Our practice is a simple one
We sit silently, in stillness, on chairs rather than on cushions on the floor, aware of whatever is happening for us at that moment.
Watching the breath as it enters and leaves the body, we may become aware of sounds, or sensations in the body, or take note of our thoughts and feelings.
If you’d prefer to sit on a cushion or a stool on the floor and you have what you need, you’re welcome to bring it with you.
Walking meditation is another practice we do from time to time, with instructions before we start.
The first Wednesday of the month we call Beginners’ Mind, and it’s great for people who’ve never tried meditation, as well as those of us who know that every time we sit it’s just like starting over.
You can download some really simple meditation instructions to use at home here.
And at the end of some of our sessions, we may spend four or five minutes reflecting on what happened during our meditation session, journalling what we can recall, following this with a discussion.
When we pause, and let our mind rest, we feel better – there’s no great mystery in this, the only mystery is why we don’t do it more often
Our evenings may include a short guided meditation, and we try to finish in good time for a chat with tea and biscuits.
If you find sitting meditation hard, download this PDF which outlines six additional ways you might try to meditate. And perhaps you’d like to listen to some instructions at home:
As a small group of friends coming on a Wednesday evening in someone’s living room to support each other’s meditation practice – that’s how we started.
With an understanding that a secular Buddhist approach is more than simply meditation, we are developing our practice around the four tasks the Buddha taught his followers which are to:
- Experience life
- Let go of instinctive reactivity
- See the stopping of that reactivity, and
- Act – respond, say, see, set a direction in our lives, cultivate a path – ‘the eightfold path’ – in which we work on eight aspects of our lives.
It’s essentially a positive feedback loop, rather than a climb to ever greater heights (or depths) of ... whatever.
We value community, care, creativity and compassion, and we think of ourselves as a community of practitioners who are dedicated to developing the relationship between a secular Buddhism and an ethical, compassionate engagement with all beings on the planet. In practice, we do this with:
- Gaining insight through focused self-observation, and
- The cultivation of states of compassion and unconditional friendliness, or love, based on that insight.
Translating that compassion and love into action in this world, today, now.