Chattanooga Insight Meditation:
Date: Thursdays, 7:00 – 8:30pm
Venue: Center for Mindful Living
1212 McCallie Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404
(Across from Warner Park near the
corner of Holtzclaw and McCallie)
Dear Friends, Janka and Ed share some reflections
on Sangha - harmonious community.
At Dharmagiri in South Africa, where I attended a month-long retreat, I woke up every morning around 4:15am to the sounds of Thanissara starting a fire in the meditation hall. My room was attached to it so I could clearly hear the sounds of the poker and the logs scraping the metal sides of the wood stove. I could also smell the wood-smoke. Our day started at 5am with an hour long sitting period and finished at 9pm with a dharma talk. The times when the days felt really long I would wake up with a sense of aversion: “Man, I could have slept another 30 minutes if my room was somewhere else”. I wanted to go back to sleep, but the thought of Thanissara waking up even sooner and making sure that the room was warm when we came to sit, kept me from falling back to sleep. The deep appreciation for her efforts got me out of bed and into the meditation hall. This sense of appreciation for everybody’s effort grew as time went by. The group’s commitment inspired and supported me when I was in doubt, or when I was considering skipping a morning sit to sleep in, or a late-morning sit to go for a hike. I began to feel a deep inclination to offer the same level of commitment and support to the group in return. The motivation to practice came out of gratitude. Gratitude for this clarifying and useful practice I was engaging and for the community of dedicated practitioners practicing with me.
Outside the retreat setting, the pull of the world on us is even stronger. We can get so distracted by life that we forget to take a refuge in our practice. Many times we tell ourselves we don’t have time to practice, but when we look closer we may just find that part of us wants to do something else instead. We all need sometimes a place to come to take care of our practice, to sit together in Sangha. Our Thursday group is that place for me. I am very grateful for it and for everybody who comes to practice with us.
Buddhism teaches that a basic fact of life is impermanence (anicca). Impermanence permeates existence, both living and inanimate. Our Chattanooga Insight group is no exception. We started as a small gathering at Tamarisk about three years ago to learn meditation. Then we moved to Clear Spring where we met until the end of last year. And now we gather at the Center for Mindful Living. With each move the group changes: some folks drop out while new kindred souls join us. Some Thursdays we may have close to 30 people, other Thursdays no more than 10.
Later this month we will undergo change again as our teachers Thanissara and Kittisaro leave us for a few months to teach and lead retreats in different countries. In their absence Yong, Janka, Lynne, Holli, and Ed will take turns in leading the group and in sharing insights from their practice, channeling the dharma through their thoughts and words. We invite you to stay in our community while the teachers are absent. Our essential reason for gathering together is not to harvest gems of wisdom provided by the teachers but to support each other by practicing as a community. Only through that practice will we be able to tell when a gem has been handed to us.
"Taking refuge in the sangha means putting your trust in a community of solid members who practice mindfulness together. You do not have to practice intensively—just being in a sangha where people are happy, living deeply the moments of their days, is enough. Each person’s way of sitting, walking, eating, working, and smiling is a source of inspiration; and transformation takes place without effort." - Thich Nhat Hanh
August 1 - Kittisaro
August 8 - Kittisaro
August 15 - Kittisaro
August 22 - Peer Led -- Janka
August 29 - Peer Led -- Yong
Janka Livoncova will be offering a new class at the Center for Mindful Living beginning Thursday, August 1st. The class will open with a silent sitting meditation from 5:00-5:25pm. No instructions. The meditation portion is optional and you may join the sit early or late. From 5:30 - 6:30pm MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) Yoga -- which is done very slowly with moment to moment awareness of breathing and of the sensations that arise as we practice the postures. All levels are welcome. $15/class or free for members beginning September 2013.
Registration is now open for the 8-Week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR), led by Janka Livoncova and Yong Oh at the Center for Mindful Living. A Thursday morning course beginning Sept 12th, will be held in addition to the regular Tuesday evening course beginning Sept 10th. For more information, schedule, or how to register for the course, visit www.chattanoogambsr.com. You can also contact Yong or Janka for further questions.
Center for Mindful Living
The Center for Mindful Living is a non-sectarian, non-profit organization promoting consciousness and compassion and supporting practices that help us deeply listen to ourselves and to one another. Our in-house programs will offer instruction in a variety of techniques for stress reduction, mental focus, and self-awareness. We will offer a dedicated space for individuals and groups to practice stillness, contemplation and meditation. The Center will provide innovative outreach programs that help people respond to the flow of everyday life in a resilient and peaceful manner. We will also connect you to a diverse network of professionals within the Center and in the greater Chattanooga area who incorporate present-moment awareness in their services. Rooted in our commitment to diversity, we operate with transparent democratic governance, generosity-based economics, and environmental sustainability.The Center for Mindful Living is open and inclusive to all who wish to deepen their experience of themselves and their place in the greater community.
Center for Mindful Living website
1212 McCallie Avenue
Chattanooga TN, 37404
Get directions via Google Maps here.
A place to gather and share information, events, resources about mindfulness and meditation -- embracing all practices, traditions and faiths here in Chattanooga. Dedicated to sharing with all those on the contemplative path, and to exploring the value and power of mindfulness in our everyday lives.
Sacred Earth Society
Here - Now - Together - For sustainability of diversity. Know your inter-being with all things & act accordingly! Post wisdom teachings and events that encourage our collective Awakening in regards to co-creating a sustainable Earth. Educate about the mindful use of resources. Further the dissemination of relevant information. Support activism in service of ecological sustainability, equity, social justice, animal rights and the well being of peoples who are marginalized and exploited.
from Chattanooga, was a Buddhist monk for 15 years and teaches internationally. He has studied Theravada, Chan and Pure Land Buddhism. Kittisaro has completed two one year long silent self retreats and is currently writing in between continuing his teaching engagements.
was a Buddhist nun for 12 years and also teaches internationally. Thanissara has an MA in Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy Practice from the UK. Currently she is co-facilitator of the Community Dharma Leader Program at Spirit Rock Meditation Centre CA, USA.
Visit Kittisaro and Thanissara's Facebook Page!
is dedicated to the teaching and practice of meditation and mindfulness in the Insight/Vipassana tradition. Informed by Buddhism and other contemplative traditions, we will explore themes such as mindfulness, insight, daily life practice and the transformative power of presence.
"If there is no problem there is nothing to solve. When there is a problem that’s when we must act, right then! There is no need to search for anything special, just live normally. But know where your mind is."
- Ajahn Chah
Our redesigned website for Dharmagiri has been launched!
Download recorded dharma talks, find out more about the online study program, learn more about Dharmagiri in South Africa... and more at: