Without gladdening the mind when it needs to be gladdened, realization will not be possible. ~Bhikkhu Analayo
In the West, we often focus a bit too much on the dukkha aspect of the Buddha’s teaching and not enough on the sukka, or happiness, side of experience. Sukka is a product of joy! Without joy, happiness eludes us, and without happiness, meditation stagnates.
Too often joy is underappreciated and not prioritized as a quality to cultivate. But joy enables our meditation practice to grow, develop, and bloom.
Joy is an essential ingredient in the pursuit of awakening, in moving toward less suffering and more ease of well being. Featured in two traditional lists, the Bojjhanga or Awakening Factors and the Brahmaviharas, joy gives the uplift necessary to skillfully work with the hindrances that we inevitably encounter.
So, what brings joy to the fore? How can we cultivate it in our meditation practice? What helps sustain joy?
During our time together we will explore this wholesome heart quality. Our teaching style is practical, focusing on the establishing and developing of a mindfulness practice that is relevant and sustainable to our lives. We will utilize a variety of meditation instructions, guided meditations, and practices. Periods of teaching will alternate with sitting and walking meditation. There will also be time for group discussion and dyadic mindful communication exercises.