This course is designed to provide a clear framework for cultivating mindfulness: a calm, clear, and focused mind. It corresponds to the shamatha practice in Buddhism.
Mindfulness is the cure for chronic distractibility, agitation, and boredom in the modern world. Mindfulness has also been shown to improve focus, stress management, and health when practiced over time. In the Buddhist tradition, mindfulness is an important basis for developing realizations on the path to enlightenment.
Learn the foundations for developing a consistent and effective mindfulness practice with this five-week course. For maximum benefit, participation in all five sessions is highly recommended, but drop-in attendance is permitted.
Session 1: Introduction to Mindfulness (October 27)
Learn about what mindfulness is (and is not), the core qualities to cultivate while practicing mindfulness, and why it is so beneficial for us to cultivate mindfulness to improve our daily happiness/well-being and our Buddhist practice.
Session 2: Relaxation (November 3)
In general, when we focus on any object or task we tend to be quite tense and as a result often become agitated and exhausted. What’s the solution? Relaxation. In this session, learn how to cultivate relaxation in body and mind using the rhythm of the breath.
Session 3: Focus (November 10)
Technology and the pace of modern life make it incredibly difficult to focus. In this session, learn how we can improve our ability to focus while maintaining a relaxed body and mind. We will practice mindfulness of breathing.
Session 4: Clarity (November 17)
When we try to focus on an object or task, our mind often becomes dull or drowsy. And when we try to arouse our attention, we often become tense and agitated. What’s the solution? Cultivating clarity on the basis of relaxation and focus. In this session, we will learn to cultivate this.
Session 5: Mindfulness in Daily Life (November 24)
Mindfulness has become quite popular in our modern society. Unfortunately it is often presented without reference to any supporting framework and thus largely stripped of its efficacy. It has been reduced to McMindfulness. In this session we will explore how to help make our cultivation of mindfulness more effective, both on and off the meditation cushion.
About the Facilitator
Jennifer Kim has studied Buddhism for over a decade and is passionate about making teachings accessible and relevant for people who don’t wish to adhere to a religious or spiritual system. She has worked for Shantideva Center since 2010 and has served as its director among various roles. She also lived and studied at Vajrapani Institute, an FPMT retreat center, for two years and has attended numerous teachings and retreats. Jennifer is a certified trainer and manages US operations for Potential Project, which teaches mindfulness along with its practical applications and related scientific research to leaders and organizations. She received her B.A. in cognitive psychology from Columbia University in 2001 and was certified as a life coach with the Empowerment Institute in 2005. Jennifer is a native New Yorker.