Buddhist meditation event aims to clear up minds

Chicago Tribune, May 29, 2005

WOODSTOCK, Michigan (USA) -- On Saturday, folks who come downtown have permission - no, are encouraged - to change their minds. The afternoon, dubbed Change Your Mind Day, will be devoted to Buddhist meditation.

The master of ceremonies hopes that people who drop by the event "will take away nothing from it."

"Absolutely nothing," said Harold Rail, event host. "Just fresh air, blue sky and white clouds."

Rail teaches Kwan Um, a Korean style of Zen Buddhism, to a group that meets regularly in Woodstock's Congregational Unitarian Church, which is co-sponsoring Change Your Mind Day along with Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, a New York City-based magazine.

Rail compared the human mind to a glass of water scooped from the Fox River--cloudy stuff. But set the glass on a table and wait. The sediment will settle, and the water will become clear.

So it is with the mind, he said. When people meditate, they forget about worries. They take time to sit still and exist solely in the present.

Speakers will discuss different styles of Buddhist meditation, and there will be a tai chi demonstration.

The event will run from noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday in Woodstock's Town Square, north of U.S. Highway 14.