All are welcome to join our weekly practice! If you are new to Buddhism, take a look at An Explanation of LAMC for Newcomers.
Getting To Temple
Meetings are held at the Van Hanh Tu (Temple), which is graciously shared with us by the Vietnamese American Buddhist Association of Lansing (V.A.B.A.L.). The Temple is located at 3015 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on the southside of Lansing (as of January 15, 2019).
Please remove your shoes* upon entering.
*We understand that some practitioners need to wear shoes during walking meditation and wish to make the practice accessible, safe, and comfortable for all. Please bring a pair of shoes or slippers that have not been used outside or, in lieu of that, consider placing disposable covers over your shoes.
LAMC meets Wednesdays, 7 – 9 PM, unless otherwise noted. Please visit our Facebook page for weekly announcements about the practice schedule.
We understand that there are times when practitioners can only attend a portion of the weekly practice. Whether arriving late or departing early, please enter and exit the temple with mindfulness — observing noble silence. To minimize disruption, it is best to enter or exit the Temple during the transition periods between the practices; for example, before sitting meditation starts or immediately after it ends.
Flow of Practice
- Opening – Reciting Gatha + Offering Incense* + Inviting the Bell
- Walking Meditation (15 minutes)
- Sitting Meditation (30 minutes)
- Dharma Discussion – Sharing readings and experiences about meditation practices and mindfully engaging the world.
- Closing – Reciting Gatha + Inviting the Bell
Feel free to participate to your level of comfort.
*Due to allergic reactions and sensitivities to fragrance, Sangha “offers” but no longer burns incense as part our opening meditation.
However, incense continues to be used in the Temple at other times, so the fragrance still remains. Please keep this in mind if you plan to attend.*
We use conscious breathing to stay present to what is arising in our bodies, minds, and environment. The breath can help us to be solid, calm, centered, and connected.
During walking and sitting meditation, one can enter into meditation by gently following the lovely breath, which sustains us, and mentally repeating:
“Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.”
If you find that you have drifted off to thoughts about the past or future or even a current situation, gently guide your awareness back to the breath.
“A lotus for you, A Buddha to Be.”
With one greeting, mindfulness becomes present in both of us as we touch the Buddha with our hearts, not just with our hands. Suddenly, the Buddha in each of us begins to shine, and we are in touch with the present moment.
— Thich Nhat Hanh
Bowing is a practice shared by many spiritual/religious traditions. In Buddhism, we bring our hands together at our hearts (forming a “lotus”) and bow to align our body and actions in mindfulness and to offer acknowledgment and respect to those we are greeting.
Following our silent meditation segments, we discuss readings related to living mindfully and practicing meditation. There is no obligation to speak. However, it is hoped that we generate understanding and support from the collective wisdom of the group.
We carry mindfulness into our dharma discussion by practicing loving speech and deep listening:
We bow when we wish to speak. It expresses our intention to speak clearly from the heart with skillful/wise speech that will benefit others (is it necessary, true, well-timed, kind). We are also aware of speaking concisely to allow others time to share their experiences.
Sangha bows to acknowledge the speaker. This expresses our intention to listen deeply, offering our full awareness toward understanding the one who is sharing without planning a response, while paying attention to what arises in our bodies/minds.
The speaker bows to when they are done sharing. Sangha bows again to the speaker.
Sangha enjoys at least 3 breaths before the next practitioner shares. During this sacred pause we create space to reflect on cultivating loving speech before, during, and after speaking.
Chairs + Cushions
Chairs and cushions for sitting meditation are provided. Practitioners may also bring their own “sit-upons” (blankets, benches, cushions, etc.) to support stability and ease in their posture.