Dharma Book Club: Welcoming the Unwelcome


About This Group

The Frederick Dharma Book Club meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month from 8:35 to 9:45 pm EST. Each month the club will discuss a selected dharma related book that will open your mind and heart. Even if you have not read the book, please come and enjoy the evening. The discussion is open to all who are interested in learning more about the dharma and how these valuable teachings can make us more aware and bring more insight into our lives.

My goal for Book Club is to bring our mindfulness practice to what we read. Mindfulness can be practiced on the cushion, when we walk, when we talk. So, why not when we read? I am by no means an expert in the material we read, and won’t plan on “lecturing” about the material. My role is to be the river banks for our own investigation into the material and to learn from each other in a safe and secure environment.

In context of Mindfulness: As you read pay attention to what you like? what you don’t like and what you may gloss over? As you become aware of the feeling tones associated with the material, can you be aware of how you body reacts/responds? What thoughts or emotions arise? What stories do you tell yourself? What images do you recall? Bringing your mindfulness practice to what you read can be another doorway to watching how your mind works.

Our discussions during Book Club may revolve around these types of questions:

  • What resonated with you?
  • Was there a section that really stood out for you? (pleasant) Why?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • What did you learn from the material?
  • Was there anything that really charged you up? (unpleasant)
  • Were there sections that you glossed over? (neutral)
  • When you reflect back on the above, what can you learn from this?
  • Can you think of ways to translate these lessons into your life?


Current Book: Pema Chodron’s Welcoming the Unwelcome

“From the bestselling author of When Things Fall Apart, an open-hearted call for human connection, compassion, and learning to love the world just as it is during these most challenging times.

In her first new book of spiritual teachings in over seven years, Pema Chödrön offers a combination of wisdom, heartfelt reflections, and the signature mix of humor and insight that have made her a beloved figure to turn to during times of change. In an increasingly polarized world, Pema shows us how to strengthen our abilities to find common ground, even when we disagree, and influence our environment in positive ways. Sharing never-before told personal stories from her remarkable life, simple and powerful everyday practices, and directly relatable advice, Pema encourages us all to become triumphant bodhisattvas–compassionate beings–in times of hardship.

Welcoming the Unwelcome includes teachings on the true meaning of karma, recognizing the basic goodness in ourselves and the people we share our lives with–even the most challenging ones, transforming adversity into opportunities for growth, and freeing ourselves from the empty and illusory labels that separate us. Pema also provides step-by-step guides to a basic sitting meditation and a compassion meditation that anyone can use to bring light to the darkness we face, wherever and whatever it may be.” — Amazon Book Review

Agenda (subject to change)

Jan 16 Chapters 1-4
Feb 6 Chapters 5-7
Feb 20 Chapters 8, 10
Mar 5 Chapters 9 and 11
Mar 19 Chapters 12 and 13
Apr 2 Chapters 14 and 15
Apr 16 Chapters 16 and 17
May 7 Chapters 18 and 19
May 21 Chapter 20



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Please Support This Class With Your Donation.

Teachers of donation-based classes are not paid a wage, but instead rely on donations from students for support.  Teachers in turn offer a donation to the Frederick Mediation Center. For less than a meal out, you can receive valuable teachings that will last a lifetime!

No one will be turned away for lack of funds. $20 Benefactor, $10 Sustainer, $5 Student/Scholarship.  Learn how your donation supports the Frederick Meditation Center and how we can serve any member of  the community regardless of financial means.


Future Books (under consideration)

Valerie Brown’s Hope Leans Forward
David Rome’s The Body Knows the Answer
Tara Brach’s Radical Compassion
Tara Brach’s Trusting the Gold
Parker Palmer’s A Hidden Wholeness
Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection
Patricia McKernon Runkle’s Grief’s Compass


Past Books

Thich Nhat Hanh’s Reconciliation: Healing the Inner Child
Thich Nhat Hanh’s Fear Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm
Pema Chodron’s Practicing Peace in Times of War
Benjamin Hoff’s The Tao of Pooh
Laurie Cameron’s The Mindful Day
Bhante Gunaratana’s Loving-Kindness in Plain English
Heather Stang’s Mindfulness & Grief
Sharon Salzburg’s Real Love
Josh Korda’s Unsubscribe
Tara Brach’s Radical Acceptance
Michael Singer’s The Untethered Soul
Bhante Wimala’s Lessons of the Lotus
Ursula LeGuin’s Tao Te Ching
Mark Nepo’s Drinking from the River of Light
Mark William’s The Mindful Way Through Depression
John Teasdale’s The Mindful Way Workbook
Resmaa Menakem’s My Grandmother’s Hands
Francis Weller’s The Wild Edge of Sorrow
Matt Licata’s The Path Is Everywhere
Martin Alyward’s Awake Where You Are
Stephanie Foo’s What My Bones Know
John Welwood’s Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships
Akwaeke Emezi’s Dear Senthuran
Brene Brown’s Braving the Wilderness



About Your Instructor

I began meditating in 2015 as a way to alleviate my depression and anxiety. Meditation, the Dharma and the Sangha have become foundations of my life. Mindfulness has taught me how to slow down, to not hold things too tight or too loose, and to truly be in-tune with my body. The ability to have present moment awareness, wisdom, compassion, and the courage to hold these felt-sense feelings can be transformational and liberating. Learn More About Ray Manyoky….

Tuesday, January 16, 2024
8:35 pm — 9:45 pm (1h 10′)


Ray Manyoky

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