The Four Buddhist Foundations of Mindfulness

The Power of Being Present: The Four Buddhist Foundations of Mindfulness

with Jerry Webster

Wednesday evenings, June 14-28 & July 12 (No Class July 5th)
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Course Fee: $80 


This is a course on mindfulness. It is not about becoming a Buddhist, but rather searching into the very techniques which Gotama Buddha employed over 3,000 years ago.  Well, it worked for him, and it has worked for many people since him in a variety of spiritual traditions. This is not a religious course, but it is about working with techniques that will allow one to enter one’s life more fully.

One often hears that one enters a meditation course to learn to relax.  Although relaxing is often one of the byproducts of Buddhist meditation, the true purpose is to be present in one’s life more fully, being present on the spot rather than being riveted about according to one’s hopes and fears. It is about being open to whatever arises in one’s life on the spot. One could say that a goal is to be present to whatever comes up in one’s life. It is only by living in the present that one can truly live one’s life.  Meditation is making friends with oneself and developing compassion towards others.


Mindfulness in Action: Making Friends with Yourself through Meditation by Chogyam Trungpa is not a required text, but it is good background reading for the course. This book will be available at a discounted rate at Curious Iguana in Downtown Frederick. 

Introduction to Mindfulness Course Schedule

Each week participants will be introduced to a new foundation of Mindfulness. Meditation practice between classes is highly encouraged. It is an easy practice—just being—but as in any practice, one has to practice to learn what one is doing. We do offer cushions and chairs as seating options. Tea and water are also provided.

  • Week 1: Mindfulness of Body:  It is learning to relax into one’s body.  We are not simply talking heads.
  • Week 2: Mindfulness of Survival:  We breathe.  We use our breath to remain in the present.  Our breath is always there until it isn’t.
  • Week 3: Mindfulness of Effort:  There has to be a light effort to open awareness.  Yes, it is more than being a couch potato.
  • Week 4: Mindfulness of Mind:  Now or Not Now or Now.  We can awake with precision to all aspects of our life.

Your Instructor

Jerry Webster presently serves as the Shastri, or head teacher, with the Shambhala Buddhist Meditation Center in Washington, D.C.  He began meditation with a ten full-day retreat in India with the Burmese teacher Goenka in 1974.  Since 1976, he is a student of the Shambhala Buddhist tradition and he has taught in this tradition since 1977.  He obtained his PH.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Maryland.  He has taught numerous courses in literature for the University of Maryland and numerous courses in multiculturalism for Montgomery County Public Schools.  He has taught English full-time in public school systems for forty years, beginning with the Peace Corps in Afghanistan in 1973.  During the past year, he has led three full-day week-long meditation weekthuns and numerous programs along the East Coast, including programs recently for Johns Hopkins University and the U.S. Peace Corps.