When: 1st and 3rd Wednesdays, with meditation at 7pm and discussion at 7:30pm

102-112 South Second Street
Geneva, IL

Group Facilitators: Lisa Gades and Eric Bodwell

This group is for members and friends interested in exploring meditation techniques and learning more about Buddhism.

What are the main ideas in Buddhist philosophy?
What are the differences between Theravada, Mahayana, and Zen Buddhism?
How has meditation enriched my spiritual practice?
And, how do I deal with my racing thoughts while trying to meditate?!?!

These are just a few of the topics that have come up for discussion as we examine Buddhism both from an intellectual and a personal point of view. 

We typically meditate for 20 minutes, then spend ~40 minutes discussing a book that the group has chosen. 

Participants are welcome to join us for meditation, discussion, or both.

Our Current Book: The Engaged Spiritual Life by Donald Rothberg

Our Next Book(s): 
    The Heart of the Buddha's Teachings by Thich Nhat Hanh
    The Book of Joy by The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu

"Off the Cushion"

Periodically, we identify an "off the cushion" practice on which to focus day-to-day.  The purpose is to facilitate the application of our practice to our daily lives.  Archives are located here.

Chapter 1 of The Engaged Spiritual Life discusses how to practice the Buddhist precepts for lay people. Donald Rothberg suggests, for our purposes, considering the precepts in a modern context relevant to where we live (e.g. in our case, a wealthy Western country). For each precept, he suggests three levels of practice:
  • Personal
  • Interpersonal
  • Societal
We might examine our tendencies for a day or several days at a time: what aspects of each precept pose a special challenge for each of us as individuals and within our interpersonal relationships? Then, we might consider how we could promote upholding the precept on a societal level.

For example, the second precept of not stealing (or not taking that which is not given) can be broadened to examine greed, craving, and grasping. I might spend a day noticing my own tendencies: craving chocolate as a snack (personal level), and being stingy with my time and attention with colleagues (interpersonal level). I might reflect on the negative results of these behaviors: gaining weight in the case of chocolate; damaging my relationship with colleagues in the case of withholding my time and attention. 

Then, I could extend my reflection to a societal level and consider how greed contributes to inequity both within my own country and between countries, resulting in exploitation of people in poverty. I might resolve to be more mindful in my purchases: avoiding excess consumption and buying from companies that have implemented ethical practices. I might research charities that work in less wealthy countries and choose one to receive my monthly donation.