Meditation Welcome to a quiet place of retreat
Zen Yoga Center invites you to join our meditation sessions where you can learn the basics of meditation and practice as a group. These sessions are "informal" with teachers coming from various backgrounds, mostly lay teachers (non monastic) with the exception of the the occasional monastic guest speakers. Through guided instruction, practice and mindful conversation, you will gain experience and greater understanding of the different aspects of meditation. Students should arrive respectfully online several minutes before starting time, wearing comfortable clothing. Click Join Zoom Session view the live broadcast. The sessions will be closed immediately upon start time so late arrivals will not be allowed to enter. These sessions are not recorded unless otherwise indicated. Donations are appreciated but not necessary, see below for details.
If you are unfamiliar with meditation or have only tried it a few times, the practice can be intimidating. You might sit there and instead of being completely immersed in peace, wind up overwhelmed with thoughts like: I can’t do this. I’m not doing this right. My leg is falling asleep! I can’t stop my thoughts. Forget it!!! I have more important things to do! How can sitting here doing nothing be beneficial? This is boring!! I'm falling asleep. Sound familiar?
Good news, all of the above is normal and not a problem. Meditation is not about stopping the mind, but rather allowing the natural tendency of the mind to move. In this, eventual recognition of the underlying peace in life emerges. Meditation is not a belief system. It is a disciplined practice that can heal the nervous system and unlock greater, more fulfilling potential in the brain. Practicing meditation can reduce stress, increase efficiency in action, and promote better sleep. Meditation is truly a discipline, but a very natural practice that can re-establish greater well-being and joy found in the present moment.
At Zen Yoga Center, it is our hope to help you develop a meditation practice that resonates with you by introducing to you different styles and practices. The focusing on Zazen, Mindfulness of the Breath, Vipaśana and Loving-Kindness (Metta) Meditation; our instructors come from varied backgrounds so each session will offer perhaps something new. It is not our intention to change your current practices or beliefs, but rather to strengthen and add to them with quality time sitting in meditation together.
During these sessions you can expect:
About 5-10 minutes of guided meditation, and about 20-30 minutes of close-eyed or open-eyed meditation with a focus on the breath
Remaining time allotted for discussion on a teaching or mindful movement.
The Practice of Dana (Generosity, Donations or Charitable Giving)
Dāna is any form of giving. Dāna दान is a Sanskrit and Pali word that connotes the virtue of generosity in Indian philosophies. Generosity is at the heart and core of many spiritual practices in both Western and Eastern practices. In the Buddhist practice, dana is considered to be the first of the six perfections of ethical practice. It is the heart-opening gateway to the five other practices (morality, patience, energy, meditation, and wisdom), one that diminishes the natural impulse of greed, deepening liberation from the clinging that causes mental suffering.
Although donations are greatly appreciated, please do not give if you are not in the financial position to do so. Know that you are always welcome to practice with the group. The donations received will go to special guest teachers, non-profit organizations, Food Bank of NC, Feeding America, DAV, Equal Justice Initiative, Direct Relief, Doctors without Borders, Heart to Heart, Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation, Great Tree Zen Woman's Temple and to Smile Together for India.