July 13th is our next teaching and meditation - it will be on the heart practices.  Saturday noon to two pm.  I am considering changing the day of the week and make the classes in the evenings.  I will make and announcement when we have it settled.

also we will be doing a long term study of Stephen Levine's book A year to live.  if  you are interested in studying this bookand practice of looking at your own passing over the course of a year please email me to get on the list, we will be limiting it to ten people.

Our next half day silent meditation retreat has been scheduled. June Saturday the 8th from 12 noon - 6 pm.  During this time together we will explore the Four Establishments also called Foundations of Mindfulness.  During the retreat there will be talks and meditations on each four of the teachings, there will be guided and silent meditations as well as walking meditation and multiple break periods.  Snacks and refreshments will be offered.  A detailed schedule will be posted on the retreat page here at the site in the next few days, schedule subject to reality!  

You can sign up at the link below: 

The Buddha's teaching we will be spending some time with is known as the Satipatthana Sutta, the Direct Path to realization.  While I cannot promise anyone will become a fully realized being during a half day meditation retreat, what I hope will be transferred is an understanding of what the Buddha taught - what these four establishments are about and what practicing them can bring. The four are Breath and Body, Feeling Tones, Mind States and Dhammas.  If you want to get a primer and are interested in some deep reading consider the book by Bhikkhu Analayo, "Satipatthana, the direct path to realization" . Windhorse publications has this book and a practice guide along with guided meditations to practice.  

There is also an earlier book by Thich Nhat Hanh, " Transformation and Healing: Sutra on the Four Establishments of Mindfulness" that is a good resource on this foundational practice of the Buddha.  For more information on the retreat check out RETREAT page on the site here.  You can sign up on EVENTBRITE (link will be available later today)  See you there.   

For April we will consider the five Buddhist Precepts. 1) don't destroy life  2) don't take what isn't given 3) don't cause harm with your sexual energy 4) no harsh speech 5) refrain from intoxication which can lead to heedlessness 

The precepts are known as five faultless gifts.  I hope you will join us in unpacking this most special gift from the Buddha.

Until then,

I wish you ease.

a photo from the March talk

this is the gate where we meet for Saturday meditations at the Arboretum.  We will meet at 10am each Saturday except for Saturdays when a talk is schduled. Are are welcome, bring a cushion and something to place it on incase the ground is wet or damp. Also bring sunscreen and a hat as the sun can get stong, and water to stay hydrated.  See you soon!

Please note in March we meet on the Third Saturday March the 16th, not the second as usual.  In March we will begin to unpack the Paramitas or "Perfections".  These ten ideas begin with generosity or dana (the Pali word) then continue with morality (sila), renunciation (nekkhamma), wisdom (panna), energy (virya), patience (khanti),truthfulness ( sacca ),determination (adhitthana), loving kindness (metta) and equaniminity (upekkha). These states of mind and being are what we are trying to accomplish by our practice. I really enjoy having the opportunity to explore  these teachings with you as sharing and discussing these powerful guiding principals always adds to the opportunity to better understand them. I do not believe we graduate from learning about practice but instead continue to add understanding of these teachings with each moment, day, interaction, meditation.  See you on the 16th.

To signup for the March Class and Guided Meditation Practice visit EVENTBRITE with this link.

In February we will explore more deeply the Noble Eightfold Path, right view, intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness and concentration.  The better we understand each of these eight factors the easier it is to see them in our lives.  The idea is to take the understanding of the concepts and bring them into our lives so we learn to embody them.  .

I am working on a date for a half day retreat hopefully in May or June of this year.  We will spend the time together with the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, called the Satipatthana.  I have links to guided meditations on Insight Timer one the Recorded Meditations page and on the Suggested Readings page is a link to Bhikkhu Analayo's book on the Satipatthana, the most comprhensive publication on the subject.  He also has a page with guided meditations to do a deep dive into the practice.  For anyone interested in really developing a mindfulness practice as the Buddha taught, this is the best place.

Our first date in January in on Saturday the 13th.  Then continuing with February 10th, March 16th, April 13th and May 11th.  I am planning a half retreat sometime in Spring, look for details to come.  

