Meditation is at the heart of all Buddhist practise. People are often drawn to meditation for a variety of reasons such as becoming less stressed, more relaxed, greater clarity etc, however learning to meditate has nothing to do with trying to make your mind blank or suppressing thoughts/feelings.
We call the type of meditation we practise Formless Meditation. This term is used to distinguish this particular practice of naturalness, which is very deep and simple, from meditation practices using images, imagination, and rituals of various kinds.
Formless meditation involves two processes. calming and settling the mind (known as Shamata) and the other is developing insight or understanding (known as Vipashyana). It is the insight aspect of the meditation that leads to a deeper understanding and eventually liberation from our habitual negative thought patterns.
We have an introductory website to meditation and in particular Formless Meditation at www.howtomeditate.org.uk – with mindfulness mediation audio guides and videos explaining meditation as well as how to get further instruction, and why that’s important.
When you learn how to meditate with us at the Awakened Heart Sangha, you’ll find we deliberately keep the focus of the practice simple. Do not be deceived by the simplicity as it gradually reveals itself to be more and more subtle and profound the more we practise.
Having meditation instruction from a qualified teacher is important as for a long time the practise of meditation may feel like a struggle, but it is a struggle to let go of complications and arrive at simplicity. The ease of that simplicity is elusive and takes a long time to develop and stabilise.
Our Brighton group is led by Sherab, an experienced meditation instructor, a senior student of Lama Shenpen and teacher within the Awakened Heart Sangha.
Through Formless Meditation we learn to make friends with ourselves and all our experience, good and bad, because the essence of both is the same natural and profound openness, clarity and sensitivity of our being.