People with all levels of previous meditation experience (including many years of experience and no experience) are welcome. The groups will utilize instruction (including readings from various meditation masters) and guided meditations, as well as the direct experiences of those in the group as opportunities to learn from one another.
Recognizing the many gifted teachers in numerous spiritual traditions, the resources in this group will not be limited to any one tradition, and participants from any tradition or no tradition are welcome.
The 6:30 group leader is Ken Lenington, MD. Ken, a retired psychiatrist/addictionologist, has 35+ years of meditation experience, and has led classes and workshops on mindfulness and meditation for the general public and for mental health professionals. Ordained in 2007 in the Order of Interbeing, founded and led by Thich Nhat Hanh (the Vietnamese Zen monk, meditation master, scholar, poet and peace activist) he is active in Mountain Mindfulness, an Asheville community of practice is that tradition. Ken is also an involved member of the Florida Community of Mindfulness (FCM), led by his teacher Fred Eppsteiner, a Dharma Teacher in the lineage of Thich Nhat Hanh. Although Fred has practiced primarily in the Zen and Tibetan Buddhist lineages, he bases his teachings on the full breadth of Buddhist philosophical, psychological and meditative traditions. That inclusiveness is reflected in the Open Circle Mindfulness Group.
The 3:30 group is led by Susan Hales, Laurie Surfas and Gary Massey. Both Susan and Laurie are ordained in the Order of Interbeing, and have been leaders in sanghas in the Plum Village tradition for many years. Gary is an aspirant for ordination in the Order of Interbeing.
All groups are currently meeting virtually, using Zoom. Until social distancing became necessary, the following was the case: The Open Circle Mindfulness Group meets at the Center for Art and Spirit at the St. George’s Episcopal Church in West Asheville. Please see the group information and map in the sidebar. If you have questions, please contact Ken Lenington at 828-768-1143 (call or text) or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.