Curious about our center’s mindfulness and meditation classes? Let’s put your mind at ease before you even arrive.
Are you a Buddhist Center?
Dallas Meditation is NOT a church or a temple or a religious center or a Buddhist center or a Thich Nhat Hanh center. However, we do discuss those topics and more. We affirm ALL people and offer refuge for all regardless of their attributes, traditions, and beliefs.
What time should I arrive for a group meditation?
We are invited to arrive 10-15 minutes early so that we can approach the hall with mindfulness and without hurry. This way, we all participate in the creation of our Sacred Practice Space. We will joyfully support the facilitator in setting up the hall or bringing down the cushions.
By the scheduled time we will all have taken our seats so that everyone is ready and comfortable when the bell is invited. If we are late for sitting meditation, we will try to join the group without disruption or will sit just outside the group until the next transition (bell).
What should I expect the first time I come?
The Awakening Heart Community is made for people of all ages and of varying experience at all levels of practice. You don’t need to be a Buddhist to practice. You don’t need to be anything—just a real human being. Everyone can practice because everyone can breathe. If you are new, or this is your first time doing something like this, we welcome you and we will all benefit from your presence. Don’t worry, there are no rules to break and nothing to do wrong. There is nothing to do! You are lucky to have what we call a ‘beginners mind’ and many of us work hard to cultivate our beginner’s mind.
For the time we are together, we will give ourselves the gift of presence to stop and take care of ourselves. This time is our chance to stop running, to stop ‘doing’, to clear our minds, and to dwell in the present moment.
There is nothing to do, nowhere to go; it is our opportunity to put down our projects, and our calendars, to let go of our worries, our fears, our deadlines, and just ‘be’. Be with your mind, be with your body, be with your ancestors, be truly here.
Our weekly gathering practices can include:
• Sitting Meditation
• Walking Meditation
• Mantra Chanting
• Simple Beautiful Ritual
• Enlightenment Teachings
• Sharing & Discussion
• Healing Prayer
I have environmental sensitivities. Can I still participate comfortably?
If someone has environmental sensitivities, they will let the facilitator know and we will refrain from burning incense or scented candles.
A sangha gathering is not a time to suffer, so comfort is important. We are all encouraged to take responsibility for our well-being and to communicate our needs to the facilitator of the meeting with consideration for others.
Does Dallas Meditation Center offer courses?
Every gathering is structured to be beginner-friendly, so come whenever works for you and let that session be a meditation course. Meditation is a practice, and—like riding a bicycle—practicing is the best way to learn.
In addition, weekly life-enrichment classes offered to the community teach how to live a healthier and mindful life, enjoying peace and beauty. Check the website calendar for all dates, times, and information online.
How do I join ZOOM classes?
You can get the Zoom link sent to you by going to dallasmeditationcenter.com/groups or, you can watch this video and our Co-Director, Cornell Kinderknecht, will walk you through it. View Video
Does Dallas Meditation Center offer corporate/workplace mindfulness training?
We bring certified meditation teachers to your company, organization, or event — to decrease stress & burnout and to increase employee retention, happiness, teamwork & more! These meditation workshops will be a game-changer for each person who joins, whether they are new to meditation or experienced.
Want to bring meditation to your company (online or in-person), but you’re not the decider? Connect us with your head of HR, wellness team, or manager.
Workplace Mindfulness and Meditation ::: Read Article
Read more information about our services and book us.
For in-person classes, can I just drop in or do I need to book a cushion in advance?
No registration is necessary unless specified. You can drop in and when you arrive, all are expected to check-in before entering the Meditation Hall. The few occasional events that require preregistration will be marked on our website and newsletter.
We only book meditation cushions, during this Covid-19 time, when we have a Special event and have limited participation/seating.
For in-person classes, where do I park and enter the building?
► View interactive Google map
We are located in the Arapaho Village shopping strip at the corner of Arapaho Road and Westshore Drive in Richardson. NOTE that our entrance is located at the back of the complex. It’s easiest to enter the driveway off West Shore Drive, where you’ll easily be able to see our location as you enter the parking lot. There is plenty of parking in front of our building.
Does Yoga or tai chi count as meditation?
They can. Any activity done in mindfulness can be considered meditation. Yoga, tai chi, and similar mindful movement activities are particularly conducive to this.
Whenever we are not standing, sitting, or lying down, we are moving. We can learn to move and walk with awareness. We can be aware of the contact of our feet with the earth and of our in-breath and out-breath. As we breathe in, we can say “in,” and as we breathe out, we can say “out” silently. We are aware that we are alive with each step, not carried away by our thoughts and emotions.
WebMD Tai Chi for medical conditions says: The ancient Chinese practices of tai chi and qigong (pronounced CHEE-gong) combine slow, deliberate movements, meditation, and breathing exercises. It began as a martial art. As it developed, it took on the purpose of enhancing physical and mental health. Practiced in a variety of styles, tai chi involves slow, gentle movements, deep breathing, and meditation. The meditation is sometimes called “moving meditation.”
For in-person classes, what should I wear to class?
Wear comfortable clothes and bring (or wear) socks to keep your toes warm. Layers may be helpful to your comfort. You might like to bring your own water bottle and a journal if you like to take notes.
For in-person classes, What will they sit on in class?
Our meditation hall has a hardwood floor and provides both chairs as well as mats and cushions. You are also welcome to bring your own mat and cushion or bench to sit on the floor. We are asked to leave our street footwear outside the main hall in the lobby.
For in-person classes, is the studio ADA-accessible?
