Current Offerings: Mindfulness

You can find current Sila Mindfulness Courses and Workshops at:

InsideOut Yoga - 5623 University Way NE.

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An Introduction to Mindfulness 4-Class Series (February 2018)

Scientific studies show that a regular Meditation and Mindfulness practice can reduce stress, increase immune function, decrease pain, improve productivity and self-control, and physically change your brain for the better. In this four-week course we will draw from recent scientific developments, 2500 years of Buddhist wisdom, and our own individual experience in developing a regular habit of meditation and mindfulness in our everyday lives.  Please plan to attend all four classes as this is a progressive series.

In our class we will cover a detailed schedule including: 
1: Introducing mindfulness, posture, body-scan and breathing
2: Community matters, Heart-meditation (metta or loving-kindness) 
3: Happiness, ethics, and everyday life, Hindrances to deep meditation
4: Open awareness, taking meditation into the world

THURSDAYS, starting Feb 1, 7:30-9:00 pm

@ InsideOut Yoga, 5623 University Way NE.

  • please arrive 10-15 minutes early;
  • wear comfortable clothing and layers are recommended to be able to adjust for warmth or cold, the room should be kept at 70 degrees
  • chairs and cushions/mats are provided

Refund policy: Full course cost will be refunded upon request until one week before class. Then 50% will be refunded until 48 hours before class. Then 20% will be refunded until class begins. Then no refund will be given.

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What to expect

Currently our schedule covers the following topics: (condensed for 4-week courses)

Week 1: About Mindfulness, Posture, Guided Meditation, Goals and Expectations

Week 2: Community, Mindfulness of Breathing

Week 3: Ethics and Loving-kindness

Week 4: Heart of the Matter, Happiness, Five Hindrances

Week 5: Practice in Daily Life, Eating Meditation, Walking Meditation, RAIN

Week 6: Open Awareness Practice, Setting Intentions, Sustaining Practice

A key aspect of the class, and a major component of its success, is you - the community of fellow meditators working through this. Often a class will be intergenerational, with an early 20-something or two and meditators somewhere in each decade of life right up into the 60s or 70s. You'll learn a lot from one another's difficulties and successes and, very importantly, you'll see that you're not all alone. 

The format is hopefully easy enough to begin to keep you on track: setting goals too high can derail you, so start easy and work up slowly. But each week we will push to expand our knowledge and experience of meditation. Those who are struggling the most will learn from those who only struggle a little, and from those who might have had a practice earlier in life and are just finding their way back into it. It is a commitment to create a habit; and like any new habit, there will be countless life projects and distractions trying to take you off course. 

FREE Class on Buddhist history, philosophy, and practice

Buddhism Two-part Series

Registration is now open for two courses on the history and cultural impact of Buddhism. Each 8-session course will be taught by Justin Whitaker, Ph.D., at University Unitarian Church on consecutive Monday evenings from 7-9 p.m. Dr. Whitaker is a scholar in Buddhist Ethics and taught at the University of Montana among other institutions. He was also an active member of the UU Fellowship of Helena before moving to Seattle and UUC this summer.

There is no charge for either course, but please register in advance via the UUC website or call the church office. Course descriptions and dates:

From Buddha to the Dalai Lama – click here to register

A first course in the history and evolution of Buddhism, this class will cover the growth and impact of Buddhism in Asia from its earliest days in India to its establishment in Tibet. Lecture & discussion. The 8-session class will meet weekly on Mondays from 7-9 p.m., October 16 through Dec 11; no class on November 20.

Buddhism Moves West – click here to register

A second course in the history and evolution of Buddhism, this class will cover the growth and impact of Buddhism as it moves from Asia to the west, including adaptations of culture and the influences of WWII, Viet Nam, and current events. The 8-session class will meet weekly on Mondays from 7-9 p.m., January 29 through March 12, 2018.

About the Instructor

Justin Whitaker is the founder of American Buddhist Perspectives, an award-winning blog chronicling Buddhism in the United States and beyond. He has been interviewed by Tricycle Magazine,On Being’s podcast “Creating Our Own Lives” and the Secular Buddhist podcast. Justin holds a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of London where his work focused on comparing early Buddhist ethics with the work of Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804). Justin has taught at several colleges and universities in the U.S. as well as in India and China. His personal meditation practice has included wide ranging experience in several Buddhist traditions, including Vipassana, Zen, Tibetan and Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Interbeing. Currently, he focuses primarily on mindfulness meditation rooted in Buddhist tradition and contemporary science, though he also sits regularly with UUC’s Zen group on Friday mornings. Justin is also an avid photographer and runner. Learn more about Justin.