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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

Book Study – Jump Right In!

When I was asked to write something about the book study groups, the one Nadine leads in La Misión and the one Mary Conteras and Carol Clary have in north Rosarito, the thought that inspired me to do this was about fear. Fear and aging.

I’m remembering that the idea of posting something was to make sure everyone who may be considering joining who’s new and never been before, or hasn’t been for a while, knows it is easy to join right in where you are. Even though the La Misión group is in it’s 4th year, Nadine uses past as well as current books as illustrations which ties things together. Even though the Rosarito group is newer, I imagine Mary and Carol do something similar. So if you’re thinking of getting in touch with them about joining as these new books are beginning, both on Tuesday afternoons, please feel free to do that.:

Buddha is as Buddha Does by Lama Surya Das in La Misión
Judgment Detox by Gabrielle Bernstein in the north
(Click on the book images to purchase books on Amazon)

Buddha is as Buddha Does by Lama Surya Das

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a great reason to do that is to learn alternatives to the fear based living that most of us were indoctrinated into by just living in today’s world. We are learning and experiencing that there are simple ways of changing the way we think, our perceptions turn out to be choices! Who knew. So when we become aware of that, we can consciously make different choices and that can just automatically and naturally change everything. Yep, pretty much everything—relationships of all kinds, from life partners to kids, neighbors, even people you only see on TV!

Most of the people in these groups will tell you they are freer of fear in general, more peaceful and happier, kinder, gentler.

Observations have shown over these many decades that if we’re fearful in our thirties, forties etc., unless we do something about it, unless we really take on learning new ways of being in life, fears, insecurities, feelings of vulnerability increase exponentially. You know older people who are angry, hostile, depressed, and the basis for most of that is in fear.

It does take time, like reading and getting together to discuss and share experiences every week. Those of us who are doing it are here to tell you it’s worth it—for us. Might be for you too. You’re welcome, jump in!

~Anna Zimmerman

By |2018-03-22T16:16:08-07:00March 22nd, 2018|Happiness Study Group, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Book Study – Jump Right In!

NEW BOOK – March 27, 2018

Buddha is as Buddha Does by Lama Surya Das

The Happiness Study Group will begin a new book, Buddha Is as Buddha Does: The Ten Original Practices for Enlightened Living by Lama Surya Das on March 27th.

About the Author

From the Amazon Description: The Dalai Lama who calls Lama Surya Das the American Lama, said to an American audience, “It is not enough just to meditate and pray, which are always good things to do, but we also must take positive action in this world.”

The Buddha realized that all of us, deep within, are inherently perfect and whole, with the capacity to overcome suffering and transform ourselves into forces for good. In this book Lama Surya Das offers a thorough, tried-and-true map to the richest treasure a human being can find—Buddha’s advice for living to your true potential. By following these guidelines, you will enter into a life of greater joy, clarity, peace, and wisdom than you ever thought possible.

Whether you consider yourself a Buddhist, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, atheist, or agnostic, Buddha Is as Buddha Does enables you to reflect more deeply upon how you think, speak, and behave in each moment and to explore more intently your relationships with others. Accompanied by lively anecdotes and practical exercises, this is  accessible book delivers timeless wisdom of the Buddha and is for everyone who seeks to become a better person and share in the bounty of true Buddha nature.

Learn more about Lama Surya Das in this Wikipedia article and here on Surya.org, his own organization’s website .

The book is available at Amazon in all formats.

Please check the Happiness Study Group  Facebook page for updates and information about our weekly meetings.

By |2018-03-04T13:18:52-08:00March 4th, 2018|Happiness Study Group, Uncategorized|Comments Off on NEW BOOK – March 27, 2018

NEW BOOK

Jack Kornfield QuoteA Path With Heart by Jack KornfieldThe Happiness Study Group will start discussing our new book, A Path With Heart by Jack Kornfield on Tuesday, July 11th as we continue our exploration of vipassana meditation.  The subject is predominantly the same as our last book, but the approach this time is decidedly western.

Jack Kornfield bio from his website:  “Jack Kornfield trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of Thailand, India and Burma. He has taught meditation internationally since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. After graduating from Dartmouth College in Asian Studies in 1967 he joined the Peace Corps and worked on tropical medicine teams in the Mekong River valley. He met and studied as a monk under the Buddhist master Ven. Ajahn Chah, as well as the Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. Returning to the United States, Jack co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, with fellow meditation teachers Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein and the Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California. Over the years, Jack has taught in centers and universities worldwide, led International Buddhist Teacher meetings, and worked with many of the great teachers of our time. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is a father, husband and activist.”

