The benefits of a regular meditation practice are widely accepted in society nowadays. Scientists tell us that it can calm the mind, elevate brain function, and give clarity and vividness to present experience. It may help people break unhealthy habits, and it can soothe troubled spirits and lift people’s moods. It reduces stress and chronic pain. It makes people happier, less defensive and more engaged with others.
Spiritual leaders tell us that meditation can do so much more. The ultimate aim of meditation, they say, is to transform ourselves in in order to be better able to transform the world, or, to put it another way, to transform ourselves so we can become better human beings in order to serve others in a wiser and more efficient way. It gives our life the highest possible meaning.
Buddhist practice is all about transforming the mind from confusion to clarity. This is a process that takes a long time, and setting up a sustained and enjoyable daily meditation practice is vital if our understanding of Buddhism is to take us anywhere.
In this course we will look at the importance of meditating on the path to enlightenment, the different meditations we can do, marrying our study with our meditation with our everyday life, setting up a daily practice, creating a conducive physical and mental space in our life and working towards doing retreats.
This course is the second module of the widely respected Discovering Buddhism programme. By engaging in this course, participants will gain an experiential taste of the Buddha’s teachings, some retreat experience, and the skills they need to make their lives most meaningful. Included are presentations of ideas, discussion, meditations and suggestions for further reading.