Buddhist meditation can help us to become calmer, kinder and, ultimately, wiser.
“As meditation proceeds, you feel your system loosening up, you feel rigidities softening,you feel yourself becoming more flexible and pliable. Like metal heated in a fire, you start being able to bend. Or perhaps one could say it’s like dancing. If one’s muscles are stiff, exercise loosens them up, and meditation has the same effect on the mental level. It loosens up your mental muscles and they become, more relaxed, much less stiff… You become less rigid, less brittle”
We teach two main meditation practices. The first is called ‘The Mindfulness of Breathing’ which is a simple and direct way of developing awareness and calm; the other is called ‘The Metta Bhavana’ and allows us to cultivate emotional warmth, kindness and friendliness towards ourselves and others. Both practices are simple in their form but far-reaching in their effects. We also teach ‘Just Sitting’ meditation, an unstructured practice which complements formal meditation.
Meditation is a method of self-transformation placing us at the point from which we can creatively shape our own destiny.
We run a drop-in every Wednesday evening which introduces both meditation and Buddhism and is suitable for beginners or regular practitioners who are 18 years old or more.
Mindfulness of Breathing
As the name suggests, this is a practice focusing on the breath and the sensations of the breath within the body. As we meditate our focus is shifted into ever more subtle sensations of the breath.
This meditation allows us to accept, and let go of, the busyness in our heads and regular practice can help to develop mindfulness and awareness – both of which can lead us to a richer and more peaceful experience of life.
Metta is an ancient Indian word that is often translated as loving kindness or friendly awareness. Within this practice we aim to cultivate feelings of metta to ourselves and the people around us. Sometimes this is people that we know well and have strong positive feelings for. Sometimes it is for people that we know less well or maybe people that we have never met but share the world with.
In common with the Mindfulness of Breathing practice, the Metta Bhavana dates back to the Buddha, some 2,500 years ago.
This is an unstructured practice of awareness and mindfulness. It is practised as a meditation in it’s own right or as a stage within the other meditation practice. The meditator just sits and allows whatever is happening to emerge.
This practice is also often included as part of The Mindfulness of Breathing or Metta Bhavana
Triratna Buddhist Community (York) meeting as York Buddhist Group