm
The Thursday evening class offers an opportunity to take a deeper dive into the Buddha dharma with the support of committed spiritual friends. The class revolves around the reading of a foundational text that is discussed each week. We focus on how to integrate practice into our daily lives through questions and dialogue. The class is facilitated by a roster of senior students and teachers. Participants commit to daily practice, reading the material and participation in class. It is offered on a dana basis. To register or get more information contact Terry Furstenau at email@example.com
Living Earth Meditation
Saturdays 9 am
1400 Gary St, Columbia, MO
A cooperative program from:
Columbia Friends Meeting
Show Me Dharma
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia