More on meditation
What is Meditation?
Please see also the Shamata Meditation booklet.
At Jamyang we believe that the mind is fundamentally pliable and that it is possible to significantly improve one's self awareness and positive emotions. We believe that we are not bound by the opinions we have about ourselves nor are we obliged to behave in predetermined ways. Ultimately we can free our minds from all incorrect views about who and what we are and enhance our positive emotions of loving kindness and compassion.
In the Mahayana Buddhist tradition this is done by a combination of positive engagement with the world combined with developing the mind through meditation. The origin of the word meditation in Tibetan means to become familiar with, so what do we become familiar with? In the first place we need to become familiar with what is going on in our minds. In order to do this we need to step back from our close involvement with mental activity and just observe. In doing this we will slowly bring stability to our minds. At its simplest level this can be a great way to recharge our mental batteries but we like to take this one step further. There are two related practices that lead you in this direction: Shamata or Calm Abiding and Vipassana or Insight meditation. We can regard these as a foundation level for our meditation practice.
As we become less caught up in our mental world then we can start to develop our positive emotions by practicing a range of meditations in the Tibetan tradition that are aimed at developing a caring and loving emotional base for our activities. The aim here is to develop a deep compassion for other beings based on a strong understanding of the realities of cyclic existence and its problems. We want to develop a whole new emotional ground that is called Boddhicitta.
In the Tibetan tradition we use the mind of Bodhicitta and the wisdom gained through insight meditation to enter the path of Vajrayana - deity yoga. Here the meditator models the enlightened state by visualising himself or herself, firstly in the presence of Buddhas and Boddhisattvas, and then by adopting the knowledge and emotional well-being of an enlightened being.
Here at Jamyang we try to offer meditation classes and practice groups to suit everyone.