Often when we meditate, we find that we are easily distracted by our senses, thoughts and emotions. A pain in our leg or back, or some thoughts about our day circling through our mind in a seemingly endless loop can make us completely forget about meditation. Rather than seeing common situations like these as something we need to avoid or eliminate in order to practise ‘properly’, this course shows us how to use them to strengthen and support our meditation.
Course 2- Using our Senses, Thoughts and Emotions as a Support introduces the idea that all sensations, thoughts and emotions can be used as a basis for meditation practice: in short, everything that occurs during the meditative experience can be a basis for meditation, rather than distraction. The course material builds on Course 1 and presents the following new topics:
using the senses as an object of shamatha
using thoughts as an object of shamatha
using emotions as an object of shamatha
It also revisits important principles that were established in the first module. This material will be a valuable reminder and deepening for students who attended the first module, and a vital introduction to those who did not. These points include:
the ultimate goal of meditation
key principles of shamatha with support
the source of genuine contentment
an understanding of the two aspects of mind—its appearance and essence
Through teachings on video, class discussions and contemplative exercises, students can begin to see the connection between experiences of happiness, peace and contentment, and the way mind perceives. This helps to understand how meditation can help us transform our mind and perceive differently, so that we discover a deeper contentment that is not reliant on outer circumstances.
It is recommended to have already taken Course One- Getting to Know Your Own Mind prior to taking this course, as it provides a foundation in many of the fundamental principals that are elaborated on here.