When: Saturdays 3:00 to 5:15 pm, starting May 6. Basic course ends June 10 (6 weeks). Extended course ends June 24 (8 weeks).
Instruction Language: English. 大部分的资料有中文版，但是上课时我们平时会用英文讲，有问题请联系我！
How much: Pay-What-You-Want course fees (by donation)
Where: Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, in downtown Nanjing city (Han Zhong Men 汉中门subway). Building has ramp and elevator.
Pre-registration required, space limited!
Want to balance your stress, anxiety or frustration with a calm and clear mind?
Happiness and well-being doesn’t just happen to us, by luck – we can create and sustain it on purpose. Instead of longing for, reading about or discussing it, we can actually practice it. Learn through first-hand experience how regular meditation can profoundly change our lives, and all those whose lives we touch.
“If you want to garden, you have to bend down and touch the soil. Gardening is a practice, not an idea… Put your hands in the earth. Face the difficulties and grow new happiness.” – Thich Naht Hahn, Zen Master, Author and Peace Activist
Scientific research and ancient sages agree that regular meditation strengthens our mental ‘muscles,’ just as exercising regularly strengthens our physical muscles. Through this course, we will practice these mental exercises together. With support from your teacher and classmates, you will learn to loosen the mental habits that keep you tired, angry, sad, or afraid, and to nourish the seeds of peace and happiness within. Together, we will lay the foundations for strong, sustaining and insightful meditation practices that you can carry with you wherever you go in the future.
What is mindfulness meditation?
In recent years, scientific research has supported what meditation or mind-body medical traditions worldwide have long realized – that meditation is incredibly helpful for dealing with stress, anxiety, pain, chronic illness, and other health challenges. But what exactly is it?
In some ways, mindfulness is simply the opposite of mindlessness. When we do something mindlessly, our body is doing something while our mind is somewhere else, distracted. Mindfulness meditation is about training our mind to be present in the here and now, to develop the skill of moment-to-moment awareness. However, we train ourselves to be not just aware, but also non-judgmental, balanced and non-reactive to the reality of that moment. We train ourselves in the surprisingly difficult task of facing each moment that arises with honesty, gentleness and compassion.
Practicing these simple yet profound techniques lead naturally to insight, wisdom and ultimately an abundance of inner peace, loving kindness, calm and joy. Some people call these techniques ‘insight meditation’ (or vipassana) because they lead to insight into the true nature of what is happening with you at that moment (thus allow you to change habitual, unhelpful reactions).
What is included in this course?
- weekly group sessions with step-by-step guidance in several meditation techniques (基本资料与冥想mp3都有中文版，上课讨论时一般以英文为主，但是您可以随时用中文问问题）
- all course handouts and worksheets (有中文版）
- weekly background readings (有中文版）and video links (一般有中文版或字幕）
- audio guided meditations that progress each week (有中文版）
- WeChat group for questions and sharing between sessions（用中文也可以）
- day-long silent meditation retreat in a quiet natural setting（双语资料）
- support from the facilitator and the rest of the group!
Who is this course for?
- Beginning and experienced meditators all welcome!
- Anyone who can commit to a weekly 2-hour class and a home practice of ~20-45 minutes per day*
- Anyone 16 years or older, of any gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, religious or spiritual background
- Anyone who can understand instructions and discussions in English. NOTE：Most written materials and audio meditation mp3s are available in Mandarin as well, but we will be unable to have translation for all the classroom instructions and discussions. 请注意：大部分的资料有中文版，但是讲课的时候我们一般会用英文讨论，因为英文是我的母语，不好意思！我会讲点中文，尽量会帮助英文讲得不流利的学生。您如果担心这方面请联系我。
*NOTE: For the sake of your own learning, and for the group dynamic, please register only if you can commit to attending every week (except, of course in illness or unavoidable circumstances), as the techniques will build throughout the course. Also, meditation is about experiential practice, so it is very important for your progress not only to attend each class, but to commit to home practice (ideally, at least 20-45 min per day), to the best of your ability.
