Join us for Blank Friday: A Zen Alternative to Black Friday

You are invited to learn about and practice mindfulness and meditation at a special event.
Friday, November 24, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The event is open to all at no cost (free will donations accepted).

9:30 a.m. Introduction to Mindfulness
11:00 a.m. The Healing Power of Looking at a Blank Wall
12:30 p.m. Introduction to Mindfulness
2:00 p.m. The Healing Power of Looking at a Blank Wall
Held in the main meditation hall, first floor.
No registration is needed, just drop in.

Sitting Meditation
20 minute sessions on the half-hour
Beginning at 9:00 a.m.
Last session 3:30 p.m.
Held on the third floor.
No registration is needed, just drop in.

This third annual "Blank Friday" event provides an opportunity for participants to take a one-hour class introducing them to mindfulness. The open house will feature two 60-minute classes "Introduction to Mindfulness" and "The Healing Power of Looking at a Blank Wall" led by MZMC teachers at 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2:00 p.m. The classes will be held in the center's zendo, the room set aside for meditation.

Tim Burkett, guiding teacher at MZMC, said, "On the day of the year that has become most associated with American consumerism and shopping, we'd like to offer people a respite and alternative that they can practice every day of their busy lives. Meditation gives us a tool to return to our original stillness, and allows us relief from an out-of-control mind that constantly rushes forward into the future or rewinds back to the past."

In recent months, meditation and mindfulness have been featured prominently in magazines, business journals, newspapers, and television shows. Major corporations, from Google and Medtronic to General Mills and Target, are teaching these techniques to their employees. "A growing body of evidence shows meditation has a range of benefits for all types of people — not just for insomnia and anxiety sufferers, but for anyone interested in health and wellness. Our Blank Friday open house provides a good introduction for those who are curious about all the recent media attention or want to learn how to meditate," said Burkett. In addition to the classes that day, attendees can learn about MZMC's schedule of daily meditation, lectures, classes, and retreats. Guests will also be able to tour the center's facility, a large house located in a serene and beautiful location on the eastern shore of Lake Calhoun.

For experienced meditators seeking a place that day to practice zazen (Zen's form of silent, seated meditation), there will be a meditation room, with a 20-minute sitting every half-hour, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending at 4:00 p.m. Members of the Twin Cities' other practice organizations and the wider contemplative community are invited to participate.

Burkett, one of the teachers leading classes at the event, is author of a recent book, Nothing Holy About It: The Zen of Being Just Who You Are, and a second book to be released in 2018, Zen in the Age of Anxiety.

Our mission is to help people experience a deep and quiet joy – a joy that arises whenever we are fully engaged in the work or play of this moment.