Weekly Practice at CPB: St Louis

The cornerstone of CPB's public outreach is its weekly practice, held at the First Unitarian Church of St. Louis from 6:30-8pm each Thursday. This communal setting is an important supplement to the personal practice that acts as the nexus from which authentic Buddhist practice is made meaningful to one's daily life. CPB helps bridge the personal and the social to create the holistic Buddhist experience. Members and guests of CPB have the opportunity to practice with us as often as they like, and need not be Buddhist to participate and benefit from our approach to personal development. In fact, most of our participants do not consider Pragmatic Buddhism a religion. Our weekly practices are designed to suit the needs of our participants, and no prior training or background is necessary. A simple interest in meditation and its health benefits are reason enough to join us. An interest in Buddhist thought and its ability to enhance one's current understanding is an equally valid reason for participating with CPB. Once one determines that our practice at CPB is an effective way to cultivate positive self-transformation, we encourage him or her to join us in regular practice.

The Center for Pragmatic Buddhism (CPB) is an established chapter in St. Louis that is looking to spread the relevance of Pragmatic Buddhism and meditation to others. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Our work is the synthesis of Nikayan (early Indian), traditional Chinese Chan and Japanese Zen Buddhism, and the American Pragmatist tradition, in what we call Pragmatic Buddhism.

We utilize Chan and Zen Buddhist practice methods that resonate with Westerners, including the central practice of sitting meditation (zazen). The Pragmatic Buddhist approach uses modern-day language to explain Buddhism's relevance to the contemporary Western lifestyle. In addition to regular sitting and meditation practices, OPB teachers give weekly dharma talks. We also engage in group discussions following the talks in an open forum atmosphere, where participants discuss their thoughts and views of issues pertaining to practice, philosophy, and everyday life.

A primary goal of our practice is to simplify the most meaningful methods so that open-minded persons can participate in the cultivation of mindfulness, personal development and share this through socially engaged Buddhism.

You may want to consider joining our sangha on Meetup as well.

Common questions and answers

Do I need to know anything about Buddhism beforehand?

Not at all!  The weekly practice is designed to be open to all and is offered as an introduction to Pragmatic Buddhism. The Pragmatic Buddhist path is accessible to everyone.

Do I need to bring anything?

No - everything is provided.  We have cushions, chairs, and a limited number of meditation benches.  Of course, feel free to bring your own zafu, zabuton, and/or bench if you have them.

What should I wear?

Wear something comfortable so that you can relax completely during meditation.

How do I get in?

The best way in is through the back (north side) of the church.  There is a walkway up to the garden there and you'll see us through the glass doors on the left.

Are you still meeting every Thursday?

Yes - We meet every Thursday.  We'll update this page, our Meetup site, and send out an email to our contact list if there's a cancellation for any reason.  Many of our regulars aren't on Meetup, so don't be dismayed if there aren't a lot of RSVP's there.

I have more questions!

If you have additional questions, feel free to Contact Us.