On September 24th, Shaila Catherine, principle teacher of IMSB, and Erik Swanson, pastor of Westhope Presbyterian Church, spoke about living a contemplative life in Silicon Valley. They guided the meditation together that included mindfulness and Lectio Divina, and then led an inspiring discussion. Study, reflection, and silence are practices common to both traditions. Shaila and [...]
Shaila Catherine just returned from an annual retreat in Kansas City, co-lead with Philip Jones of Mid-America Dharma. Deep teachings were given on insight meditation and the commitment to awakening to a full house of meditators. People came from all levels of experience — some were nervously attending their first retreat and other participants welcomed [...]
In August 2015 Shaila taught three retreats in Holland — all were filled to capacity with eager meditators. The meditation community is strong in the Netherlands, and Shaila's teachings were well received. Before and after the retreats she enjoyed visiting museums, bicycling on the dunes, and seeing windmills, castles, bridges, and dikes. She has been invited [...]
Early this September 2015, IMSB was delighted to host Lama Surya Das for two wonderful speaker events. Tuesday September 1st, Surya Das spoke about his latest book Make Me One with Everything: Buddhist Meditations to Awaken from the Illusion of Separation and was available for book signing. On Thursday in Saratoga he spoke as part of our series [...]
On August 18 IMSB hosted the second day-long session held at Westhope Presbyterian Church in Saratoga. Entitled Presence with Sense Doors and Poetry Readings, the day’s activities were guided by Jennifer Dungan and Drew Oman. Activities The day began at 9:30 with a sitting meditation followed by exploring mindfulness of the sense of touch through [...]
Special guest teacher Bob Stahl recently offered teachings on the Three Poisons and the Three Antidotes at our Thursday night meditation group in Saratoga. It was an inspiring teaching! Here is a very brief synopsis for those who missed it: Three Poisons: There is no fire hotter than the fire of greed; no ice colder than the [...]
Thanks to a committed group of volunteer Event Managers, our Thursday night meditation group that meets in Saratoga is off to a great start. Working together Shaila Catherine and Sharon Allen have developed a curriculum composed of series topics that will span more than two years. Teachings are offered by Shaila, Sharon, and a wide array of guest [...]
IMSB collected $400 in donations in July to provide school supplies for needy youth in San Jose. The donations we're given through a school backpack project that is coordinated each summer by Santa Maria Urban Ministry (SMUM). Appreciations for the generosity and sharing that we experience in this community!
IMSB enjoyed a month long opportunity to host Venerable U Jagara as our resident guest teacher. He offered teachings at our Tuesday and Thursday sitting groups, and co-lead day long and residential retreats with Shaila Catherine. What a treat it was to have such an experienced monastic in our midst this spring—an inspiration for us [...]
The full moon in the month of May is the time we honor the Buddha's birth and enlightenment. Shaila led IMSB's Wesak celebration with a beautiful and inspiring flower ceremony. Happy Wesak wishes! May all beings awaken!
On Sunday May 17, five IMSB members — Sharon, Shaila, Mike, Quanah, and Rebecca — joined together with the pastor and parishioners at Westhope Presbyterian Church for a community pot luck lunch and work session. It was an all around enjoyable event with lots of good spirit, joyful conversations, and productive cleaning, scrubbing, painting, and gardening projects. [...]
The Developing a Kind Heart series recently offered at the Saratoga sitting group was warmly received. The classes covered the Brahma Viharas: Loving Kindness, Compassion, Empathetic Joy, and Equanimity. The final class was an evening of sitting and walking practice and a Metta practice. The guest teachers for this series were Kim Allen, Cheryl Branco, Berget Jelane, [...]
Several IMSB members joined Shaila for a ten-day experienced practitioner retreat at Spirit Rock. The retreat was led by Venerable Analayo, Phillip Moffitt, and Shaila Catherine and followed Venerable Analayo's comparative studies of the Satipatthana sutta. The teachings presented a pragmatic approach to mindfulness that seamlessly integrates concentration, mindfulness, and insight. We were happy and proud to see our [...]
Shaila has just returned after spending several weeks in Barre, MA where she taught a course on "Identity Construction and the Five Clinging Aggregates" at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. After teaching, she remained in Barre for a few weeks to study the system of 24 casual relations (The Patthana) and apply it in [...]
On March 3, Lisa Dale Miller presented to a large audience a clear and concise look at the skillful application of Buddhist mindfulness in clinical and counseling applications based on her book “Effortless Mindfulness: Genuine Mental Health Through Awakened Presence”. As she explained, Awakened Presence is a natural outcome of an embodied mind recognizing what [...]