Bright Sea

About Meditation

Train your Mind - Change the World

Fire Cairn
Annie Ferris. Me, Myself and Amitabha
Meditation
 

About Meditation

Take a Radical Challenge

Meditation is a means of transforming the mind, opening us up to our natural human potential for awareness (mindfulness) and kindness (mettā). Buddhist meditation practices are techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things. And we find that we can respond better to the needs of the world and those around us by becoming a bigger person. We can train ourselves in becoming wiser, more courageous, creative, empathetic and committed.

 

By engaging with a particular meditation practice you learn the patterns and habits of your mind, and the practice offers a means to cultivate new, more positive ways of being. With regular work and patience, these nourishing, focused states of mind can deepen into profoundly peaceful and energised states of mind. Such experiences can have a transformative effect and can lead to a new understanding of life.

In the Triratna Buddhist Community, we teach two main meditations, one focusing on mindfulness and one cultivating loving-kindness.  Mindfulness of Breathing and The Metta Bhavana.  

 

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 teach meditation along with a range of other Buddhist practices that help us make positive changes to our mental states. 

Go to the Audio page for guided meditations. 

 

The Mindfulness of Breathing

Developing Awareness

Mindfulness is a deeply human quality of unlimited potential, which can bring meaning and happiness to our lives. 2,500 years ago, the Buddha described mindfulness as 'clear and radiant' and as 'stillness, simplicity and contentment'. Yet we do not need to be Buddhist nor interested in Buddhism to benefit from mindfulness.

Mindfulness practices can help us to develop awareness: serene, alert, focused states of mind, in which we can get beyond the usual chatter in our heads and start to listen to our deeper inspiration and wisdom.  

In addition to exploring how to bring mindfulness into our everyday actions, we teach the Mindfulness of Breathing meditation practice. This is a simple, effective and traditional meditation in which we focus on the natural experience of breathing, in a way that is both directed and relaxed and which unfolds through a series of structured stages.

Go to the Audio page for guided meditations. 

 

The Metta Bhavana

Developing Loving Kindness

Mettā or loving kindness is a way to develop positivity and warmth, to leave behind harmful emotions, and to connect with other people at a deeper level. The Buddha described this as liberating, and called it 'freedom of heart'.  

Practising mettā can, over time, bring ease, relaxation and delight into our lives, and transform our relationships. Our experiences of ourselves and other people can change for the good in ways we could not have imagined. 

The central meditation associated with kindness is the Mettā Bhavana, which means 'the development of loving kindness.' In a series of structured stages, we begin with cultivating kindness towards ourselves (which is deeply important but doesn't always feel easy!) Then we extend empathy and well-wishing towards a range of individuals, broadening out to include all living beings. 

Go to the Audio page for guided meditations. 

 

Just Sitting

 Creating space for awareness

After establishing a practice of structured meditations, we may wish to balance this with the ‘non-practice’ of ‘Just Sitting,' Just sitting means exactly that: the practice entails just sitting there, present to whatever arises in experience.  This is easier said than done, and in general, a structured practice is the best place to start.

 

We may 'just sit' for a few minutes after another meditation practice to observe and absorb the effects of the meditation. Or, we may engage with it as a practice in its own right, where we pay relaxed attention to the processes of awareness.

'Me, Myself and Amitabha' sculpture ©Annie Ferris 2020. All rights reserved. https://www.thehareandtheelephant.co.uk/

©2020 West Wales Buddhist Group