There are no stairs to enter the building or get around inside the building. There is a parking lot ramp, further down, but not at our door. We have unisex bathrooms. The main restroom has: grab bars, one can pull a wheelchair up to/under the sink, and there is room to turn a wheelchair around inside the bathroom and the space in the hallway in front of it. In the kitchen, one can pull a wheelchair under the sink. There are automatic light switches in the main bathroom and kitchen.
For in-person classes, can I bring my cell phone to class?
We are invited to turn off our cell phones or their ringers. If we need to leave them on in case of an emergency, we will put them on vibrate mode. If necessary, we will mindfully walk outside before taking the call so that the practitioners inside can continue to concentrate.
What is the fee?
Following the Buddhist tradition of practicing generosity, called dana, we are invited to give to the sangha whenever we meet. This can be in the form of donating time, volunteering to bring flowers, or other contributions. Of course, any amount will be joyfully accepted. Dana is used for sustaining the sangha, such as supporting the website, online technology, and other incidental costs.
The Dallas Meditation Center is lovingly supported by generous donations from the in-person and online community. Dallas Meditation Center needs your generosity more than ever. Please consider a gift to support our offerings, our staff, our teachers, and sangha.
Donate by phone: text “Mindful” to 44321
Please consider becoming one of our monthly donors, making an automatic monthly donation either online or through a monthly draft/check through your bank’s bill payment process.
One Dharma, Awakening Heart, Dallas Meditation Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your donations are eligible as charitable deductions for tax purposes. We use PayPal for secure online transactions. You may donate with most major credit or debit cards or PayPal.
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“It is possible to live happily in the present moment. It is the only moment we have.”
What are Community Agreements?
These agreements aim to create a safe and harmonious environment for participants to share from the heart and benefit from each other’s insights and direct experiences of the practice.
These are not hard fast rules, no one will police you. They are to assist in being mindful in a space where many complexities and the unknown exist within each being you will meet here.
As a practice community (sangha), we explore how to hold conflict tenderly. We cherish our community and its siblings by taking responsibility for the impact of our actions. Here are some collective actions we can take to work towards the liberation of suffering.
1. ARRIVE GENTLY, BE WITH
We begin and end our meetings on time. Arrive and leave when it is best for you. Appreciating how refreshing it is to be in a place that is well cared for, we take care of ourselves and our community by keeping the space uncluttered and accessible, especially near doors, cushions station, bathrooms, kitchen, and tea area.
2. HONOR INTIMACY, PRIVACY, CONFIDENTIALITY
We do not share the names or personal stories of anyone other than ourselves, now or later. If we want to follow up with anyone regarding something they said in the community, we ask first and respect their wishes.
3. BOWING IN ASSUME NONE, BE ONE
Before speaking we may wish to make a flower bud with our hands and bow. When we bow, put our hand on our heart, or use a signal we are comfortable with, we are signaling that we would like to share. The Sangha bows back, acknowledging that we are ready to listen deeply.
We do not assume the race, class, gender, sexuality, or ability of anyone else. We have the individual option to share our name with pronouns, and we will collectively respect pronouns.
When we are finished we let the Sangha know by bowing out/signaling again.
4. DIALOGUE OVER DEBATE THROUGH MINDFUL LISTENING
We listen deeply with our full attention, in body, heart, and mind. We listen to understand, not to respond. We are willing to be surprised, to learn something new, to be changed by all viewpoints and ideas. Not knowing is most intimate.
5. PRACTICE CARE AND CONSENT
We practice care and consent by participating in what feels right and speaking our needs and concerns as they arise, as much as we can. We can say “I pass” or “No, thank you” if we don’t wish to speak. We ask before touching, and we are free to say no to touch. We ask for permission before offering advice, unless directly asked.
6. PRACTICE SELF-FOCUS AND SPEAK FROM THE “I”
We attend to and speak about our own experiences and responses. We speak using “I” statements and do not speak for a whole group or express assumptions about the experience of others.
7. PRACTICE “BOTH / AND”
We substitute “and” for “but” when speaking. This practice acknowledges and honors multiple realities. This also supports creating spaciousness around our binary ways.
8. UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INTENT AND IMPACT
No matter our intentions, we take responsibility for the impact our actions have on others. Denying our impact by focusing on intent can be more destructive than the initial interaction.
9. REFRAIN FROM BLAMING OR SHAMING SELF & OTHERS
We practice giving skillful feedback and not performing quality control on another’s expressions, or our own, understanding that powerful emotions can arise as a shout, a stammer, a cry; and that these expressions, too, deserve space and care.
10. TAKING SPACE, MAKING SPACE
We encourage full participation by all present, knowing that courage takes different forms for each of us. Take note of who is speaking and who is not. If you tend to speak often, consider “tuning in” through mindful listening. If you tend to rest in silence, consider “making space” by sharing your experience.
Acknowledgments, resources, references and input:
Brooklyn Zen Center sangha members
East Bay Meditation Center, Agreements for Multi-Cultural Interaction, adopted from Visions Inc.’s “Guidelines for Productive Work Sessions.” www.visions-inc.org
Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Block Build Be Shared Agreements, July 2017
Intergroup Dialogue trainings (dialogue and debate, U. of Michigan, UCLA)
“From Safe Spaces to Brave Spaces” (article from The Art of Effective Facilitation, Stylus Publishing, 2013)
Natural Bravery by Gaylon Ferguson (Shambhala Publications, 2016)
Mindfulness, Concentration and Grounding Exercises (as taught by BZC guiding teachers and practiced by its sangha)