Anyone is welcome to join the study group and no prior readings are required.  We read, study, discuss and meditate and simply ask that you try your best to keep up with the reading, usually only one chapter each week.

The book is available at Amazon in all formats.

Please check the Happiness Study Group  Facebook page for updates and information about our weekly meetings.

 

By |2017-06-28T18:11:14-07:00June 28th, 2017|Happiness Study Group, Uncategorized|Comments Off on NEW BOOK

Mindfulness Opportunities!

036384-stones-sand
February 21st

Buddhism in the Eyes of Beholders from Ancient Times to the Present
Sanskritist and Buddhist Studies scholar, Dan Bisgaard will discuss the article,“Big Tent” Buddhism and clear up some western misconceptions (possibly your own) about Buddhism.
Please read the article and send questions to Dan in advance.
RSVP to Nadine – nadine.lockitch7@gmail.com  if you are interested in attending.

February 28th
Half-Day Mindfulness Retreat
Please RSVP to Anna – az@annazimmerman.com

Half Day Silent Retreat Ron de JongEvery Monday at 8:30 am
Meditation with Ron
Sessions include an introduction, a 20-30 minute meditation and a discussion afterward. It’s a great way to start your week!
Location: Plaza del Mar
For information: ron@dejong.org


Mindfulness in Plain EnglishTuesdays at 2pm beginning March 7th
Happiness Study Group (Because mindfulness makes you happier!)
We continue into our third year of mindfulness study and practice with an exploration of Vipassana Meditation in our new book, Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana.  It’s available on Amazon in paperback and kindle versions.  Reading is strongly recommended for this chapter by chapter study and we’ll jump right in with the first chapters on March 7.  Specifics will be posted on our  Happiness Study Group Facebook Page, and on the Not Church Facebook Page as well.

What Exactly is Vipassana Meditation? This short article will give you some background on the practice.   

Seating is limited so please contact Nadine nadine.lockitch7@gmail.com if you are interested in joining the group.  

Tuesdays at 2:30 – 4pm
Mindfulness in Northern Baja with Mary Contreras
Meditation and book study…This group is open to anyone, whether you have read any of the books or not. The Group is currently reading Pema Chödrön’s “How to Meditate.” Each session includes a quiet centering, a weekly check-in on the use of the mindfulness and meditation techniques, current chapter study and a 20-25 minute meditation followed by a short discussion. The group is held at Bahia 353, San Antonio del Mar (down two flights of stairs inside). Participants need to park on the street in the 200 block and walk the last bit as the house is on a dead end street with no parking. Email or call Carol Clary for directions and information carol.clary@sbcglobal.net /Hm (664) 631-2185 and US cell (323) 401-5518.

By |2020-01-31T16:31:37-08:00February 10th, 2017|Events, Happiness Study Group|Comments Off on Mindfulness Opportunities!

Not- Church Expands Mindfulness Studies!

Mindfulness

Not Church is pleased to announce new (and continuing) opportunities
to explore Mindfulness, the energy that makes it possible for us to be aware of what is happening in the present moment.

Alicia Dominguez4-Day Workshop – Listening and Talking with your Heart with Alicia Dominguez
February 11 & 12 and February 18 & 19, 2016

Listening and Talking with your Heart is a powerful process for inspiring compassionate connection and action.  It provides a framework and set of skills allowing us to speak from the heart and talk openly about what is going on for us without judgment, without provoking defensiveness, resistance and counterattack.

In his book Aware Awake Alive, medical doctor and philosopher, Elliott Dacher says two of the components of integral health “…relate to our interaction with others—our interpersonal relationships and our relationship to the larger culture and planetary community.”  As Dr. Dacher points out, numerous recent studies have shown the effects of relationships, good and bad on our physiology and well-being.

Alicia Dominguez taught this course and other personal empowerment workshops to groups of 300-500 people for 13 years all over Mexico and South America.  We are fortunate she has agreed to run a small private intensive workshop here while visiting her sister, Carmen.

SPACE IS LIMITED to 10 people!  It will begin each day at 10am and end at 5pm with a ½ hour lunch break.  Cost is $80 US for the Workshop.

Contact Carmen Dominguez mcdomdur@gmail.com to reserve your space!

Matthieu RicardMindfulness Study Group – La Misión
February 16, 2016

After completing two sections on  Aware Awake Alive, by Dr. Elliott Dacher, we continue our study of mindfulness with an exploration of Mathieu Ricard’s, Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill.

