What Meditation Really Is, Courses 4 & 5 includes:
Course 4- Finding Motivation, Loving Kindness Meditation, and
Course 5- The Unifying Practice.
Finding Motivation, Loving Kindness Meditation
In order to adopt a genuine attitude of love and compassion towards other people, we first need to be able to love and have compassion for ourselves. Then, it is much easier and more meaningful to wish that our practice may be of real benefit to others. By showing us how to love ourselves and how to extend our love to everybody else, loving kindness meditation practice expands the scope of our practice – that our practice will benefit not only ourselves, but everyone else too.
Many people discover that loving kindness practice gives them a method for transforming their difficult emotions and helps them avoid getting stuck in negativity and confusion. For this reason, many students find that by meditating on loving kindness, their shamatha practice becomes more stable.
Students will have the opportunity to:
The Unifying Practice
The Unifying Practice brings together three key methods, each one connected with an aspect of the body, speech and mind, and is a way of bringing our body, speech and mind into the environment of meditation and the state of of non-distraction. This course looks in detail at the Unifying Practice, in which these three key methods—each of them a complete method of meditation in itself—are brought together into one practice.
—First, using the support of looking at an image of Buddha transforms our outer environment and acts on the level of the body.
—Second, chanting or reciting a mantra is related to the speech and purifies our inner world of sound, emotion and energy.
—Third, watching the breath pacifies the mind. This may gradually lead to the higher meditation of the innermost nature of mind.
As we practice these methods in a gradual sequence, it enables us slowly to transform our thoughts, emotions and energy, and become steadily more peaceful and more present. When we practice them together in what we call ‘The Unifying Practice’, it brings the three methods together, and ‘unifies’ them, so that we can see their connectedness, and how each one supports the other. This accelerates the process of meditation and deepens the experience, with the result that meditation can happen effortlessly.