Foundations of Meditation
Calm Abiding Meditation
The practice of calm abiding is the starting point for most Westerners interested in meditation and it forms the basis of our introductory classes. This practice helps us to develop spaciousness, calmness and clarity in our daily lives.
Full instruction and guidance on calm abiding meditation are provided at the classes. However, for those who are already familiar with the practice and would like a reminder, click here for a short summary of the key points.
Reflecting on the Four Thoughts
Reflecting on the Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind to Dharma helps us to orientate ourselves towards the dharma and to let go of the worldly preoccupations and obsessions which are currently impeding our spiritual progress.
The Four Thoughts are:
- Meditation on the preciousness of human life - this helps us to appreciate that, as human beings, we possess an extraordinary opportunity to develop our understanding and compassion
- Meditation on impermanence - through seeing that all conditioned things (including our own lives) are impermanent we are motivated to practise dharma and to stop wasting time on worthless activities
- Meditation on karma (cause and result) - through consideration of the various results of our good and bad actions we become aware of the power of our deeds and the effect they will have on our future experiences
- Meditation on suffering - by examining the world and our own experiences of it we come to realise that conditioned existence is inherently flawed and to develop a longing for liberation from suffering.
Lord Buddha's teaching (known as dharma in Sanskrit), provides a graduated path out of suffering towards a lasting peace and happiness of mind. Meditation on the Four Thoughts will enable us to decide whether we wish to follow that path.