Buddhism and Mindfulness at All Souls


Buddhism and Mindfulness programs at All Souls offer a variety of classes and groups to learn about and practice meditation. We sit in chairs and no experience is necessary. Meditation has been called “a radical act of love and sanity” by the mindfulness pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn. Come join us to cultivate a life of greater love, sanity, happiness, and connection. All are warmly welcome!

In the spirit of the tradition of dana, or generosity, we ask for a contribution of $10 to $20 per session to help offset the cost of this program. Any contribution is welcome and appreciated.

Please note that All Souls is not a dharma center, and we highly recommend attending programs at any of the dharma centers we’ve listed below. These centers offer teachings on a wide variety of topics. You are encouraged to check out their calendars for weekly talks, guest teacher events, book talks, meditation programs, and retreats.

SANGHA

This group is for those who are curious to learn more about meditation, for both beginners and practicing Buddhists. A sangha is a community of people who come together to meditate and study the practice of Buddhism.

From September 2019 to July 2020, Sangha topics will revolve around The Way of the Bodhisattva (from Shantideva’s Bodhicharyavatara). This is a sacred Tibetan Buddhist text that offers a path to fullest awakening. Together we’ll explore this uplifting and clarifying method for working through personal and collective suffering, and for affirming our shared capacity to live with purpose, compassion, and well-being.

Leader: This series is led by Pilar Jennings, PhD. Pilar is a psychoanalyst in private practice with a focus on the clinical applications of Buddhist meditation. She has been working with patients and their families through the Harlem Family Institute since 2004. She is a Visiting Lecturer at Union Theological Seminary, guest lecturer at Columbia University, and faculty member of the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science.

When: Sundays once a month at 1:30pm – see calendar below for dates

MINDFULNESS AS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

In this series we explore how to enrich our lives by paying closer attention to the present and by gaining better awareness of our thoughts, speech, and actions. The benefits of mindfulness range from cultivating wisdom, to reducing stress and pain, to advancing social justice.

Leader: Sessions are led by Pamela Patton who is Director of Pastoral Ministries at All Souls. She also runs the Buddhist and Mindfulness programming.

When: Sundays once a month at 10am – see calendar below for dates

SANGHA II: MEDITATION AND DISCUSSION GROUP

Sangha II is an opportunity to practice together and to get to know each other in a small group setting. Sessions begin with meditation.

Leader: This series is led by Maggie Mullane. Maggie is an economist and analyst in the media industry. She has been practicing yoga and meditation for almost 15 years and has been meditating with the All Souls Sangha since 2017.

When: Sundays once a month at 1:30pm – see calendar below for dates

BUDDHISM STUDY GROUP FOR BEGINNERS

This series is led by Harry Miller who has studied Buddhist meditation for 45 years.

Leader: This series provides an opportunity to delve into Buddhism according to participants’ interests and questions. Harry was a student of the renowned Zen teacher, Chan Master Sheng-yen for 30 years. He is a docent and leads Dharma Study groups at the Rubin Museum. He teaches meditation and philosophy at the Chan Meditation Center in Queens, where he is a board member.

When: Sundays once a month at 1:30pm – see calendar below for dates

MEDITATION FOR ALL SOULS SOUP KITCHEN GUESTS

A group of volunteers offers meditation to our soup kitchen guests. New volunteers are always welcome, but they must have an established meditation practice as well as experience with leading meditation (among other requirements). Please contact Pamela Patton if you are interested in participating in this program.

MINDBODY MEDICINE WELLNESS WORKSHOP SERIES

Workshop 1: Your Answers Lie Within: Mindbody Medicine Tools for Health and Well-Being
Workshop 2: From Worry to Well-Being: Mindbody Medicine Tools for Anxiety
Workshop 3: Spirituality, Health and Healing: Aging Gracefully and Peacefully

These workshops are led by Trish Muehsam, MD who was a pioneer in the alternative medicine movement of the 1990s, as a practitioner, educator and research scientist. Since then, Dr. Muehsam has been at the forefront of the evolution and change that has taken place in medicine today—a change that has mainstreamed many alternative and complementary medicine practices, offering individuals and communities powerful tools for navigating health and well-being, and beginning to alter Western medicine from the inside out. Author of the forthcoming Beyond Medicine: A Physician’s Revolutionary Prescription for Achieving Absolute Health, Healing Dis-Ease and Finding Inner Peace, Dr. Muehsam details her experiences of illness and healing and other life challenges, and offers readers a groundbreaking and compelling way to think about health, and simple and effortless tools for experiencing it.

When: TBD

VEGAN POTLUCK

The All Souls young adult community hosts these evenings of food and community. They are intergenerational events—guests are invited to bring a dish that’s free of meat, dairy, and anything else that comes from animals, or they can just show up and share a meal.

When: Fridays or Saturdays once a month at 6:30pm

RECOMMENDED EVENTS IN AND AROUND NYC

On Fridays Mount Sinai Hospital offers a free mindfulness class to patients, employees and neighbors of Mount Sinai. They meet 12:30 – 1:30PM every Friday throughout the year in the MSIT Learning Lab of the Levy Library, 11th Floor Annenberg Building. Please go to 1468 Madison Avenue and the security guard will guide you to the correct elevator bank. This is a drop in session and registration is not necessary. All are welcome–those new to meditation as well as experienced meditators. Sessions are led by trained mindfulness instructors who rotate each week. If you have further questions please contact Mickie Brown at Mickie.Brown@MSSM.edu.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES

Additional resources recommended by Pilar, Pamela, and friends.

Apps, movies, and books

  • www.insighttimer.com – a free app and online meditation community offering thousands of guided meditations from teachers throughout the globe. You can choose the duration, focus, and purpose.
  • www.headspace.com – an app that offers guided meditations and mindfulness training, catering to both beginners and experienced practitioners. There’s a free 10 day trial. After that, it’s via subscription.
  • Tara Brach’s Guided Meditations – www.tarabrach.com/guided-meditations/
  • Breathworks, founded by Vidyamala Birch, is an excellent mindfulness resource, and it’s especially suited to people experiencing chronic pain. Vidyamala wrote a book called You Are Not Your Pain. You can read more about the book here: https://www.amazon.com/You-Are-Your-Pain-Well-Being/dp/125005267X, and you can read more about Breathworks here: www.breathworks-mindfulness.org.uk/.
  • Minding Closely: The Four Applications of Mindfulness by B. Alan Wallace
  • Books by David Loy
  • Books by Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Soaring and Settling and Buddhism Beyond Patriarchy by Rita Gross.
  • Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path by Thubten Chodron

NYC Dharma Centers

Places to go on retreat

Classes

UPCOMING BUDDHISM AND MINDFULNESS EVENTS

December 1 – Sangha with Pilar: The Skillful Means, Mindfulness at 1:30pm in the Forrest Church Gallery
December 6 – Vegan Pot Luck at 6:30pm
December 8 – Sangha II with Maggie at 1:30pm in the Dick Leonard Room
December 15 – Buddhism Study Group for Beginners with Harry at 1:30pm in the Dick Leonard Room
December 22 – Mindfulness as Spiritual Practice with Pamela at 10am in the Minot Simons Room