Meditation for Everyone
Saturdays – May 27th – June 24th
10 am to noon
This 5 week course is designed for beginners and those who would like to refresh their meditation practice.
This is an introductory course on basic Buddhist meditation techniques for complete beginners. It does not assume that those who come for this course know anything at all about meditation or about Buddhism.
It does not assume that those who take this course are even interested in learning more about Buddhism.
This course assumes simply that those who come are interested in learning something about meditation and that Buddhist meditation appeals to them.
This course will be presented as a series of five sessions. Each session contains teachings and guided meditations. Each session includes handouts of meditation scripts and suggested questions for contemplation and discussion are also provided.
Overall, the following topics will be covered during this five-session course:
- what is meditation?
- meditation posture and arranging the body
- purposes and benefits of meditation
- different skills that are used in meditation and useful in daily life
- the difference between meditation and simple relaxation
- two main types of meditation – analytical and stabilizing
- obstacles to meditation and their antidotes
- setting up a meditation session
- advice for establishing a long-term meditation practice
- using the benefits of meditation in everyday living
- meditation practice
- breathing meditations
- mindfulness meditations
- visualization meditations
- analytical meditations
Suggested donation: $50 ($10 per week)
A student asks: How can we deepen our understanding of the teachings?
Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi replies: Through meditation. You must integrate with your own experience. It’s reviewing through contemplation and concentration, keeping [the teachings] alive until they are a life changing/approach changing experience for you.
A Meditation on Loving Kindness – by Thubten Gyatso (Adrian Feldman)
Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. Generate the motivation to meditate in order to repay the kindness of all beings. Then focus your whole attention upon the coming and going of your breath at your nostrils, breathing more deeply and more slowly than usual, for about eight minutes.
Now, let go of the breathing and focus your attention upon the clear and still nature of your mind. Your mind is awareness. By nature, it is capable of experiencing things as they are without distortion. Try to experience the clear nature of your mind, uninterrupted by the movement of thought patterns, for five minutes.
Place your attention at your heart chakra—the midpoint inside the chest—the seat of your emotions. Do not think that you are looking down from your head; simply try to feel that the subjective mind itself is based in your heart.
Think of somebody close to you; imagine them blissfully happy, receiving all they want. Generate loving-kindness—pure, unconditional delight in their happiness—and observe that it has a physical sensation of warmth that arises at your heart, like fresh warm water flowing into a cold bath. Imagine it continuously pouring out and growing stronger. The healing energy of loving-kindness spreads throughout your body and mind and takes on the appearance of brilliant, white nectar. This brings bliss wherever it touches and simultaneously heals all of your physical and mental problems and their causes. Your whole body is filled with the blissful, radiant, healing, white nectar of loving-kindness. Your bones, organs, muscles, and so on, dissolve into this nectar.
Concentrate on this for a few minutes.
The nectar is extremely bright. Shining like a supernova, you send out countless rays of loving-kindness through the pores of your skin in all directions. These rays touch the hearts of all universal beings, cleanse them, and bring every happiness up to the bliss of enlightenment.
First, a beam of nectar goes to your mother who is sitting on your left, then to your father who is sitting on your right.
Then it goes to your remaining friends and relatives behind you and finally to all those who have made you angry or upset, recently or in the past, who are sitting in front of you.
Forgive the harm they have caused you and have compassion for the harm they are causing themselves. Then send the light to all other sentient beings—in human aspect—all around, as far as the horizon.
Think that you have brought all suffering throughout the universe to an end. The beings have become buddhas, and their environments have become pure lands. Rejoice that you have repaid the kindness of all beings, your mothers. Having completed its work, the blissful energy of loving-kindness flows back into you.
All that you have visualized dissolves into the blissful dharmakaya, and you remain like a bubble of light floating in empty space.
Now, like condensed breath upon a mirror slowly evaporating, your body gradually disappears from the outside in; the last part to go is at your heart. All that remains is your blissful mind, focused single-pointedly upon your ultimate nature—emptiness—which appears like the first hint of light in the dark sky before dawn. Hold this concentration for as long as you can.
Generate the blissful healing energy of loving-kindness once again. This appears as white light that takes the form of your body with your mind inside.
Feel that your old body and mind—products of karma and affliction—have gone forever, and your present body and mind are now produces from wisdom and compassion.
Think: The entire purpose of my existence is to bring happiness to others and to ease their burden of suffering however I can. From now on I will instantly dispel the slightest hint of self-importance from my mind, and I will always work for others with every action I do, every word I speak, and every thought I think.
Strongly dedicate the positive energy of this meditation to that attainment.
This meditation is one of several in the book “Spiritual Friends: Meditations by Monks and Nuns of the International Mahayana Institute”, published by Wisdom Publications (Spiritual Friends).
A collection of the favorite guided meditations of senior monks and nuns of the International Mahayana Institute of the FPMT. These meditations center on different Buddhist themes and provide a good resource for the practicing meditator. The book also includes brief spiritual autobiographies that allow the reader to trace each contributors’ entry into and study of Tibetan Buddhism.
Our true spiritual friends are the positive potentials in our minds, which will never never disappoint us and never desert us. Similarly, the generous and personal meditations offered in this book help us develop these potentials and thus are true friends to whom we can always turn. Likewise, the Sangha, as the ordained followers of the Buddha upon whom the continuity of the Buddha’s teachings depend, are spiritual friends who encourage us and inspire us to transform our minds.
This unique book—the first from the International Mahayana Institute—contains meditations written by eighteen nuns and monks of the IMI Sangha as well as an autobiographical essay from each in which these nuns and monks share how they came to the ordained life.
“The contributors have not just copied words from the texts but have meditated extensively upon the topics about which they write. Furthermore, they have not only visualized these meditations but have also tried as hard as they can to integrate the meaning of the words into their lives. This meditation book will prove useful to many readers.”—Lama Zopa Rinpoche, from the foreword