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When visitors walk through the front door and into the foyer of the unassuming, beige house on the residential 38th Avenue block of 216th Street in Bayside, they are asked politely, if they have not already done so, to remove their shoes.
Trepidations may also be left by the door, for slippers will be provided.
For about three years now, the house, numbered 38-15, has been the neighborhood’s center to experience Maum Meditation — a seven-step, guided method that encourages disciples to free themselves of the limitations their past experiences impose on their minds and bodies.
“The main thing here is not learning another thing, but subtracting,” said Amy Kim, an instructor who said she discovered the method for herself about 10 years ago. “At the time I was just going through a lot of stress. I just had a lot of questions about life in general. Everybody has that.”
According to the group’s literature, Maum was discovered in 1996, when Woo Myung became enlightened while meditating in the mountains of South Korea.
Kim said Maum rests on the principle that there are two worlds: the true world (great freedom, joy and eternal life) overlapped by the false world (lack of wisdom, endless hopelessness and despair).
In order to divest oneself of this false world, Kim said, Maum Meditation teaches adherents to subtract first their thoughts, then images of themselves and relationships and ultimately their bodies and the universe.
Once this is done, the self disappears and becomes the universe, the method teaches, and one can become the true world.
C.J. Le, an instructor in training at the center, was on Bell Boulevard earlier this month handing out pamphlets informing passersby of the free introductory lectures held every Tuesday and Thursday night at 7 p.m.
Kim said a monthly $150 fee allows members to visit the center for any length of time while it is open, seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Michael Clarke said he has been attending an intensive meditation course for a few months now. The Rosedale resident visits the center four or five times a week for 12 hours at a time.
He said it was the concept of “getting to know your mind” that attracted him to the method.
Maum also has centers in Flushing and Plainview, L.I. The Bayside center’s phone number is 718-225-3472.
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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