Wednesday Classes

Finding Kindness in Mindfulness: the Compassionate Side of Meditation
5-Week Class, 6:30 -8:30 PM
Nov. 1, 8, 15, Dec. 6, 13
Teacher: Carla Brennan
Ocean Gate Zen Center, 920 41St. Ave., Suite F, Santa Cruz (Pleasure Point)

REGISTRATION REQUIRED:
Space is limited. Please only register if you can attend at least 4 of the 5 classes. Register with Eventbrite: EVENTBRITE

QUESTIONS?: Contact Betsy Blessing at: gardenblessings@gmail.com.

This 5-week class will focus on meditation with an special emphasis on how mindfulness can bring forth our natural capacity for kindness and compassion. It is for people new to meditation as well as experienced students who would like support for their practice.

True mindfulness has the innate quality of “kindfulness.” Mindfulness is open, welcoming, caring and is fully present. We, as a society, are habituated toward judgment, both toward ourselves and others. This inner critic keeps us from offering a caring response to the suffering in and around us. The development of kindness and compassion helps creates an inner atmosphere of greater ease, contentment, and openness.

Each class will include group meditation, explanatory talks and Q & A. You will be expected to meditate daily for a minimum of 20 minutes during the five weeks. Handouts and readings will be distributed each week along with assignments. A guided meditation audio will be emailed after each class.

In this class we will:
• Review mindfulness and encourage a daily meditation routine.
• Learn how to apply “radical mindfulness,” a willingness to be compassionately present with all aspects of experience.
• Explore the qualities of the “awakened heart” from the Buddhist traditions: kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity.
• Practice self-compassion.
• Identify and recall “benefactors” from our life to support the cultivation of care and compassion.
• Learn to extend a kind attitude toward even those we dislike or disagree with.

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.

DIRECTIONS AND PARKING: 920 41st Ave. is at the corner of Bain Ave. and 41st. It is near the Family Cycling Center and across Bain from Betty’s Burgers. There is a parking lot behind the 920 41st building and there is parking on Bain Ave. Please enter the building from the parking lot side.

FRAGRANCE FREE NOTEOut of consideration for those with allergies to chemicals and fragrances, Bloom of the Present Insight Meditation events are fragrance-free. Please respect your friends in the Dharma and refrain from using fragrances and scented products when you attend programs. A good resource for finding fragrance-free products: http://www.eastbaymeditation.org/accessibility/fragrancefree.html.