What last year’s students said about the course…
“It was my first meditation course and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I find it an extremely peaceful and calm environment and really enjoy the practices and discussions each week. The material provided has been excellent, really relevant and helpful. The instruction was really clear… The retreat was just super organised and fantastic all round. It felt really supported. If I have any questions, I know Pauline will answer them as soon as she can. She understands where we are all coming from and I’m really happy she decided to start the course! I’m interested in everything to do with mindfulness and meditation now! I always had a curiosity towards it and now I am all in. I love it and can’t wait to explore it all further.” – Sarah Maher
“Patient preparation, especially for bilingualism. Each class has one clear topic, which is very good. The video and books help describe the target and the directions of efforts. Keeping connections and sharing good study materials will help me a lot. The meditation reminds me to live right now. [The daylong retreat] let me feel how and why slow is beautiful, I will remind myself to do walking meditation during the outdoor times.” – He Yuan
“Wonderfully nurturing, connecting to other areas of healing, and superceding my expectations for establishment of community. Much patience, kindness, and expertise was utilized.” – Jacqueline Petrosky
“The course was really well organized. Everything was very clear, really helpful and interesting.” – Alessandra Bersan
“I didn’t expect so much professionalism” – Giovanna
“学习内容对我非常有帮助。只是语言对我而言还是个比较大的问题，影响到我和大家的交流和理解… 资料都非常好。我每天都能用音频资料进行在家练习。对我帮助最大的是身体扫描。我基本上每天都会在家做一次，对提高我的专注力和觉察力非常有帮助。希望能有机会对身体扫描能做更深入的了解和练习… 感受到这个课程对我的帮助，我很希望能分享给其他人。” －翁翊暄
[translation: The content of the course helped me immensely. The language aspect was the biggest problem for me, affecting my ability to communicate with and understand others… the materials were excellent. I used the audio materials daily at home to practice. What helped me the most was the body scan practice. I was able to do it more or less once a day at home, which really helped improve my focus and awareness. I hope I will have the opportunity to deepen my understanding and practice of the body scan… I feel this course helped me and really hope to share it with others.” – Weng Yi Xuan]
How much does the course cost? 课时费是多少？
The course does not have a set fee. It is PWYW (Pay What You Want), so you decide how much to give. 我们没有规定具体的课时费。您自己想交多少就交多少。
No tricks, no catch – the amount is completely up to you. However, since people always ask, I’ll just say contributions typically range from about RMB100 to 300 per week, averaging 200/week (so you can do your own calculations depending if you choose 6 or 8 weeks), but you can also choose to give less or more than this (without any explanation!). FYI, mindfulness courses elsewhere are often priced between US$300 and US$800 (RMB2000-5200), but I am trying to make this course accessible to all! 童叟无欺，交多少您完全自己决定。但鉴于很多人会问人家一般交多少，那就按照一周大概100到300人民币不等（平均大概200元／每礼拜），您可以根据这个价格计算6周和8周课时的费用，当然，您也可以少交或者多交一些，这都不是问题（也不用向我解释）。一般正念冥想课程市场平均价格在300到800美金(RMB2000-5200) 之间，但为了让大家能够学习，我没订这样的课时费。
Why would I make the course PWYW? 为什么我这样设定课时费？
1. To remove financial barriers to all people who feel a strong calling to attend. 为了帮助所有很想参加活动但是有经济问题的人们.
In all my work, I have done my best to make my services financially accessible. Your generous contributions will allow those who are less well-off to benefit; many people have contributed generously when they realize they are directly helping others to share the experience. 我会尽我所能去把活动费用定在所有人财力能承受的范围内。您慷慨的出资确实能够实实在在地帮助到经济困难的人；很多人在意识到他们会直接帮助到其他人并可以一起分享经验的时候都会不自觉的多奉献出一些.
2. To honour the meditation tradition I trained in, which was taught by donation only. 为了沿袭并发扬我之前接受的由慈善组织发起的正念冥想价格传统.
Giving and receiving donations actually becomes part of the meditation practice, helping us to cultivate generosity, appreciation, sharing and selflessness (or some would say, good karma), and to loosen our selfish habits, greed, and attachment to material possessions. 给予和回报其实已经成为冥想练习的一部分，帮助我们树立包容的意识，学会感恩，分享和奉献（也有人称之为结善缘），改变人们自私的习惯，贪婪以及对物质的追求.
