The Buffalo Mindfulness Community is a 501(c) (3) non-profit who offers spiritual education and training whose purpose is to:
- Educate people about the spirituality of mindfulness (the cultivation of a clear knowing, non-judgmental awareness of the mind-body alternatively defined as the practice of sensory awareness and equanimity) and loving-kindness (the intention for all beings to be happy and free from the root of suffering).
- Provide teachings based in the spirituality of mindfulness and loving-kindness that will assist people with integrating and manifesting compassion and wisdom in daily life.
We achieve this purpose primarily by offering spiritual teachings from recognized meditation teachers; providing a safe and supportive environment for meditation; and Dharma (teachings of the Buddha or universal patterns that govern the mind/body) study groups. All people, regardless of faith or background, are welcome.
The Buffalo Mindfulness Community is dedicated to discovering and establishing mindfulness and loving-kindness in our lives. The Vision Statement will be further clarified by describing our founding principles, mindfulness, loving-kindness, spiritual teachings, Dharma study groups, ethics, and service.
The Buffalo Mindfulness Community is guided by such basic principles of Dharma as mindfulness, patience, kindness, ethical conduct, non-harming, non-grasping, trust and wise attention. These principles serve as the foundation for our community which holds no bias towards anyone who seeks Dharma instruction and the company of a Sangha (Community).
The primary meditative practice offered by the Buffalo Mindfulness Community is vipassana (insight) meditation, as described in the Satipatthana Sutta (The Four Foundations of Mindfulness) and other supportive practices including mindfulness of breathing (Anapanasati Sutta).
Metta is a Pali word for friendship or loving-kindness. It is taught as a meditation technique that cultivates our natural capacity for an open and loving heart. Metta is traditionally offered along with three other meditation practices: compassion; joy in the happiness of others; and equanimity (The Four Brahma-Vihara’s). These practices lead to the development of concentration, fearlessness, happiness and a greater ability to love.
The Buffalo Mindfulness Community is founded to create an enduring community rooted in the original teachings of the historical Buddha as expressed by the Teachings of the Elders (Theravada) in the discourses (suttas) of the Pali Canon. These suttas offer clear, ethical, social and ecological teachings supportive of a wise and compassionate life in the world, as well as instruction in a wide range of meditative practices including loving-kindness meditation as found in the Metta (loving-kindness) Sutta. The purpose of these spiritual teachings and practices is the universal realization of peace and freedom.
Dharma Study Groups:
The Buffalo Mindfulness Community will make available the study of traditional and contemporary teachings and spiritual practices, providing a rich foundation for engaged inquiry and investigation of the Dharma. The programs will include, but not be limited to, book study groups on mindfulness and loving-kindness; contemporary meditation techniques; mindfulness and social action; and comparative study of the Dharma and Western Psychology.
The Buddha’s teachings are based on the ethics of right speech, right action and right livelihood. These ethical guidelines will be explored, along with their application in family and community life. In addition, we will investigate the relationship of meditation to peace work and environmental concerns. In all matters of instruction, administration and social conduct we hold respect for each member of the community as a person sharing the path of practice. We are committed to the ongoing process of developing democratic and cooperative forms for decision-making with which to guide and conduct the organizational affairs of our community. Personal responsibility and participation as well as systems of peer review and support will contribute to a nurturing community environment. Developing a conscious and mindful approach to our community relationships is fundamental to our practice and provides a clear framework for Dharma life.
Service and generosity are fundamental to the Dharma and will be a core aspect of the teachings of the Buffalo Mindfulness Community. In service to others, we express our Buddha Nature through wise and compassionate action by cultivating liberating qualities of mind and heart (Paramitas) that include generosity, patience, and loving kindness. The Buffalo Mindfulness Community will consciously embrace service opportunities and programs based on care and respect for all living things within our greater Buffalo, NY community. We will provide inspiration and support for a variety of social concerns and work towards a skillful relationship within our larger community.