Meditation with the book “The Relaxed Mind”
with guidance from Ellen Lebowitz & Heather Fox
Beginning September 12, 2017 7-8:30pm
NOTE: September 12 is the 2nd Tuesday of the month. The rest will be on the third Tuesday
Cost: Suggested Donation:$10
The Relaxed Mind – Meditation Book Study Group with Ellen & Heather
Finding peace of mind in the midst of our busy, chaotic world can be challenging. Meditation is one way to help yourself find peace of mind. Whether you are new to meditation, simply curious about meditation, or an experienced practitioner of meditation, you are warmly welcome to join our Meditation Book Study Group, meeting monthly @ Liberty Yoga, the third Tuesday of the month, 7-8:30 pm, from September 2017 through September 2018.
Ellen Lebowitz and Heather Fox will facilitate the group, and the book we’ll study for the year is The Relaxed Mind, by Dza Kilung Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher who has specialized in making meditation instruction accessible and usable for busy modern folk. You can purchase this book through Amazon. We will also have books available for purchase at our first session.
In this book group, we’ll work our way through the seven steps of Rinpoche’s method to learn and deepen one’s meditation practice. The group sessions each month will be devoted to discussion and practice of each of the seven steps, as we study them. Our schedule is noted below.
Meditation Schedule: Click the date to register for that class (You may register ahead of time- unpaid)
Session 1, September 12: Meditation step 1: Basic Sitting — Introductions, overview of the seven-step meditation method, group logistics, required materials
Session 2, October 17: Meditation step 2: Calm Abiding
Session 3, November 21: More Calm Abiding meditation
Session 4, December 19: Meditation step 3: Refined Basic Sitting
Session 5, January 16: Meditation step 4: Insight Meditation
Session 6, February 20: More Insight Meditation discussion and practice
Session 7, March 20: Meditation step 5: Open Heart-Mind meditation
Session 8 April 17: More Open Heart-Mind meditation
Session 9 May 15: Meditation step 6: Pure Mind meditation
Session 10 June 19: More Pure Mind meditation
Session 11 July 17: Meditation step 7: Nonconceptual meditation
Session 12 August 21: More Nonconceptual meditation; exploration of next steps for the study group
About Ellen Lebowitz, E-RYT:
Ellen Lebowitz made the meditation/physical practice connection in 1984 when she embraced T’ai Chi through private instruction. In 1986 she began taking yoga classes with Bikram Choudhury (Bikram Yoga) in California and continued her study of yoga with Johnny Gillespie, attending workshops and longer programs with others including Jimmy Barkan, Rajashree Choudhury, and Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa and Gurushabd Singh Khalsa.
Ellen’s meditation studies have focused on the Buddhist path; she is a student of Her Eminence Mindrolling Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche, and has received teachings from the Dalai Lama, Venerable Kenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche, Venerable Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Pema Chodron, David Nichtern, and Ethan Nichtern. She is also currently studying with Scott McBride.
Ellen received certification from David Nichtern and Cyndi Lee after successful completion of OM Yoga’s 2011 Meditation Teacher Training. She received her 200 hour Yoga Alliance certification in 2008 from Empowered Yoga and Verge Power Yoga. Her teaching is a natural result of her deep desire for an enlightened, compassionate and peaceful world, along with the wish to share these jewels which have brought so much to her life. She brings her warmth and genuine interest in the well-being of all students to each class.
Heather Fox has practiced meditation most of her life, having first learned a meditation technique as a pre-teen in the 70s. Later in college she was introduced to buddhism and as her buddhist studies continued, she learned shamata (calm-abiding) meditation technique. She trained with David Nichtern and is a certified OM Buddhist Studies meditation teacher.
Rediscovering Simple Contentment in Our Precious Lives
Learn how to simply sit, without doing, so that you taste the joy of and familiarize yourself with simply being. Feel what it is to relax totally without external distractions, with just the support of breath…which is always there for you.
We can only work with what we are aware of. Experience how the simple practice of calm abiding or peaceful abiding, plants you squarely on the path of being awake and aware in your life.
Begin to see that with simple practices you can learn to let go, over and over again so that the conditioned reactions within the hope and fear spectrum, which cause endless suffering, can also be let go of. Be your own dear friend, utterly honest and limitlessly loving.
Reactivity and negativity are common in ourselves and our world; overcome these negative habits by cultivating the innate capacity to observe without judgment, but with genuine honesty. Learn to trust your basic, inherent goodness.
You cannot control your feelings. However, there is no need to indulge or dwell in them either. Be kind to yourself. Recognize that feelings and emotions are not permanent or solid and they do pass and change. No matter what your feelings and emotions may be, you can influence your overall experience and restrain behavior and speech so as to do no harm to yourself or another.
You cannot control your thoughts. However a regular meditation practice will allow you to recognize patterns of thought and gain insight into the way you view your world and act in it. With diligence and discipline, motivated by the desire to be happy (the great desire of all beings!) you will then be able to abandon what does not serve you or others—that which causes suffering and confusion— and cultivate that which is beneficial—true causes of happiness and clarity. Your mind will become more pliable, balanced, clear and strong. Joy can then arise spontaneously.
Through a regular meditation practice, which provides the ground of stillness and silence, you will go inward to discover your true nature, your basic goodness.