Wednesdays, March 8, 15 & 22

7:00 pm -8:30 pm ET

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Mindfulness is a quality of awareness in which our perception of the present moment’s experience is not distorted by biases such as old fears, assumptions, or projection into the future. It shows us what life looks like when we see through the lens of universal conditions such as impermanence and interconnection. Mindfulness spearheads the path of understanding our lives by helping us to notice what causes us suffering and what brings us freedom from suffering. It is the root of living our lives more fully and more truly. 

This program explores the meditative techniques of mindfulness applied in a variety of contexts, including wrestling with dukkha, making ethical decisions, seeking wisdom, coping with trauma, communicating, practicing lovingkindness, exploring equanimity, the commonality of science and mindfulness, and the role of mindfulness in everyday life.

Whether you use mindfulness to manage stress or difficult emotions, improve relationships, increase engagement, or enhance your overall well-being, these discussions can help you further live your mindfulness practice. This nine-month program features IMS teachers from many generations and backgrounds. You can participate in all nine months or pick and choose the topics that interest you most.

In the tradition of early Buddhism, wisdom is the ability to understand the three characteristics of all things: anicca (impermanence), dukkha (suffering), and anattā (non-self). The practice of mindfulness plays an important role in developing wisdom, allowing us to wake up to our experiences and to see and know things as they are.

In this module of Essential Mindfulness, IMS Guiding Teacher Winnie Nazarko will reflect on the role of wisdom in the practice. She will explain how wise attention provides a compass for us on our path to wisdom, enabling us to develop a skillful relationship to our experiences by discerning what is to be cultivated and what is to be abandoned. Participants will explore how the Noble Eightfold Path provides the ways and means to reach the end of suffering in our lives.

This program will be recorded and made available for on-demand viewing after the live sessions. On-demand videos will be available for 90 days following the live event.

Meet Your Teacher

Winnie Nazarko

Winnie attended her first meditation retreat in 1981, after a co-worker convinced her that it would be interesting. And it was interesting, just not in the way she expected. After that long weekend with Stephen and Andrea Levine, she knew she had touched something deeply truthful, although she couldn’t quite describe it. It did, however, seem to do with transparency of being, equanimity, and lack of fear. This was the beginning of a period of intensive dharma search and practice, bringing her into connection with many outstanding teachers. Among these have been Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Steve Armstrong, Kamala Masters, and Jack Kornfield. From their diversity of teaching styles, she came to appreciate the very individual ways the Dharma is expressed through the prism of specific personalities and life experiences. While the truth is universal, the expression of that truth is personal and uses the language of direct experience. Winnie’s own orientation to practice is rooted in a background of human service work and the desire to relieve human suffering. After years of work with issues of violence, and hunger, it became apparent that the largest single impediment to collective human progress is the level of development of the average human mind. In 1998, she was asked to teach the Dharma by Joseph Goldstein. She does so to help people open their full potential, in the interest of their own happiness and well-being and for the benefit of others who their lives affect. Winnie’s teachings are rooted in the Eight Fold Path taught by the Buddha, with particular emphasis on aligning motivation with the student’s highest and wisest aspiration. Letting go (renunciation) and self-compassion are taught as essential, foundational attitudes supporting practice. Meditation instructions draw on a variety of approaches, and emphasize grounding, embodiment, and equanimity which can be carried into daily life. When appropriate, students are given customized instructions which work with the actual experiences they are having, rather than insisting one method of practice works in all cases. The emphasis is on “skillful means”, understanding that students come to meditation from many different circumstances and experiences.

Choose your enrollment fee

As one part of our ongoing effort to expand access to the teachings of the Buddha, all IMS Online programs feature sliding scale registration fees and the opportunity to self-select a low-cost scholarship rate. No-fee enrollment is available for those who request a fee-waiver via email. Our system supports the cultivation of a dynamic and inclusive community and is made possible by our generous donors and those who choose to support other students by contributing at the “Benefactor” level.