Course: The Art of Happiness; The Power of Loving Kindness (Metta)

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NOTE: This course began April 20, but late registrations will still be accepted. 


A practical course on developing the profound benevolence that heals the heart.

Presented by Shaila Catherine and 3 guest teachers: Sharon Allen, Berget Jelane, and Laura Lin.

  • April 20 — Metta for category of self — with Shaila Catherine
  • April 27 — Metta for category of benefactors — with Shaila Catherine
  • May 4 — Metta for category of dear friends — with Sharon Allen
  • May 11 — Metta for category of neutral ones — with Berget Jelane
  • May 18 — Metta for category of enemies — with Laura Lin
  • May 25 — Metta for category of all beings — with Shaila Catherine

LOVING-KINDNESS, also known as metta, is a profound quality of friendliness toward all of life. In this course we will cultivate loving-kindness through the use of guided meditations, and structured reflections. We will examine the contexts in which, and the purposes for which, the Buddha taught metta. And we will work directly with anything that seems to obstruct the natural flow of our good will.

This ancient practice of metta meditation cultivates a heartfelt wish that all beings be happy, beginning with ourselves and gradually expanding the field of loving-kindness to embrace those we love, and those who are difficult to love, until this caring radiates to all beings without exception. Loving-kindness meditation heals the heart, and helps us to meet difficulties in life with sensitivity. Metta meditation also strengthens the inner serenity that supports concentration.

This course is offered as a six week series, with progressive lessons and sequential instruction.

Anyone may register for this course, but the material is oriented toward meditators who have had previous experience with mindfulness meditation and are now interested in expanding their meditation to include loving kindness. Some previous meditation experience is expected, but not required.

Registration is required for this course. Registration fees are non-refundable. Cost for our textbook (Loving Kindness by Sharon Salzberg) is included in the fees. Books will be handed out in the first class, or you may pick one up in advance at an IMSB event or by arrangement with the registrar.

To register select an option under the Tickets heading in the right-hand column of this page.

The sliding scale fee range is from $375 to $105 the fees  will be shared between IMSB and the teacher(s). The lower end of the sliding scale is intended for those with limited means. The basic rate of $105 is estimated to cover the most basic costs such as textbook, rent, and insurance for the specific class period. It does not factor in compensation for teachers or ongoing administrative expenses for IMSB. The scholarship rate of $60 offers an even lower rate for those with very limited financial means.

By choosing to give at the mid to high range of the sliding scale your generosity supports those with limited income to attend our programs, and it supports IMSB and the teachers, enabling the dhamma to thrive in the South Bay Area. We encourage you to choose the highest level that is appropriate for your economic situation. If you need additional scholarship assistance and can volunteer to help, please inquire with the registrar about service scholarships by contacting ThursdayClassAddress_at_imsb.

The basic registration fee is not tax deductible and non-refundable. Donations above the base rate will be considered voluntary tax deductible contributions. Each January the IMSB treasurer sends donors letters that acknowledge the accumulated deductible donations from the previous year. This annual letter will acknowledge the amount given that is above the basic rate and serve as documentation for tax deduction purposes.

All fees and payments are non-refundable. If it becomes necessary to cancel participation in a course, and the registrar is notified prior to the start of the first class meeting, your registration fee will be converted into a voucher creditable towards the fee for a future IMSB Thursday Class. Vouchers must be used within one year of the initial course start date. Cancellations that occur after the start of the first class are not eligible for the voucher credit.

To redeem a voucher, send an email to the registrar for the appropriate course and request to use your voucher credit as payment of the registration fees. If the voucher does not cover the base rate for the new class, the balance will be due to complete the registration process. Credits vouchers can be transferred to only one future course.

The Thursday night dhamma classroom will include an array of topics that will support the development of meditative skills and liberating insight. Please see our 2017 Calendar of Events for details. Courses will be led by experienced teachers and local experts in meditation, mindfulness, and Buddhism. Most classes will be appropriate for both new students and seasoned practitioners; any restrictions or pre-requisites will be noted in the course descriptions.

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