Whether you think of yourself as a naturally calm person or a more restless or anxious person, samatha meditation can help you find stillness, clarity, and calm, both during out outside of meditation practice. One of the first benefits students report is noticing they feel less reactive to things in life that used to bother them more.
By practicing mindfulness of breath and attention on the breath, over time joy and energization of the mind naturally arises. Through maintaining mindfulness and attention, that joy and energization naturally tranquilizes, transforming into stillness and clarity. That stillness and clarity spills over into our day-to-day life, transforming our lives. Over time, the chattering, unruly mind settles down and we begin to notice and understand more about the mental habits that keep us from happiness, freedom, and understanding. We become kinder to ourselves and others. We learn to become both open to change and rooted in ethics; we become more curious about the world around us.
All regular classes are free of charge, always. Donations are warmly accepted and go back into supporting the practice.
Time and Location of classes
encourage generosity (dāna). If you are so inspired, you may either give online, or donate by cash or check in-person to the following organizations:
Lineage and Organization of Samatha Meditation practices
We practice meditation classes in the samatha tradition as taught through the Samatha Foundation of North America and the Samatha Trust of the UK, which are both non-profit organizations, run by experienced meditation teachers on the basis on dāna (generosity).
Samatha meditation has its roots in Buddhist practice. You can learn more the lineage and history of this samatha practice here. Many discussions in groups will center around teachings from Buddhism which directly support our meditation practice. There may occasionally be some chanting in Pāli as well. Identifying as Buddhist is neither a requirement, nor expected. All are welcome, whatever your religious beliefs.
In this tradition, we practice in groups, led by–but never centered on–a teacher. Samatha teachers help support each person in their meditation practice through both group and one-on-one conversations, and in turn are supported by the community of samatha teachers, in North America, and worldwide. Through practicing in groups, all who practice samatha meditation are supported both by peers and more experienced meditators. As a community of meditation practitioners, our focus in conversations is how to deepen our meditation practice and connect what we learn from our practice to life experiences.
The Rogers Park weekly class is taught by Kyren Epperson, PhD, AOBTA-CP, LMT (they/them). In addition to their meditation background, Kyren has extensive scholarly training in Buddhism (MA, PhD South Asian Languages and Civilizations, UChicago 2017; BA Religious Studies College of William & Mary). Kyren is also a certified Shiatsu Bodywork therapist, specializing in bodywork for LGBTQIA+ folks and trauma survivors. They teach empowerment-based violence prevention and karate classes, specializing in trauma-informed, trans-affirming, and neurodivergent-friendly approaches to teaching. They are currently a third-degree black belt in Jin Sei Ryu Karate-Do. Kyren routinely incorporates their deep understanding about the body, the breath, and its healthy movements in all of their classes.