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Des Moines


What we think, we become. Speak and act with a pure heart and happiness follows like
an unshakable shadow. Buddha
The Des Moines Meditation Group was founded in 1994 by Charles Day to support one
another in our practices of meditation, mindfulness, and Buddhist philosophy. These
practices train us to be more fully present in the here and now; to let go of the
conditioned thoughts, emotions, and sensations that cause suffering for us and others, and
to experience more lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and peace in our daily lives.
All are welcome. Instructions are provided for beginners. Experienced meditators may
use any silent method or the breath method we teach.
Where We Meet
Des Moines Valley Friends Meeting House, 4211 Grand Avenue Des Moines, IA 50312.
Located on the northwest corner of 42nd Street and Grand in Des Moines. Park in the lot
off 42nd Street.
When We Meet
Every Tuesday from 7:30 - 8:30 pm
7:30 - 8:00 pm: Sitting Meditation
8:00 - 8:30 pm: Presentation followed by a short meditation

Chairs, mats, and cushions are provided.

Occasional full-day retreats are held.
Fred Nelson:, Administrator
Charles Day:
Cris Douglass:
David Drake:
Donations Appreciated
Dana is the Pali word for generosity or gift giving. The teachings are considered
priceless, so there is no charge, but dana donations are gratefully appreciated as an
expression of your generosity and support for the continuation of the teachings.
Donations are shared with the Des Moines Valley Friends Meeting for use of their
facility. The rest is used for meditation mats and cushions, group brochures, handouts,
printing, retreat expenses, national directory listings, and support of Buddhist and
meditation activities.
Meditation Hall Etiquette
Out of respect for those meditating, please enter and leave the meditation hall before and
between meditation sessions. Maintain quiet in the foyer and silence in the hall at all
times, except during the Q&A session. Turn off cell phones. Leave shoes in the foyer.
Please do not wear scented lotions because some may be allergic. Do nothing to disturb
others and do not be disturbed by what others do.
Focusing on the breath and returning to it whenever the attention wanders is a universal
sitting meditation used in all religions, in yoga, and as a general relaxation technique. It
facilitates psychological and spiritual growth.
Sit on a chair, a mat and cushion or meditation bench. Sit in a stable, relaxed, and
comfortable position and keep the back, neck and head in a straight line. Close your eyes.
Diligently keep your attention focused on the changing physical sensations in the nose,
chest, and/or abdomen as you naturally breathe in and breathe out. Just as the heart beats,
the mind thinks, so the attention will be distracted by thoughts, feelings, sensations,
sounds and smells. Your attention may stray for a few seconds or several minutes. Every
time you notice it is not on the breath, gently and without judgment, let go of wherever it
went and return it to the breath. Meditate 10 to 60 minutes once or twice daily, or for just
a few minutes when time permits, but decide before each sitting how long it will be.
Mindfully focusing and refocusing on your breath anchors you in the here and now. It
trains the mind to identify and let go of harmful conditioned patterns and attachments, so

that thoughts, speech, and actions are less reactive and more appropriate, compassionate,
and loving. You feel happier and more peaceful, feelings that often spread to those around

Lovingkindness and Compassion Meditation: Direct to yourself and others, during

a sitting meditation or anytime, such phrases as, "May I (or name a person or
group) be well, happy, safe, and peaceful. May I be healed, free from suffering,
and at ease with all that happens. May I live in peace & harmony with all beings."

Walking Meditation: Focus on the breath while walking or on the sensations in

each foot as you place it on the ground. Or walk slowly enough to experience
sensations in the heel, ball, toes, ankle, and leg when lifting, moving, and placing
each foot, and in standing and turning around.

Mindful Breathing: Occasionally observe the breath, e.g., before answering the
phone, waiting in line or for an appointment or traffic light.

Mindful Eating: Mindfully pick up and eat each bite of food before taking the
next bite. Be aware of hand and arm movements; the food's aroma, taste, and
texture, and the sensations associated with chewing and swallowing.

Meal Meditation: "This food is the gift of the whole universe: the earth, sun, rain,
and much loving work. May I live and eat with mindfulness and gratitude. May I
think and act in positive ways and overcome negative feelings. May I eat only
food that nourishes me and prevents illness. May I accept this food in order to
experience understanding and love." (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Mindful Living: Mindfully attend to the moment-to-moment sensory experiences

of showering, dressing, washing dishes, feeding a pet, driving, working, and all
other daily activities.

1. Wise Understanding: Suffering is universal and caused by attachment to desires,

aversions, and the delusion of a separate self or ego. Practicing these guidelines
can end suffering.
2. Wise Thought: Practice wholesome, useful, positive, and harmonious thinking.
Refrain from negative and unwholesome thoughts related to greed, anger,
harming, and self-centeredness.
3. Wise Speech: Practice truthfulness, kind, and useful speech. Avoid lying, gossip,
and divisive, abusive, harsh, vain, and unnecessary speech.

4. Wise Action: Practice lovingkindness, compassion, generosity, patience, and

gratitude. Avoid killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, abuse of intoxicants, and
unskillful relationships.
5. Wise Livelihood: Refrain from work that harms living beings and the
environment, e.g., cheating, exploitation, prostitution, and trade in weapons,
intoxicants, poisons, and pollutants.
6. Wise Effort: Persistently cultivate wholesome and harmonious thoughts, speech,
and actions. Avoid negative and unwholesome ones.
7. Wise Mindfulness: Practice meditation and mindful acceptance of all moment-tomoment sensory and cognitive experiences without judgment, commentary, and
8. Wise Concentration: Practice meditation and sustained mindfulness to attain
insight into suffering, impermanence, and interdependence and the enduring peace
and happiness unaffected by changing internal and external conditions.

Des Moines Meditation Group

Join us Tuesdays at 7:30 - 8:30 pm
4211 Grand Ave., Des Moines