Zen Meditation Group Forming

Patti Gould

Patti Gould

For the past three years, the Wellness Integrated Network of SaddleBrooke (WIN) has hosted programs each first Friday on a variety of topics to support our community in reaching wellness goals. Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 1, WIN is starting a complimentary, regular meditation group at the Cactus Room of the MountainView Clubhouse on Wednesday afternoons at 4 p.m. Come join us and learn more about Zen meditation.

Tibetan teacher Chögyam Trungpa once opened a Zen class by drawing a V on a large white sheet of poster paper. He then asked those present what he had drawn. Most responded that it was a bird. “No,” he told them. “It’s the sky with a bird flying through it.”

Meditation is now mainstream. It teaches us that how we pay attention determines our experience. When we’re in a constant doing or controlling mode, our attention narrows and we perceive objects in the foreground—a bird, a thought, a strong feeling. In these moments, we don’t perceive the sky—the background of experience, the ocean of awareness. The good news is that through meditation practice, we can intentionally incline our minds toward not controlling and toward open attention.

In the Zen tradition, we shift our attention from focusing on the foreground of experience to resting in pure being; we call it the backward step. Whenever we step out of thought or emotional reactivity and remember the presence that’s here, we’re taking the backward step.

If we wake up out of a confining story of who we are and reconnect with our essential awareness, we’re taking the backward step. When our attention shifts from a narrow fixation on any object—sound, sensation, thought—and recognizes the awake space that holds everything, we’re taking the backward step. We come to this realization when there is nowhere else to step, no anything. We’ve relaxed back into the immensity and silence of awareness and rest. In this class, you will learn that this place of rest already exists right here in our own bodies.

The most important point of this class is to learn how to just sit and be very comfortable and restful. It is a practice and a tool that can be applied to any life endeavors.

Are you ready to learn the simple practice of Zen meditation? Join us Wednesdays at 4 p.m. in the Cactus Room in the MountainView Complex. We’ll be starting Sept. 1. For further information or questions, contact Patti Gould at 808-281-9001 or [email protected]