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Happiness Study Group

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Happiness Study Group began in 2015 reading and studying a book about mindfulness and human flourishing. Since then our focus and book selections have been and continue to be study of the Middle Way and Buddhist meditation. We meet weekly for chapter by chapter book study and meditation.

With mindfulness and an experiential realization of reality, our happiness continues to grow. Anyone interested in this path without dogma, growing experience-based wisdom, and aspiring a more peaceful existence is welcome to join. The Middle Way is compatible with any religious belief system.

The following are the selections we have read to date, each building on the next, deepening our understanding and awakening our mindfulness.

Aware, Awake Alive, Elliott Dacher (twice)
Happiness, Matthieu Ricard
The Heart of Buddha’s Teachings, Thich Nhat Hanh
Mindfulness in Plain English, Bhante Gunaratana
A Path With Heart, Jack Kornfield
The Wisdom of No Escape, Pema Chödrön
Buddha Is as Buddha Does, Lama Surya Das
Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening, Joseph Goldstein
Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond, Ajahn Brahm
When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chödrön
Silence, The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise, Thich Nhat Hanh

New Book – Tao Te Ching

Tao Te ChingI am excited to announce that the Happiness Study Group will be starting our new book on March 17th, The Tao Te Ching. With some much-needed and appreciated guidance from our dear friend and scholar, Daniel Bisgaard, we will explore one of the most translated books in world literature. This twelfth selection is a bit of a departure, though most assuredly related to our continuing study of the Middle Way.

Authorship of the Tao Te Ching is credited to the 6th-century BC sage Laozi and the oldest excavated portion dates back to the late 4th century BC. The Tao Te Ching… is a fundamental text for both philosophical and religious Taoism. It strongly influenced other schools of Chinese philosophy and religion, including LegalismConfucianism, and Buddhism. In its 81 verses it delivers a treatise on how to live in the world with goodness and integrity: an important kind of wisdom in a world where many people believe such a thing to be impossible.

The edition we have chosen is: Tao Te Ching: With Over 150 Photographs by Jane English Paperback – November 1, 2011 by Lao Tzu (Author), Gia-Fu Feng (Translator), Jane English (Translator), Toinette Lippe (Translator), with introduction by Jacob Needleman.

Here’s the description from Amazon:

“For nearly two generations, this bestselling translation of the Tao Te Ching has been the standard for those seeking access to the wisdom of Taoist thought. Now Jane English and her long-time editor, Toinette Lippe, have refreshed and revised the translation, so that it more faithfully reflects the Classical Chinese in which it was first written, while taking into account changes in our own language and eliminating any lingering infelicities. This beautiful oversized edition features over a hundred new photographs by Jane English that help express the vast spirit of the Tao. Also included is an introduction by the well-known writer and scholar of philosophy and comparative religion, Jacob Needleman.

Lao Tsu’s philosophy is simple: Accept what is in front of you without wanting the situation to be other than it is. Study the natural order of things and work with it rather than against it, for to try to change what is only sets up resistance. Nature provides everything without requiring payment or thanks. It does so without discrimination. So let us present the same face to everyone and treat them all as equals, however they may behave. If we watch carefully, we will see that work proceeds more quickly and easily if we stop “trying,” if we stop putting in so much extra effort, if we stop looking for results. In the clarity of a still and open mind, truth will be reflected. Te—which may be translated as “virtue” or “strength”—lies always in Tao meaning “the way” or “natural law.” In other words: Simply be.”

The book is available from Amazon, ABE.com and other sellers. Other editions of the Feng and English translation are also suitable…particularly versions without photographs at lower prices.

Please contact Nadine if you would like to join the […]

By |2020-02-28T09:43:52-08:00February 28th, 2020|Events, Happiness Study Group, Study|Comments Off on New Book – Tao Te Ching

Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise

The Happiness Study Group is starting a new book on January 7. We will be studying Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh as we embark on our SIXTH year together. This will be the group’s TWELFTH book (if you count the second round of Elliott Dacher’s “Aware Awake Alive”)!

The Happiness Study Group meets Tuesdays at 2pm for meditation, study and discussion. Notes and general information are posted on the Group’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/949524048429145/

Please contact Nadine at nadine.lockitch7@gmail.com if you would like to join our group and get directions.

You can check out the book and purchase it on Amazon here or elsewhere if you prefer.

By |2020-02-15T12:57:22-08:00December 22nd, 2019|Happiness Study Group|Comments Off on Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise

WHEN THINGS FALL APART: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

By Pema Chödrön 

On August 20th The Happiness Study Group will start our 9th book, our 10th if we count our second reading of “Awake Aware Alive!”

Our new selection will be Pema Chödrön’s “When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times,” which is available here on Amazon.

