The St. Louis Wellness Center is home to Shambhala-St. Louis. We are one of the many groups in the world-wide Shambhala Buddhist Community, offering meditation practice and instruction in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. At the Wellness Center, we train our minds with shamatha practice, the most simple form of sitting meditation. Shamatha is a Sanskrit word that means "peacefully abiding."
These meditation sessions are open to everyone, whether you have experience with meditation or not. If you are interested in learning about your own mind, how it works, and how it can be a friend to you, please join us!
You may drop in for our open sitting practice anytime you would like. Currently, we offer open sits on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. New meditators are invited to arrive by 11 a.m. for orientation. The sessions are by donation.
WHAT IS MEDITATION?
Meditation is a way to make the mind more stable and clear. It is for everyone who has noticed their minds are chaotic or unsettled and who wish for a deeper understanding of their experiences. From our point of view, meditation is not purely a Buddhist practice; it is a practice anyone can do and can benefit all. Meditation practice is for everyone, regardless of their experience or religious affiliation.
Meditation is based on the belief that the natural state of the mind is calm and clear. As such, the practice of meditation provides a way for us to train our mind to settle into this natural state. Often, a first reason for meditating is that we want to find some freedom from our agitated minds.
HOW DOES MEDITATION WORK?
To understand the mind, we are required to slow down and experience our mind just as it is. In the process, we start to see how our mind works. We see that whatever the mind is focused on—anger, desire, jealousy, or peace—that is what we also will be focused on and what we will experience. Through our meditation practice, we begin to see that we have a choice in the matter: we do not have to act on every thought. We can abide peacefully in our natural and calm mind state regardless of any unpleasant feelings, thoughts, or experiences. It is the Shambhala view that every human being has a fundamental nature of goodness, warmth, and intelligence and that this nature is available to us at all times and in all situations. Meditation practice allows us to come back to our true nature and to begin living from this natural state of peaceful abiding. We come to acknowledge our natural state through the practices of meditation, awareness, and mindfulness. This natural state can be further developed in daily life, so that it radiates out to family, friends, community, and society.
CAN I BENEFIT FROM MEDITATION?
YES! Everyone can benefit from meditation. It is helpful for stress reduction, addiction, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, obsessive thoughts and worry, eating disorders, general discontent and most other human conditions you can think of. It is helpful to anyone who has a sincere interest in learning to flow with the human experience and in living with an open heart and open mind.
For more information please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit us online at www.stlouis.shambhala.org
"We don't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts."
- Pema Chödrön
"The essence of warriorship, or the essence of human bravery, is refusing to give up on anyone or anything. We can never say that we are simply falling to pieces or that anyone else is, and we can never say that about the world either. Within our lifetime there will be great problems in the world, but let us make sure that within our lifetime no disasters happen. We can prevent them. It is up to us. We can save the world from destruction, to begin with. That is why Shambhala vision exists. It is a centuries-old idea: by serving this world, we can save it. But saving the world is not enough. We have to work to build an enlightened human society as well."
– Chögyam Trungpa
"Obstacles and challenges may arise, but they do not reduce the enlightened qualities we have at our disposal."
– The Kongma Sakyong