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Location: London Shambhala Meditation Centre

Demystifying Meditation

These classes can be attended as a whole series or individually, please find details of the topic for each class and information on how to register for the individual sessions below.

 

This 5 week course is intended for those completely or relatively new to meditation, as well as experienced meditators who have questions about their practice. 

While the instructions on how to meditate are surprisingly simple, it is not easy. We bring many preconceived ideas and intentions to meditation practice, learning to meditate is a process of giving up our ideas about how our meditation experience should be and settling into our present experience and applying the simple instructions. 

Understanding the logic of the meditation instructions and how to relate to thoughts, emotions and sense perceptions, we learn how to work with different experiences and gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between meditation and being a human in this unpredictable world, offering an opportunity to engage with ourselves and others with clarity and friendliness.

Each class will include short talks, meditation, discussion and time for questions.

 

WEEK 1: How to Meditate

Common Questions and experiences:
What is meditation?
How do I meditate?
Is meditation the same as mindfulness?

We will explore the basic meditation instruction; how to hold our body; what to do with our mind.

‘You could call meditation a practice of being fully conscious, as opposed to being unconscious, lost in thought  and wandering away, which is a pretty typical state.’ – Pema Chodron

WEEK 2: Working with thoughts

Common questions and experiences:
Why can’t I stop thinking?
Isn’t meditation about stopping thoughts?
I thought I would have less thoughts but I seem to have more?
I’ll never be any good at meditation because my mind is too active.

Thoughts play a major part in our lives, but what do we do with them in meditation? In this class we pay attention to thoughts and see that they can be part of our meditation path, not just something that gets in the way.

‘The towns and countryside that the traveller sees through a train window do not slow down the train, nor does the train affect them. Neither disturbs the other. This is how you should see the thoughts that pass through your mind when you meditate.’ – Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

 

WEEK 3: Working with emotions

Common questions and experiences:
I don’t seem to be any happier or calmer, am I doing something wrong?
I still get really irritated and angry, I thought I would be more ‘zen’
I feel more depressed and anxious, meditation doesn’t work for me.

When we sit down to meditate, we might encounter all sorts of experiences. What do we do if we are angry, sad, or ecstatic?

‘In order to be fully present, to experience life fully, we need to acknowledge and accept all our emotions and all parts of ourselves.’ – Pema Chodron

 

WEEK 4: Working with sense perceptions

Common questions and experiences:
Focusing on the breathing makes me anxious, does that mean I can’t meditate?
Is there something magic about the breath?
I can’t find the perfect meditation space, there’s always too much distraction.

Meditation is often perceived as something we do with our mind, this is indeed the case to a certain extent, but it doesn’t just stop there. Meditation is a practice for us to engage with the world, if we want a settled mind that allows us to act with clarity and warmth, then meditation needs to encompass all our experiences, including the world of our sense perceptions.

‘There is a deep interdependence between everything we experience, for example, we call something “anger,” but it has a physical component, it has a visual component, it has a story line, and it has a texture and color. Nothing is as solid as it seems.’ – Pema Chodron

 

WEEK 5: Opening the Heart to include Everything

Common questions and experiences:
I’ve learned to stay with the breath and feel the benefit, but what now?
Meditation, how does that help with the climate or war?
How can I persuade others to meditate?

We have learned to work with our mind through meditation, we have felt the benefit of learning to settle into the ever changing inner and outer landscapes of our experience. And then what?

‘Buddha realized that true freedom lay not in withdrawal from life but in a deeper and more conscious engagement in its processes.’ Mingyur Rinpoche

 

Timings

Arrival 7.15pm, start 7.30pm, finish 9.00pm  

 

Payment Terms and Conditions

To reserve a place on this course please pay the full course price upon registration.  

You are welcome to attend one or more individual classes instead of the full course, see above for class topics. To register for specific classes, please contact Katrina on eventcoordinator@shambhala.org.uk 

Cost:
£60 for the 5-week course 
£15 each for individual classes

A concession fee of £35 for the whole course is available for those earning below £25,000 per annum and a concession fee of £30 is available for those earning below £20,000.  A concession fee of £12/10 is available on individual classes. Please contact eventcoordinator@shambhala.org.uk to request a concession. 

We don’t want cost to be a barrier so if anyone is in financial hardship, please feel warmly invited to get in touch for further concessions.

If you are in the position to do so and would like to pay our Pay it Forward price of £70, to help us support those who cannot pay the full price and to help keep the Centre running, please contact Katrina on eventcoordinator@shambhala.org.uk.  

 

Please register and pay in full on registration, to pay by card, Please ensure you click on the relevant price option to go through to PayPal where you can also pay by credit/debit card.  Cancellation up to 1 week before the programme will receive a full refund, after that there will be a £20 fee charged for cancellation up until 24hrs before, after which no refund is granted.

London Shambhala Meditation Centre
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2024-04-24 11:53:34