January will begin with an exploration of the Buddha's first Sermon, the Dhammacakkappavattana, a mouthful and with good reason. His first teaching began the "Turning of the wheel of Dhamma" (dharma in Sanskrit).  This first teaching includes the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, he also taught the concept of the Middle Path, the idea of impermanence and the doctrine of Dependent Origination, that everything is dependent on something else that we are interconnected.

Looking forward to seeing you in January.


Cary Keishin Brief  

As 2023 comes to a close I want to wish everyone a safe and happy New Year.  Personally I like to spend some time around the New Year to take stock of the last 12 months and  what might be coming in the next.  I make resolutions, instead I think about how using right intention maybe I can do better in the way I make my way in the world.  I heard a friend mention this, "setting the intention each day to not create suffering for any being".  If we could work towards this oh what a world it could be.  Can you just imagine if each one of us tried to not cause difficulty for others?  This is such a part of what Buddhism offers me, that with regular practice and the mindfulness developed from meditation on and off the cushion, that I have enough awareness to even contemplate not hurting others with my actions and speech.  While none of us probably do this perfectly, any movement towards caring how we treat others is wonderful.

Deep bows for your practice,

Cary Keishin Brief

In December we will explore the practice  meditation. We will begin with discussing posture and options for cushions, benches, and the four postures the Buddha taught for meditation  including sitting, walking, standing  and reclining.   I will answer any questions you may have about the physical aspects of sitting meditation.  Next we will explore the different meditation practices taught by the Buddha and do 10-15 minutes of a number of different meditation forms. We will discuss what happens in the mind during meditation and how to work with the experiences that arise.  See you in December.


This Saturday, November the 18th, we will explore what Buddhists call "practice".  12 noon to 2pm at Ashtanga Yoga of Raleigh, 302 Pebble Creek Dr, Cary NC.  

Upcoming dates for the rest of 2023 include October 14th,  November 18th we will discuss what practice is and how we develop and nurture it and how do we live our practice as opposed to spending specific times of our life "in practice" and the rest of time without it. On December 16th we will spend the session discussing meditation, talking about posture, developing a daily practice, the difference between mindfulness and concentration practice and more.  Bring your questions!  

MEDITATION AT J.C. RAULSTON ARBORETUM - Saturday mornings except for Talk Saturdays.  We meet near the Big silver gate at 9:55 am.  Bring a cushion and maybe something to rest the cushion on, the grass is often dewy.  sun / weather protection.  All are welcome - any dana you may feel moved to offer please give to the Arboretum (they have an outside donation box)  we will continue this outside practice as long as the weather is appropriate.  Details on flyer below.

Coming in 2024 will be multiple half day retreats, out door practice days and hopefully a three day retreat if I can secure the space and have enough people interested in attending to cover the retreat center costs.  

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We are taking off for the month of August.  While we will not be having our regularly scheduled talk and meditation we will be meeting at 9:55 AM at JC Raulston Arboretum for a 30 minute outdoor silent meditation.  We meet at the silver gate about 9:55 and then walk to the sit spot.  I will draw a map.  We suggest you bring something to sit on, sun protection/hat, insect repellent if you prefer and something to drink.   We have been sitting since mid August and it has been quite wonderful.  

 See you next week!.

see the map below for where we sit, the gate image is where me meet to go in together.

Our next talk and meditation will be on June 10th.  We will explore the Buddha's First Foundation of Mindfulness, which is also called the Satipatthana.  This teaching is one of the Buddha's early descriptions of how to meditate, and go deeply into these four foundations.  This month will be only the first.  In September we will also do a half day retreat on the whole four foundations. Hope to see you there.

On April 29th we had a half day retreat focused on the BrahmaViharas, also known as the Heart Practices (Loving Kindness, Compassion, Appreciative Joy and Equanimity.    Our next retreat will be in September, the date still to be announced.  


Our next talk and meditation will be on June 10th.  We will explore the Buddha's First Foundation of Mindfulness, which is also called the Satipatthana.  This teaching is one of the Buddha's early descriptions of how to meditate, and go deeply into these four foundations.  This month will be only the first.  In September we will also do a half day retreat on the whole four foundations. Hope to see you there.

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