There are several ways you can practice and be connected with us.
Mindfulness & Meditation
Would you like to learn to meditate or have a group to support your practice? The Mindfulness and Meditation group meets every Sunday from 6 - 7 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ames. We provide meditation instruction and discussion. This group began about 2006, and is not specifically Buddhist. It is open to all contemplative, mindfulness, and meditation approaches. It has a rotating leadership from among the members, and in the past has included meditation training and practice such as secular mindfulness, sitting Zen, qi gong. Hindu meditation, yoga, chanting kirtan, etc. Anyone is welcome to suggest and lead practices. Members of the Ames Mahasangha are regular leaders of the group. There is no fee to participate, and newcomers are always welcome to just show up.
The group often follows a book. Some of those we have worked with in the past include:
- Jon Kabat-Zinn, Coming to Our Senses
- Yongey Mingur Rinpoche, The Joy of Living
- Pema Chodron, Start Where You Are
- Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance
We will be beginning a new book on September 10: Finding the Freedom to Get Unstuck and be Happier, by our Guiding Teacher, Ven. Douglas Cheolsoeng Gentile. Copies will be available at Dog-Eared Books in Ames, or any online bookstore.
Buddhist Study Group
On the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month, from 4:30-6:00, we have a study group that meets at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ames and online. It is led by members of the Ames Buddhist Mahasangha. We often focus on a book or video series from one of the various Buddhist traditions. We are open to anyone who wants to learn about or deepen their Buddhist practice.
We are currently doing a 'back to basics' series of guided discussions, led by Rev. Jiguang. We welcome anyone who would like to deepen their commitment to the path. Just show up, or contact us for more information.
Some of our previous topics have included:
- Pema Chodron, Turn your World Around
- Alan Watts, The Way of Zen
- The view of Mahamudra
- Seung Sahn, The Compass of Zen
- Lankavatara Sutra
Online Resources - ZenBreakthroughs.org
We have a library of guided meditations, classes, Dharma talks, and practices that have been created by monks from two different Zen traditions. Many of these practices focus specifically on using meditation to help with anxiety, or on working with difficult emotions. A monthly membership gains access to all courses, and there is also a membership option to get monthly one-on-one sessions with either Ven. Daishin McCabe or Ven. Douglas Cheolsoeng Gentile. The list of courses available for members is continually growing, including:
- Working with Difficult Emotions
- Guided Meditations
- Foundational Pali Suttas
- Anxiety to Zen
- Trauma-sensitive yoga
- Getting Unstuck - Karma, Free Will, and True Freedom
There are three low-traffic email lists that to which you can be added. Both the Mindfulness & Meditation and the Buddhist Study groups have an email list that alerts people to what is happening each week. Ven. Douglas Cheolsoeng Gentile also has a personal email list that alerts people to offerings beyond the other two groups. If you would like to be added to any or all of these lists, please let us know by contacting us.