Matthieu Ricard  is Buddhist monk, French translator and right-hand man for the Dalai Lama, author of books, published photographer and was one of Dr. Elliott Dacher’s spiritual teachers.  He has been the subject of intensive clinical tests at the University of Wisconsin to prove the effects of meditation on the brain, as a result of which he is frequently described as “the happiest man in the world.”

Ricard  is the son of the late Jean-François Revel, a renowned French philosopher and the lyrical abstractionist painter and Tibetan Buddhist nun Yahne Le Toumelin.  He  grew up among the personalities and ideas of French intellectual circles.

Ricard  worked for a Ph.D. degree in molecular genetics at the Pasteur Institute under French Nobel Laureate François Jacob, but in 1972 decided to forsake his promising scientific career and concentrate on the practice of Tibetan Buddhism in the Himalayas where he has lived and practiced for over 40 years.

The study group will be held Tuesdays 2pm – 4pm starting February 16.  Contact Nadine de Jong – nadine.lockitch7@gmail.com for more information.

**We request you obtain the book and read at least the first chapter by the start of the first class. The book is available in Kindle, […]

By |2020-02-15T12:53:17-08:00February 4th, 2016|Happiness Study Group, Inspirations|Comments Off on Not- Church Expands Mindfulness Studies!

Not Church Welcomes Dr. Elliott Dacher

Dr. Elliott DacherNot Church is pleased to announce that the August gathering of Not Church will welcome Dr. Elliott Dacher, author of Aware Awake Alive.  This special event on Friday, August 14th will be held in lieu of our regular second Sunday meeting.

As many of you know either from hearing about him at our regular Not Church gatherings or from participating in our Tuesday study groups, Dr. Dacher studies and teaches the principles and practices of health and healing with a special focus on inner development and human flourishing. His work emphasizes the traditional goals of medicine: the end of distress and suffering and the promotion of each individual’s fullest potential.

In Aware Awake Alive, Dr. Dacher shares what he has learned in a personal, practical & accessible way as he guides us on a profound journey of learning and transformation leading us toward an extraordinary state of well-being—a state of peace, wisdom, happiness, freedom and love that exists in each one of us.

Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to hear Dr. Dacher speak!

Dr. Dacher’s talk will be followed by a La Misión Cocktails and Appetizer potluck.  Please bring a favorite beverage and an appetizer/finger food dish to share.

dacher-aware-awake-aliveClick this link to Dr. Dacher’s website for biographical information, a bibliography, links to Dr. Dacher’s videos and more.  Aware Awake Alive is available on Amazon in paperback and in a Kindle download.

You might enjoy this article by Dr. Dacher in the Huffington Post:  Happiness Without a Reason,
Is it possible to be consistently happy and peaceful for no reason or cause whatsoever? Would you want this for your life? And if this is possible…

By |2020-01-31T16:34:44-08:00July 28th, 2015|Events, Happiness Study Group|Comments Off on Not Church Welcomes Dr. Elliott Dacher

Meditation & Mindfulness

Ron de JongEveryone who has attended is enjoying Ron’s Monday Meditation Class and he has agreed to continue as long as people are interested.  It includes an introduction, a 15-20 minute meditation and a discussion afterward.  It’s a great way to start your week and a wonderful introduction to meditation.  Mondays 8:30 am at Hacienda del Encanto.

Topics include: meditation, mindfulness, overcoming afflictive emotions, the heart of otherness, work as practice, the transformation of adversity, integral health, and human flourishing.In a similar vein, we are starting a study group of Elliott Dacher’s book, Aware, Awake, Alive: A Contemporary Guide to the Ancient Science of Integral Health and Human Flourishing the second week in February.  “Aware, Awake, Alive draws upon ancient wisdom, contemporary science, and modern understandings of consciousness to offer the reader a physician’s time-tested program of self-study and practice, which guides the reader towards a life of optimal well-being, integral health, and human flourishing…Topics include: meditation, mindfulness, overcoming afflictive emotions, the heart of otherness, work as practice, the transformation of adversity, integral health, and human flourishing.”

Erin and Terri have been in contact with Dr. Dacher and we’re excited about a possibility that he may pay us a visit in early March.

If you’re interested in participating in Ron’s meditation, all you have to do is show up on Monday mornings.  If you’d like to join the study group, check back here and on Facebook for details and please send Nadine an email so we have an idea about the number of participants. And order the book!  It’s available on Amazon in print and in a Kindle version.

By |2020-01-31T16:37:06-08:00January 26th, 2015|Happiness Study Group, Monday Meditation|Comments Off on Meditation & Mindfulness