Wednesday Classes

RADICAL MINDFULNESS: THE ART OF BEING ALIVE
5-Week Class, 6:30 -8:30 PM
Jan. 31, Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28
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.

Bloom of the Present offers regular classes to provide ongoing instruction and in-depth support for your mindfulness practice. Each class includes an extended period of silent meditation. We will also explore a topic through discussion and exercises. All teachings are based in Buddhist psychology and philosophy. You will receive readings and well as audio meditations to use at home. New and experienced students welcome.

In this class we will focus on developing what I call “radical mindfulness.” Although you may have been practicing mindfulness, you may not have been applying it to its fullest depth and potential.

Radical mindfulness is the practice of being unconditionally present to life as it arises, to completely be here now. Rather than living with true wakefulness and awareness, most of us are engaged in an endless struggle to control and limit our experience. We resist feeling our basic aliveness and contract around patterns of fear and confusion. Our meditation practice may become yet another attempt to control what we feel. We discover that beyond this futile struggle is an untapped capacity for clear knowing and compassion.

This practice is simple but subtle. It requires a paradigm shift in understanding what brings true freedom, ease and peace. This approach has been called “handshake practice” because it is the ability to extend the friendly touch of the warm, kind hand of awareness toward everything we experience. It is the foundation for all compassion, whether toward self or other. It is also the foundation for all wisdom, because it is the willingness to see things as they are.

This practice has also been called “compassionate presence with feelings.” We have miraculously been born into sentience; we have a feeling body and a sensitive heart and mind. We perceive our surroundings and feel an infinite range of sensations. Without wisdom, this exquisite sentience can be the source of great suffering and confusion. However with training and care, our sentience can blossom into unlimited compassion and a profound clarity.

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 and define the components of our moment-to-moment experience of reality.
• Investigate the nature of awareness.
• Discover how “radical mindfulness” is the source of untapped capacity for compassion.

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.