Welcome to the Lansing Area Mindfulness Community!
We are a sangha of lay practitioners of diverse backgrounds who study the Dharma and practice meditation in the Zen Buddhist tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh.
~ prepared by Carolyn White
When you take The Five Mindfulness Trainings (5 Precepts) with the Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, he asks you not to practice alone but to find a community (a sangha) of like-minded people to support you in your meditation.
In 1997 I took the trainings and began looking for people to practice with me. Since I wasn’t adept at sitting meditation, I looked for someone who was. I looked for two years and others joined me in that search, until finally six of us looked at each other and realized we were a sangha, although most of us were new to the practice of mindfulness.
In 1999 we began weekly sitting and walking meditation at the Bishop Road Mindfulness Center belonging to the Vietnamese-American Buddhist Association of Lansing (V.A.B.A.L.). The caretaker lived in the house; the temple was in the garage, which could be very cold. So, unlike most Buddhist groups, we practiced walking meditation first so we could warm up before we sat for thirty minutes on the concrete floor. We loved our temple and the Vietnamese community that supported us, even though their Buddhist practice differed from ours.
On the first Saturday of every November we brought dharma teacher Jack Lawlor, of Lakeside Buddha Sangha in Illinois, to lead us in a full Day of Mindfulness.
When, in 2004, the Vietnamese community moved to South Washington Avenue, we did, too. We became the Lansing Area Mindfulness Community. We practice well. Every Wednesday from 7-9 PM we do sitting and walking meditation and hold a dharma discussion, finding skillful ways to incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives. We read not only the works of our root teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, but other great masters: The Dalai Lama, Pema Chodron, Ayya Khema, Lama Zopa, Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Brahm, Tara Brach, Eckhart Tolle, and so many more. We study the sutras. And we listen deeply to each other to be more compassionate and fully awake for our lives.
Sangha thrives beyond the weekly practice in the temple, supporting its dharma sisters and brothers, in celebration and sorrow, through times of great change. All are welcome — come and join us!