About Buffalo Mindfulness

Mission Statement

Buffalo Mindfulness is a 501(c) (3) non-profit dedicated to providing spiritual enlightenment and refuge for all who seek freedom of mind and heart. We provide meditation techniques and training whose purpose is to:

  1. Educate people about the benefits of meditation and loving-kindness.
  2. Provide teachings based in the science and 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 historical Buddha or universal patterns that govern the mind/body) study groups. All people, regardless of faith or background, are welcome.

Buffalo Mindfulness was founded by Paul Lukasik who has been studying with Mindfulness teachers and innovators since 1988 and include Jack Kornfield, SN Goenka, Steve Armstrong, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Steve Flowers and other notable lay and monastic meditation teachers. Paul attended his first 10 day silent mindfulness retreat in 1988 at the Insight Medication Society and has since regularly attended mindfulness retreats (as is the requirement for people wanting to teach mindfulness per Jon Kabat-Zinn's Center for Mindfulness located within UMass Medical School) ranging from 7 to 21 days.

Paul has been freely sharing mindfulness practices with the public for over a decade facilitating hundreds of events including mindfulness courses and day long retreats. He has been invited several times as a Mindfulness Teacher in weekly residence at the Chautauqua Institution. Paul has also has presented at Universities, to Not-For-Profits, Schools, Business Institutions, Lawyers, Physicians and other Institutions and Groups.

Buffalo Mindfulness is guided by the following Vision Statement and  Founding Principles.

Vision Statement

Buffalo Mindfulness 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.

Founding Principles:

Buffalo Mindfulness 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).

Mindfulness:

The primary meditative practice offered by the Buffalo Mindfulness 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). A working definition of mindfulness, also called vipassana or insight meditation, is the cultivation of a clear seeing non-judgmental awareness of the mind-body. When combined with other path factors, mindfulness leads to an unshakable liberating wisdom that cools the fires of mental suffering.

Loving-Kindness (Metta):

A working definition of loving-kindness is the cultivation of the intention for all beings to be happy and free from the root of suffering. 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.

Spiritual and ScientificTeachings:

Buffalo Mindfulness 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. These teachings are Universal and now are being confirmed through modern scientific methods. Buffalo Mindfulness welcomes the modern secular mindfulness movement and will work togther to bridge the secular and spiritual communitties. Please see the American Mindfulness Research Association to follow recent scientific develoments on mindfulness.

Study Groups:

Buffalo Mindfulness will make available the study of traditional spiritual practices and contemporary scientific methods, providing a rich foundation for engaged inquiry and investigation of the Dharma (Truth/Nature). 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.

Ethics:

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. Modern society is becoming void of ethics in a culture where Greed is Good. Buffalo Mindfulness wIll investigate the relationship of meditation to peace/social justice 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:

Service and generosity are fundamental to the Dharma and will be a core aspect of the teachings of Buffalo Mindfulness. In service to others, we express our Buddha (Awakened) Nature through wise and compassionate action by cultivating liberating qualities of mind and heart (Paramitas) that include generosity, patience, and loving kindness. Buffalo Mindfulness 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.