When do I donate? 何时开始付费？
I encourage you to donate when the course starts, if you can, making the commitment to yourself to learn these techniques. Some people realize they naturally tend to take a course more seriously when they pay for it upfront. However, you may also donate throughout or at the end of the course if you prefer. 我鼓励大家在活动开始时付费，这样你就可以督促自己去学习这些冥想的技巧。部分人会在预付款后能严格要求自己去参加课程。然而你也可以在活动期间或者结束时再付，都没有问题。
How do I donate? 如何付费？
You may send it by WeChat transfer (WeChat ID is pozenator), bank transfer, or Paypal. Sorry I do not accept Alipay transfer currently. 可以微信转账（微信号：pozenator)，也可以银行转账，或者Paypal转账，不好意思我目前收不了支付宝转账。
Where is the course? Is it physically accessible?
Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Gu Lou District, Han Zhong Road No. 282, Building number 5, 5th floor, Room 5508. Steps from Han Zhong Men subway station, Exit 1 or 2. 南京市鼓楼区汉中路282号，南京中医药大学，5号楼，第五层，5508室。汉中门地铁站1或2号出口。
Accessibility: The building is equipped with a ramp and elevator. Please contact me if you have any concerns about physical accessibility, and I will do everything possible to accommodate you.
How do I register for the course?
1. Fill in the form（申请表）here.
2. Confirm your spot with a 500RMB deposit (If due to financial limitations, you cannot give this deposit, please just contact me to make alternative arrangements). 注册时，需要每人交500人民币预交款，经济困难的人可以联系我商量别的安排。You may send it by WeChat transfer (WeChat ID is pozenator), bank transfer (ICBC account 6212264301011977012), or Paypal.
The full deposit can be refunded if you cancel at least 2 weeks before the start of the course, or can be put toward your donation after the course starts. 要是您4月22号之前取消，预交款可以退还。
为了确认我收到您的预交款，请联系我。You may contact me by email, WeChat 微信 (ID: pozenator) or phone 手机 (18951825064) to ensure I received the deposit, as your spot will only be secured after it is received.
Should I choose the 6-week “basic course” or the 8-week “extended course”?
I am offering a 6-week “basic course” for people who cannot commit to longer courses. However, if you don’t have specific timing conflicts, I encourage you to choose the 8-week course. Most research done on mindfulness meditation (showing benefits for stress, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, digestion, heart health, coping with various health conditions, etc.) has been on courses of 8 weeks in length. The extra 2 weeks of structured, supported practice will certainly make a difference in what you take from the course into your everyday life.
In our additional time together, we will: deepen and strengthen our practice, delve into more advanced topics and techniques, further address any challenges that may arise, and explore more ways to apply mindfulness in our everyday lives. (Note: The 8 week course will run only if there is enough commitment. Last year, most people ended up completing the whole 8 weeks, so it shouldn’t be a problem! If cancelled, any donations for the extra weeks will be refunded.)
Who is giving the course?
Hi, my name is Pauline Sok Yin Hwang and I designed and taught this course in Nanjing last year, which was a beautiful experience! I have done meditation coaching with individuals (alongside my acupuncture & herbal medicine practice) and in workshops over the past 5 years. I have 12 years of regular meditation practice in the Vipassana (Insight) meditation tradition, including attending four 10-day silent retreats, one advanced silent 8-day retreat, numerous shorter retreats, volunteer/service periods, and extensive group and individual practice. I also have about 20 years experience in community-based education and facilitation work, and have designed and facilitated many group community health programs. Finally, in additional to exploring numerous forms of mind-body and creative healing, I am an acupuncturist (registered in Ontario, Canada) and a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner.
I speak English, intermediate Mandarin, so-so French, and very basic Cantonese. I have experience working with Deaf people, people with disabilities, LGBTQ communities, youth, immigrants, and lots of other people from all walks of life. For further background on why I do this work, my social justice and community work experience, and my Chinese medicine / wellness coaching practice, please click here.
Any more questions?
You may contact me by email, WeChat (ID: pozenator) or phone (18951825064)