I am now certified to teach meditation and mindfulness to students at Howard through the Koru Mindfulness Training Center.
NEXT CLASS: (four meetings only) Koru Basic class starting February 1, 2023.
Just four classes total: 6:15 to 7:30pm Wednesdays Feb 1, 8, 15, 22.
In case of trouble registering or if you cannot pay the $ 4 app fee, contact me (Sankar Sitaraman) at ssitaraman AT howard.edu (NOT BISON.HOWARD!).
My first class was an unofficial, online class titled Koru Basic starting July 13 and ending August 3 of 2021.
Koru Basic is for beginners, and would help you to learn to manage stress, deal with difficult situations, develop calmness and concentration, and finally, compassion for yourself and others.
There are no exams or grades and only four classes but you have to attend all four.
The second Basic class was on Sep 21, 28, Oct 5 and 12 of 2021.
The third Basic class was on Jan 25, Feb 1, Feb 8, and Feb 15 of 2022.
A handout from the previous class outlining some key things to know about meditation.
Another handout with resources for continuing meditation practice after completing the Koru Basic class.
Monday evenings 6 pm (currently online, email me for joining)
Primarily for Howard University community, but all are welcome.
Sunday evenings 6.30 pm (also online)
Information at Washington Mindfulness Community
(A group of Thich Nhat Hanh followers).
The following are
some other organisations whose work I admire and have meditated with:
- Insight Mindfulness Community of Washington based in Bethesda, MD.
Washington Buddhist Vihara
Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, in Saylorsburg, PA. (Advaita school)
A brief history of my spiritual life
I grew up in a traditional south Indian family and was drawn to spiritual practice early in my life. The central oneness of nature and life itself was something that I felt deep inside me even from childhood. Early influences were Hindu religious practices, scriptures and sermons, especially the teachings of the ancient Philosopher and spiritual leader Sankara from the Advaita school of Hinduism. I was deeply influenced by the teachings of Vivekananda and Ramakrishna, also of the Advaita school, while studying at the Vivekananda College, Chennai.
After coming to the US I have continued the practices that I learned in India. I also found hiking and solitude in nature to be a spiritual practice in itself. I have also benefited from practicing meditation with several organizations. In the past twenty years or so I have found the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, a vietnamese zen master, profoundly inspiring and life-changing. Thich Nhat Hanh almost died while trying to preach non-violence and peace during the Vietnam war. After being exiled from Vietnam, he started a monastery in France where many monks and lay practitioners continue to transmit his teachings. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr. What attracted me to his teachings in particular was that they were so well aligned with the teachings of the Advaita school.
The teachings of Advaita as well as Thich Nhat Hanh are closely related to the line "On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you" (John 14:20).