In Buddhism, meditation is seen as part of an overall path and approach to life.
Meditation develops positive states of mind, but there is not much point in doing this for just
a short period each day if we are cultivating negative states the rest of the time. For this reason
we prefer to teach meditation along with a range of other practices that help us make positive
changes to our mental states.
For this reason most of our introductory classes are called an Introduction to Meditation and
Buddhism, rather than being just about meditation alone.
We teach two meditation practices in our introductory classes
Mindfulness of Breathing
This helps us to develop a serene, alert, focussed state of mind, in which we can get
beyond the usual chatter in our heads and start to listen to our deeper feelings, thought patterns, inspiration and wisdom.
The Metta Bhavana (sometimes called development of loving kindness), this helps us to
develop positivity and warmth, to leave behind harmful emotions, and to connect with other
people at a deeper and empathetic level.
We combine these formal practices with the non-practice of Just Sitting, which gives an
open space in which we can absorb the effects of meditation.