Here’s what they have to say: “The beautiful practicality of her teaching has made Pema Chödrön one of the most beloved of contemporary American spiritual authors among Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. A collection of talks she gave between 1987 and 1994, the book is a treasury of wisdom for going on living when we are overcome by pain and difficulties. Chödrön discusses:

  • Using painful emotions to cultivate wisdom, compassion, and courage
  • Communicating so as to encourage others to open up rather than shut down
  • Practices for reversing habitual patterns
  • Methods for working with chaotic situations
  • Ways for creating effective social action

If you’re interested in joining the group or would like more information, contact Nadine at nadine.lockitch7@gmail.com.

We’re looking forward to seeing you at Ron and Nadine’s on August 20th.

By |2020-02-15T12:58:32-08:00August 12th, 2019|Happiness Study Group|Comments Off on WHEN THINGS FALL APART: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Half-day Silent Meditation Experience

Summer Not Church Silent Meditation Experience

Date: Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Time: 9:30am ’til 1pm
Leader: Nadine de Jong with Ron de Jong
Location: Clubhouse at Bajamar
Directions: Take the Toll Road (1D) to Km 77.5 and exit toward Bajamar.
(Map below)
Fee: NO CHARGE

NOBLE SILENCE will be observed (no talking at all) upon entering the Clubhouse until after snacks and a brief after-snack sit

Pease RSVP to Anna by August 9: Anna  az@annazimmerman.com  or Nadine nadine.lockitch7@gmail.com

Questions:  Please contactAnna az@annazimmerman.com or Nadine nadine.lockitch7@gmail.com

WHAT TO WEAR & BRING

  • Sweater or light wrap because the room can be chilly
  • A favorite mat, floor cushion, blanket etc. (sofas and various chairs are also available)
  • Comfortable shoes  for walking and a hat
  • Notebook and pen if you like
  • Ready-to-serve finger food to share (Please consider bringing vegetarian and healthy snacks—no alcoholic beverages.)
  • Beverages, especially water.
    (Coffee and hot water for tea will be provided)

MAP to Bajamar Clubhouse

By |2020-02-15T12:59:36-08:00August 11th, 2019|Events, Happiness Study Group, Home Page|Comments Off on Half-day Silent Meditation Experience

Happiness Study Group – Next Book

MINDFULNESS, BLISS, AND BEYOND
A Meditator’s Handbook

This is going our next book starting April 2nd.

Ajahn Brahm is a British Theravadan monk currently practicing in Australia. You can learn more about him here.

Download a sample and check out the book here. We’ve delved in depth into theory in our last book and it seems like a good time to dive into some technique.

I look forward to your thoughts and comments. Drop me a line at nadine.lockitch7@gmail.com with any questions as well.

By |2019-03-29T10:17:14-07:00March 1st, 2019|Happiness Study Group|Comments Off on Happiness Study Group – Next Book

Sharing Our Spiritual Journeys

sharing Our Spiritual Journey

What can be done to quiet our raging or worried mind and give us peace? What are your life’s lessons that you’d like to share?

At a special Summer Not Church on August 22, we will gather to listen to one another share about each other’s spiritual journey. In this safe place we hope to hear what has worked for you, is working for you to feel more grounded, more in love with this life, with ourselves and one another.

from “Sharing Our Spiritual Journeys” by Mary Contreras/Baja News, August 2018

By |2020-02-15T13:00:33-08:00August 8th, 2018|Events, Happiness Study Group, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Sharing Our Spiritual Journeys

CURRENT BOOK – AWAKENING

We started a new book on June 12th:  MINDFULNESS, A Practical Guide to Awakening by Joseph Goldstein. The book is available on Amazon in Kindle, Softcover & Hardcover and used from other booksellers at lower prices.

Please contact Nadine if you’re interested in joining the study group.  We meet every Tuesday between 2-4 and anyone is welcome to participate.

“Joseph Goldstein shares the wisdom of his four decades of teaching and practice in a book that will serve as a lifelong companion for anyone committed to mindful living and the realization of inner freedom.

“Goldstein’s source teaching is the Satipatthana Sutta, the Buddha’s legendary discourse on the four foundations of mindfulness that became the basis for the many types of Vipassana (or insight meditation) found today. Exquisite in detail yet wholly accessible and relevant for the modern student, Mindfulness takes us through a profound study of:

  • Ardency, clear knowing, mindfulness, and concentration—how to develop these four qualities of mind essential for walking the path wisely
  • The Satipatthana refrain—how deeply contemplating the four foundations of mindfulness opens us to bare knowing and continuity of mindfulness
  • Mindfulness of the body, including the breath, postures, activities, and physical characteristics
  • Mindfulness of feelings—how the experience of our sense perceptions influences our inner and outer worlds
  • Mindfulness of mind—learning to recognize skillful and unskillful states of mind and thought
  • Mindfulness of dhammas (or categories of experience), including the Five Hindrances, the Six Sense Spheres, the Seven Factors of Awakening, and much more

“There is a wealth of meaning and nuance in the experience of mindfulness that can enrich our lives in unimagined ways,” writes Goldstein. In Mindfulnessyou have the tools to mine these riches for yourself.”

By |2020-02-15T13:01:30-08:00May 31st, 2018|Happiness Study Group|Comments Off on CURRENT BOOK – AWAKENING