WHERE: Union Square Studio, 1417 Hollins Street, Baltimore, MD 21223 (near Hollins Market)
WHEN: Tuesdays at 5:00 – 6:00 pm
“MEDITATION: WHY BOTHER? It takes so much time and energy, so much determination and discipline, why not just kick back and watch TV? Why waste all that time and energy when you could be out enjoying yourself? Why bother?”…
. . . “Simply because you are human.
And just because of the simple fact that you are human, you find yourself heir to an inherent unsatisfactoriness in life which simply will not go away. You can suppress it from your awareness for a time. You can distract yourself for hours on end, but it always comes back–usually when you least expect it. All of a sudden, seemingly out of the blue, you sit up, take stock, and realize your actual situation in life.
There you are, and you suddenly realize that you are spending your whole life just barely getting by. You keep up a good front. You manage to make ends meet somehow and look OK from the outside. But those periods of desperation, those times when you feel everything caving in on you, you keep those to yourself. You are a mess…
But there is really another whole realm of depth and sensitivity available in life, somehow you are just not seeing it…. Luckily there is another option. You can learn to control your mind, to step out of this endless cycle of desire and aversion. You can learn to not want what you want, to recognize desires but not be controlled by them. This does not mean that you lie down on the road and invite everybody to walk all over you. It means that you continue to live a very normal-looking life, but live from a whole new point of view.”
The above and following extracts are from Mindfulness in Plain English by Ven. Henepola Gunaratana. For the complete text visit the Vipassana Fellowship website:
UNION SQUARE STUDIO offers guided meditation sessions in the Vipassana tradition. Known for being the technique taught by the historical Buddha, Vipassana meditation aims at developing concentration and awareness, or insight…
. . . Vipassana is a process of self-enquiry and self-discovery. It is designed for people who want to discover for themselves what this experience of being alive really is. For people who wish to learn not from books or theories, but from their own direct experience.
Whether a beginner or an experienced practitioner you are welcome to join our weekly 60 min. meditation sessions, guided by Noelle. A shared spirituality helps create a sense of community.
Vipassana practitioners learn to directly and gradually cultivate mindfulness or awareness. Focusing on a simple object like our breath helps us develop concentration. In turn we can use concentration as a tool to become more and more aware of our own life experience.
Through our Vipassana practice we learn to pay attention. To use our senses acutely. To touch fully. To closely pay attention to what we feel. To listen to our thoughts without being caught in them. We may think that we are doing this already, but that’s an illusion. Our first meditation session may very well reveal to us how a multitude of thoughts stream through our mind without us having any control over it. We’ve discovered our “monkey mind” ! That’s our first lesson. Right then and there we realize how we ordinarily pay so little attention to our own life experience we might as well be asleep.
Vipassana practice is a wake up call. Through the process of mindfulness we slowly become aware of what we really are down below the ego image. We wake up to what life really is.
Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. It was rediscovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for universal ills, i.e., an Art Of Living.
This non-sectarian technique aims for the total eradication of mental impurities and the resultant highest happiness of full liberation.
Healing, not merely the curing of diseases, but the essential healing of human suffering, is its purpose.
Vipassana is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind.
It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion.
With Noelle’s guidance, you will be immersed into this ancient form of self-healing to strengthen your connection within and to the world around you.
In Vipassana meditation, it is a core philosophy that our practice extends beyond the self.
As Noelle reminds us at the end of each guided session, “as we heal ourselves, we heal the world.”