First Congregational Church

Camden, Maine

An open and affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ

Compassion and Meditation

Join a (free) four-week course on Compassion and Meditation with Jean Forest

Begins Thursday, September 30, at the First Congregational Church (UCC) of Camden

Training in CompassionBeginning on Thurday, September 30, Jean Forest will be offering a 4-week discussion and meditation group using Norman Fischer’s book, Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong (2012). The author is a Zen Buddhist priest, teacher, poet and writer who has taught for many years at the San Francisco Zen Center and has published numerous books and articles. Norman is skillful in translating Eastern teaching into our Western understanding. His writing is rooted in real experience, drawing from both his Spiritual training and personal life as a husband, father, and grandfather. His voice is intelligent, profound, savvy, compassionate and easily integrated into life. Training in Compassion is Fischer’s contemporary commentary of the Tibetan system of mind training known as the "lojong slogans,” developed by Atisha in the 12th century.

The Lojong teachings point to how we might view our life-challenges and difficulties as raw material to awaken the heart with compassion, for ourselves and others. Practicing these slogans offers a vehicle for opening our minds to the potential of moving out of our fixed attitudes, patterns and judgements. Practicing compassion and finding inspiration in the obstacles presented in our lives supports our resilience and helps us make sense of our thoughts, emotions, sensations, concepts, perceptions and concepts.

Our reading and exploration will be an orientation for a lifetime of practice. Join us for this engaging journey, held on consecutive Thursdays, from Sep. 30 through Oct. 21, from 5–6:30 p.m. We will meet in the church’s Mayflower Room; enter on the parking lot side. All participants will be required to wear protective masks.

Registration is limited to 12 persons. To sign up, please contact Becky Brace at the office 236-4821, or All participants should plan to borrow or buy the book in advance.

Jean Forest

About the Facilitator

Jean Forest, RN, MA will lead this gathering. Jean realizes she has been on a lifetime journey of spiritual exploration, which rapidly accelerated in her 20’s. She has studied various spiritual traditions, from her youth in the Roman Catholic Church through earth-based spiritual practices, feminist spirituality, and her current spiritual "home” in Buddhist philosophy intermixed with progressive Protestantism. Jean has worked as a nurse in Washington, DC Children’s Hospital Adolescent floor, and Psychiatric Institutes of America. She has worked in Obstetrics and as a Community Health Care nurse. Deepening into psychology, Jean received her Masters from Lesley College in Wholistic Studies and the Healing Arts with an emphasis on Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology. She weaves Psychology and Spirituality in her counseling practice to support healing and change for each individual.

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