MINDFULNESS OF THINKING: AWARENESS WITHOUT WORDS
5-Week Class, 6:30 -8:30 PM
September 27, October 4, 11, 18, 25
Ocean Gate Zen Center, 920 41St. Ave., Suite F, Santa Cruz (Pleasure Point)
EMAIL REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Contact Betsy Blessing at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Space is limited. Please only register if you can attend at least 4 of the 5 classes. Include “Wed. Mindfulness Class” in subject line of email.
This 5-week class offers instruction in mindfulness meditation with an emphasis on working skillfully with thinking. We will explore how habitual thinking patterns can undermine our well-being, adding to anxiety, depression and stress. And we will develop the power of mindful awareness to free ourselves.
This class is open to both new and experienced students.
Everyone is familiar with what is called “monkey mind;” when our mind seems to be a chaotic jumble of noisy, intrusive thoughts. Worries, regrets, and self-judgments are all caused by ways of thinking that are unhelpful and undermining. Our mind can easily jump to negative conclusions and spiral into fear, despair or anger.
Often people believe they must stop thoughts in order to meditate and feel they have failed at meditation because thoughts keep arising. But this is not true. Thinking is an ordinary and necessary function of our mind and will continue in meditation. Problems occur when we are lost in our inner stories and are controlled by our habitual, recurring thoughts. Meditation actually helps change our understanding of and relationship to the “thinking mind.”
Awareness is wordless. Through mindfulness we become aware of thoughts and can disentangle ourselves from their compulsive control over us. We can choose which thoughts to act on and which to disregard. We can question what is true and what is just old habitual conditioning. We discover an inner creative wellspring of spacious awareness that is not at the mercy of past habits.
Mindfulness brings greater flexibility in responding to the inevitable stresses of life. We can learn to meet all experience – including illness, chronic pain, loss, unhealthy habits, and anxiety – with greater clarity. We begin to relax into the present, living with more ease.
Mindfulness is part of a larger group of teachings in Buddhism that can lead to spiritual maturity, increased compassion and inner freedom. These qualities contribute to more peace in our lives and in the world around us.
You will be given basic instructions, a weekly guided meditation audio, handouts and suggestions for daily meditation practice.
CARLA BRENNAN, M.Ed., is the Guiding Teaching for Bloom of the Present Insight Meditation.
She has been practicing meditation for over 40 years.
BY DONATION. NO FEE IS CHARGED. This 5-week class will be offered by donation. We have a suggested sliding scale of $60 – $200. However, more or less is gratefully accepted. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Non-monetary donations are also accepted. Donations are tax-deductible.